How Often Should I Water My Plants (and How Much Water)?
Growing your own plants is an incredible idea, and it can bring in some amazing benefits. The great thing about watering your plants is that you can easily start taking good care of them and they will thrive very well. Water is a crucial component for plants, and that’s why you want to ensure you don’t forget. Which makes you wonder, how often do you need to water your plants? Let’s find out.
How often is it ok to water your plants?
It’s important to note that most plants need watering every 1-3 weeks. It obviously depends on the type of plant that you have. Some of them are ok with having dry soil, others need quite a bit of water, so you have to understand the needs of your plant beforehand. You also want to check the soil dryness by poking your index finger into the potting mix near the plant. You want to see if the first few inches are damp or not. If it’s completely dry, maybe some watering is indeed necessary.
Why do plants need water?
The reason is simple, they need water in order to survive and maintain their internal processes. Water is also cooling your plant down, it delivers structural support, and it helps move minerals throughout the entire plant too, which is really important. You should also know the fact that plants are similar to water balloons. When they have a lot of water, they are upright and stiff. However if they lack water, the plant itself feels wilted and cells deflate.
Whenever you choose to water your plant, a process named transpiration takes place, and here the sun is evaporating water via the leaves. Water is acquired from the roots, but if the roots are dry, then water goes away from the leaves. That’s the time when your plant feels deflated, and you will know for sure that the plant itself is very thirsty, so keep that in mind!
How much water is needed?
Here you have to consider the fact that every plant has its own needs. What you want to do is to think of the natural environment of the plant. Is it a dry environment or a rainy one? If the plant lives in a dry environment, like succulents or cacti, then these barely need any water, just a soak and then you can wait a month or more before you water them again. However, if you have a plant from a tropical or rainy environment, it needs more water.
If you have a large plant, you want to pour water and also let it soak in. You want to repeat this until the soil is saturated. Then you want to check every few days and see if the soil is dry, then you can water it again. If the plant soil is very dry most of the time, then you are underwatering. Yet if it’s wet all the time, it leads to root rot. So you have to check the soil and see if there are problems, then your results will be a whole lot better. It’s definitely something that requires a bit of time and precision, but at the end of the day it will help more than you might expect.
Should you have a watering schedule?
Believe it or not, having a watering schedule is actually a bad thing. It might end up doing more harm than good to your plant. Generally, you want to check the soil and see when it’s dry. That will give you a very good insight regarding the timing of the watering process. Otherwise it will just become a problem.
What about the water temperature?
When it comes to the water temperature, what we recommend is to keep it tepid if you can. Most of the time plants will go for tepid or warm water because this is what’s absorbed into the soil very well. Doing that will make things easier for the plant. A good rule of thumb is to prevent splashing water on the leaves, unless we are talking about a fern, air plant or orchid. Usually the tropical plants have waxy leaves since they are accustomed to the rainfall. So yes, it’s all a matter of checking the plant and its soil, but sticking to tepid or warm water is usually the better option.
Other plant watering tips:
- Grab a moisture meter and see if the plant actually needs water or not. This type of product is reliable and not that expensive, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
- Assess the plant pot weight, since it can help quite a lot. Wet soil is heavier, so if the pot is heavy, you don’t have to water the plant. If it’s light, that means you have dry soil and your plant needs watering as quickly as possible.
- Most indoor plants are ok with receiving water every 5-10 or 10-15 days. It’s a good idea to learn more about your plant in a book or online, this will give you lots of info. Then you will know the ideal watering time and any specifics.
- Infrequent watering is ok for most plants. Even if you might think that sticking to a schedule is ok, you don’t want to force your plants to receive water. That’s why you want to poke your fingers in the soil and assess dryness.
It’s very important to know when to water your plants properly, and thankfully there are many different ways to do that. Use the tips and ideas listed above, and remember to avoid watering your plant more than it needs. In the end, this can damage its roots and it will just end up being a problem. Don’t hesitate to study more about your plant, then assess if everything is ok. It might take a bit of a trial and error period to narrow down the right watering schedule, but it’s definitely worth it!
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