Indoor Plants and Flowers Care PLANT CARE WATERING HOUSEPLANTS - Watering Houseplants

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Watering Your House Plants
Houseplants & Flowers


Incorrect houseplant watering is the number one killer of potted plants. Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

As bad as it sounds, it's true. The simplest way to improve your success with houseplants is to learn how to water properly. Most of the problems that occur with indoor plants are caused by improper watering practices. Often this would be over watering but if you are not caring for your plants on a regular schedule, under-watering can also be a problem.

Watering and houseplants

The root system of a plant needs air as well as water to remain healthy. When the root system of your plant is constantly saturated the roots will begin to die. Overwatering is generally caused by watering your plants too often, not by the amount of watering given when you decide it is time to water your plants. When it is time to water your plants, you should water the potting mix thoroughly and then discard any standing water. There are not many exceptions to this.

Plants in very low light will need a lighter hand when they are watered and your cactus should be watered sparingly. Maintaining a healthy root system is vital for lush, vibrant foliage so if you see signs of problems on your foliage, check the roots for problems.

While over-watering is a big problem, insufficient watering or letting your plant wilt on a regular basis is not good for it. This will most likely cause browning or spotting of the foliage over time so be sure to check them on a regular schedule. Check your plants on a schedule and pay attention to visuals signs such as mild wilting, browning tips, etc. and you will soon learn how to easily judge when your plants require watering.

Houseplants care book
Houseplants Care

Rule number one when it comes to watering, pick one day a week when you have a little bit of time to spend on your plants. Make this your plant care day and leave your plants alone other than that day. Unless something drastic happens such as wilting, ignore them until PlantCare day.

It is hard to say exactly how much and how often you will water your plants because this will vary throughout the year and throughout the plant's life. That being said, there are some basic guidelines you should follow when you are making decisions about watering your plant.

The amount of water and interval between watering for each plant is different and depends on a variety of factors. These include the type of plant, the grow pot size, the light intensity, the time of year, the amount of foliage, the growing medium, the micro environment and the overall health of the plant.

For instance, a plant set next to an air vent is going to require more frequent watering than one that is not. A plant with an abundance of foliage is going to require much more moisture than a very sparse or thin plant. So where do you begin when making the decision to water?

If you have a 6" to 8" diameter grow pot, the easiest way to accurately check the soil is with your eyes and fingers. There are not many plants that need to stay wet or moist at all times so with this small of a pot you will usually be safe to do a visual check. Is the top soil dry?

If you are not sure, use the touch test. Gently push the tip of your finger into the soil. Moist soil will cling to your skin and dry soil will not. Most houseplants in this size pot will need to be watered once the topsoil has dried out. If it is in good, bright light, go ahead and water.

If you have a plant in a 10" diameter pot or larger, it is a good idea to use a soil probe to check for moisture in the growing medium. These are not expensive and have the advantage of aerating the root mass as you use it, which is great for your plant's root system and health.

Pilea Plant

A good soil probe will be about 12"-16" long, made of aluminum and have notches in the side to pull up a soil sample. Moist soil will remain in the notch and dry soil will easily fall out. With larger grow pots it is necessary to let the soil dry down much more than with a small grow pot. Use a soil probe and a good rule of thumb would be to water when the soil is dry in all but the bottom notch.

Remember that many plants are in a stage of no or very slow growth in the winter and should be allowed to become somewhat drier. I have had plants that did not need to be watered at all in the winter months, after a good soaking in the fall.

If you pay attention to your plants you will notice that as the daylight changes throughout the year, your plants water use will change accordingly. Please note that some plants use more water temporarily as heating systems are turned on in the colder months.

Houseplant questions or problems? You can send a houseplant question but before you do, please read this information on how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your houseplants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon as plant care information, pictures and more are being added all of the time. I hope that your indoor tropical plants and all of your plants and flowers are happy, green and growing because that is why I started this site

Grow Your Own Herbs Indoors!

If you have indoor plant questions you can send a plant question or visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo blog for interior plant questions and answers, to post your own comment or questions or share some of your indoor plant wisdom with others. Visit the website Facebook Page or Google+ Page, also great places to post comments and questions! Thanks again...

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