There are plenty of benefits and reasons to having plants in your house, such as removing pollutants in the air reducing stress levels whilst also increasing focus and creativity. For people who might not have access to a garden, they bring some of the outdoors inside and are, almost literally, a breath of fresh air.
If you’re finding that you’re at home a lot and paying more attention to your house plants than usual, you could end up over watering them. This blog post will help you to understand just how much TLC your plants really need…
1. Drainage holes
First things first, sometimes plants are taken home and potted directly into the decorative pot you already have which might look lovely, but is a big no no! Doing this won’t allow for any of the excess water to drain away, instead the water will sit at the bottom of your pot, becoming damp and potentially creating root rot. Which is why we always suggest to check if your decorative pot has a drainage hole, or if it doesn’t then place the plastic pot you brought your plant in, into the decorative pot where you can then lift the plant out and pour away any excess water. If you do have a drainage hole in your decorative pot, then pop a saucer underneath for when you’re watering to stop any escaping onto the floor or surface. Often, if you watch your plant will actually suck up the remaining water on the saucer if it needs it! Don’t wait too long, if your plant hasn’t pulled the excess water back within 15-20 minutes of watering then pour the excess away, because you have a happy healthy plant that doesn’t need any extra water.
2. When should I water my plants?
With a lot of plants you should only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. To test this, gently push your finger into the soil to see how dry it feels. For plants that can’t get enough water, then water when the surface is dry… for succulents and drier plants water when most of the soil feels dry. Another way to test the water retention in your soil is to pick up your plant! If your plant is in a pot, carefully pick it up to gauge how wet the soil is through its weight. If you have two similar plants in the same size pot then this will be easier to determine if the plant needs watering. The heavier the plant, the more water it is retaining in the soil which means you shouldn’t need to water it for a little while.
Once you have watered the plant, pick it up and you will have a sense for its weight right after you water it. This way you will have a base weight to compare it to as it dries out.
3. Which water should you use?
Plants can be a bit fussy when it comes to the way they like their water, just like you probably don’t like your shower freezing cold, your plants don’t either. Very cold water, such as from the tap or fridge can send the roots into shock (especially for tropical plants who dream of being in the rainforest). One idea is to fill the watering can each time after you’ve finished your watering round then when it comes back to watering again then you will have room temperature water for your plants. If you can, then your plants would love it if you can water them with rain water! Leave a bucket outside to collect the rainwater and top your watering can up with this.
If you follow these first few steps then, your plants should thrive inside!