How much should I water my plants?
There are three important things that should be kept in mind while watering your plants:
- They need to hydrate
- They need to breathe
- They need you to know where they originally come from
Properly watering a potted plant is really about allowing the roots of the plants to be hydrated and to breathe.
Letting the soil to dry out is actually a good thing – there will be more oxygen in the soil, allowing the roots to breathe. While watering your plants, the formation of air bubbles on top of the soil is a good sign that oxygen is present when the soil is dry.
Most often we are tempted to overwater our plants. Keep in mind about the hydration and breathing rule, because over-watering is as harmful as under-watering. Letting a plant sit in water can cause the roots to rot. You will know overwatered plants by the signs of their leaves being droopy and yellow. While under-watered plants will usually have dry, brown or yellow leaves.
That is why it is very helpful to know how they thrive in the wild. By remembering their original home, you may learn more about your plants’ water preference. Tropical rain forest plants may need regular showers and high humidity (through misting), while plants that originated from the desert may not need water as much and appreciate their soil dry.
How to water your plants the right way?
- Prepare an area for proper water drainage – a sink or your balcony
- Water the plants until it runs out of the holes in the bottom of the nursery pot
- You will know when to stop watering once the water drips down equally through all the drainage holes of the pot
- Leave them in the sink for about half an hour or more to let any excess water drain out
- Place them back in their decorative pot
When is it the right time to water your plants?
Let us introduce you to the finger dip test! Using your finger is by far the most effective way to detect when your plant needs to be watered. The way to do it is by simply dipping your index finger to the soil and consider watering using these two simple rules:
- If the soil is still moist, sticking upon your touch – no watering is needed
- If the soil has a powdery, dry feel by at least 5cm – 10cm (approximately by the second knuckle of your fingers) – it is time to water the plants
There is no precise schedule when it comes to watering plants. Sticking to an exact watering schedule is the most common reason plants are dying, either from under or overwatering. Watering doesn’t have an exact schedule because the soil dries out on its own time depending on a lot of variables: pot size, soil porosity, plant species, air temperature, humidity, light.