If you’ve ever seen your plant droop like it lost its will to live, or had beautiful green leaves that turned a sickly yellow, you probably realize that watering indoor plants can be a little complicated. Read on for eight tips to more beautiful indoor plants.
1. Every Pot Needs a Hole
Because plants should not sit in water, the pot must have at least one hole in the bottom. While you may be able to punch a hole through some types of plastic, other types of plastic shatter. Even using a special drill bit to drill a hole in ceramic pots often causes major cracks. Make it easy on yourself-don’t buy a pot unless it has at least one hole in the bottom. Save your furniture by getting a saucer for the pot. Always.
2. Get on a Schedule
Start with checking your plants twice a week and water if needed. If you have small plants, or you’ve moved them outside (especially in warmer weather), check them every other day.
3. Give them a Good Drink
When the soil feels dry to the touch, most indoor plants need a thorough watering. But water slowly, and in a few different places on the soil. Wait 15 minutes and discard the water that’s accumulated in the saucer.
4. Big vs. Little
It stands to reason that small plants in small containers dry out more frequently, so check them every second or third day. Conversely, large plants in large pots need watering much less often. Check their soil every ten days or so.
5. Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold
Water that’s too cold, including refrigerated or ice water, can shock a more fragile plant, while water that’s too hot from the tap can make it wilt. Room temperature water is just right.
6. Succulents Are Sippers
Because succulents thrive in the desert, they are the most forgiving of all plants when it comes to forgetting to water them. This does not, however, mean you can forget them altogether.
7. Plants Think Chemicals are Yucky
Very small amounts of fluoride and chlorine are in most residential water supplies, which plants can find disagreeable. Consider using spring water (yes, bottled) or as a more economical alternative, let tap water sit in an open container for a day using it to water your plants. That allows the chemicals to evaporate.
8. Buy a Moisture Meter
These inexpensive devices have a meter with a needle that provides a reading from “Dry” through “Moist” to “Wet”, atop thin probe. Put the probe almost to the bottom of the pot for an accurate reading. While these are helpful, they won’t do all the work for you. You’ll still need to be observant for droopy or discolored leaves. But even landscape maintenance professionals use them, so give them a try.
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