- The right time to water houseplants
- Ways to water your house plants
- Tips on how to water your plants correctly
- Golden rules of watering for plants to thrive
The right time to water
- Most indoor plants soil should be kept evenly moist at all times. In normal conditions, most plants will require water twice a week during the growing seasons (spring and summer) and once a week during the resting seasons (autumn and winter).
- Most indoor plants prefer moist compost in spring and summer when they are in growth, but be careful not to water too much, as waterlogged compost causes disease and can be fatal. To prevent wet compost, keep your plants in pots with drainage holes at the bottom, so that any excess water can be drained out, and tip away any surplus that is sitting in the plant’s saucer about an hour after watering.
- A good way to check when to water indoor plants is when the soil is dry, or the top inch of the soil is dry. To do this, put your finger about an inch into the soil mix. If it feels dry, your houseplant needs water. We would suggest you to check if you see any wilting leaves, but sometimes, wilting leaves can be a sign of overwatering, specifically mushy leaves. If the leaves are turning brown and crunchy, it is time to water your houseplants.
- It is advisable to let heavy chlorinated water stand in a pan overnight before watering your plants. Also, never use water that has been softened by a water softener because it contains too much sodium.
- We would suggest that you make it a habit to check on your houseplants at least once a week. You can also create a watering schedule if you have a lot of plants. This will remind you when to water them. Another piece of advice is to water your indoor plants in the morning because the morning sun will dry out any splashes on the leaves.
- The amount of water a plant needs is also influenced by the type of pot used. Small pots and plastic pots dry out faster than large pots or clay ones. Furthermore, plants that are supplied with artificial heat require additional water.
- Some species require a moss-covered pole to climb. These species send out aerial roots that attach to the pole to obtain water and nutrients. Keep the moss stick wet and pour a bit of diluted commercial fertilizer over it when you feed the plant.
Ways to water your Indoor Plants
a) Watering from above
b) Watering from below
d) Water in the centre of the plant
e) Soaking air plants
Tips on watering your plants correctly
- The Plant’s Pot Matters: To keep your houseplants healthy, make sure that they are in the correct pot size because most plants you buy come in grower’s pots, which is not appropriate in the long run. It will eventually inhibit their growth, make it difficult to water them properly, and houseplants become more susceptible to disease.
- Plants Have Different Water Needs: Understanding your plant’s unique needs and preferences is important before you start watering them. For complete watering instructions for each of your plants, check out more info in our Plant page for all your plant care needs.
- Water thoroughly and evenly: Water thoroughly and evenly, which means you must water around the planter until water drips out of the bottom.
- Dump out any excess water: Discard any excess water to avoid soggy soil, which causes root rot. Keep in mind that houseplants don’t like their roots to be kept wet because it can attract diseases and pests.
Golden rules of watering for plants to thrive
- Avoid Waterlogging: Keep plants in pots with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Water logging represses the breathing air of the roots out of the soil – the root cells drown without oxygen.
- During spring and summer: Water most plants every 2–4 days (or depending on requirement) in spring and summer to keep the compost, moist.
- Frequency of watering: Water desert cacti and succulents less frequently only when the top of the compost is dry. Additional tip for these plants is that as they like their leaves and stems to remain dry at all times, so add a layer of grit on top of the compost if repotting. It helps water to quickly drain away, preventing them from rotting.
- Water less in the winter: Reduce frequency of watering in winter when plant growth is slower and temperatures are lower.
- Removal of excess water: Tip out excess water from pot sleeves and saucers to prevent overly saturated compost. Leaving your potted plants in standing water can deprive them of oxygen and promote root rot. Additionally, emptying saucers after top watering prevents your plants from taking up the salts you remove during top watering. Empty your planter saucers within 30-60 minutes after watering to ensure plenty of drainages and to protect the roots from standing in excess water.
- Do not water directly on the Leaves
- Avoid giving water on the leaves and stems of plants with soft, furry foliage, or succulents and cacti.
- Watering on leaves can clog the leaf’s stomata which disrupt osmosis and plant respiration.
- Water will splash around your home.
- This can attract pests and diseases.
- Type of water: Do check to see if your plant prefers rainwater or distilled water rather than straight from the tap. Most tap water should be fine for your indoor plants unless it is softened because it has salts that can build up in the soil over time and eventually cause problems. Chlorinated water is also safe for most indoor plants, but if you have a filtration system, that is even better for your plants. Another option is collecting rainwater to use.
Grow knowledge about your green friend. Check out our blogs to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.
Reference links used:
1. – Practical Houseplant Book (RHS, Fran Bailey & Zia Allaway)