Last updated on April 7th, 2022
Indoor plants have become an indispensable part of a modern home. Do you find yourself wondering how so many people seem to have thriving plants in pots when you struggle to keep your plants alive? The answer likely lies in your watering schedule.
Houseplants differ vastly from each other and cannot be held to the same schedule. If the soil is very dry and the plant seems wilted, it needs watering. Conversely, if the soil seems muddy and the plant leaves turn brown and mushy, the plant is overwatered. Here are six tips to get the balance just right :
1. A simple test
The simplest way to check if your plant needs watering is to check the soil. Push your index finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If the soil is completely dry, it is safe to water the plant until a few drops seep out of the drainage holes.
2. Weather matters
The winter watering schedule will not be the same as the summer. During particularly warm days, water may evaporate much faster from the soil and adjustments have to be made accordingly. Similarly, if the plants are on a balcony and receive sufficient rainwater, there may be no need to water them during the entire monsoon season. Also, plants placed in shade will require less frequent watering as compared to plants in bright sunlight.
3. Choose the right pot
Traditionally, terracotta has been used to create planters because it has excellent water-wicking qualities. It can absorb excess moisture and keep the soil cool. Plastic and metal planters may look great and have fewer chances of breakage but do not provide the same breathability. We recommend drilling extra drainage holes in such planters so that excess water can safely flow away as overwatering can cause roots to drown. Also, always allow the soil to dry fully between watering.
4. An even pour
Allow water to flow gently into the soil without splashing the leaves. Especially if the plant is young and tender, the forceful flow of water can cause the plant to topple. Excessive water can also plug the stomata-the tiny pores on leaves through which the plant exchanges gases.
5. All plants are not the same
A cactus will not require the same amount of water as a monstera palm. Read up about the exact requirements of the species that you have. Plants with waxy leaves typically come from rainforests and can take a lot of watering, whereas thorny plants usually come from the desert and need to be watered once a month, if that. Larger plants need more water, as do any plants which are actively producing fruit.
6. Hard water blues
Certain species may react badly to hard water. If under or over watering has been taken care of, but the plant is still struggling, switch to filtered water. Sometimes, tap water contains calcium carbonate, which coats the roots and makes it difficult for the plant to absorb water. A telltale sign of this is a limescale deposit on the pot.
Don’t let a few wilted plants discourage you. Plants, like any living creature, have their own pattern of growth. A little care while watering the plants can go a long way, and you can have your dream home filled with greens.
And if you’re thinking of inviting a new leafy friend into your home, here’s a handy list of plants trending in 2022!
Here’s wishing you a super-green thumb!