Not every person has a green thumb. In fact, many people have brown thumbs, or black thumbs, or even totally nonexistent thumbs. If you’re one of these people who can’t seem to keep plants alive, don’t worry—you’re not alone! But if you think watering plants is simple and straightforward, you might be in for a surprise. There are actually many things to consider when watering your plants, which can make it seem like keeping plants alive is impossible. The good news? It’s not impossible at all! By following just a few simple rules and guidelines (and by getting the right tools when necessary), you’ll find that keeping plants alive isn’t hard after all. So sit back and relax; we’re about to demystify the confusing world of water for indoor and outdoor plants.
When you’re watering your plants, it’s important to remember that plants can’t tell the difference between rain, dew and irrigation water. They need all of these things to stay alive and healthy. The best way to keep them happy is to give them the right amount of water at the right time.
Overwatering is the most common way people kill plants.
Overwatering is the most common way people kill plants. If you over-water your plant, it can get root rot and other problems that will kill it. Over-watered plants may also drown or die from fungal diseases and root rot.
It’s important not to let water sit on top of the soil; check your plant regularly for any soggy spots and make sure there are no puddles at the bottom of its pot where excess water has collected.
When you water makes a big difference.
When you water, when you don’t, how often and how much are all factors that can make or break a plant. The right watering frequency and amount is different for every type of plant.
For example, succulents need to be watered less frequently than other types of plants because they store moisture in their leaves. If it’s hot out, though—and this is the South we’re talking about—you’ll need to make sure that these plants get enough water so they don’t dry up completely. In general, succulents should be watered during the spring and summer months when temperatures rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius), but never leave them sitting in standing water for longer than three days at a time because this could cause rot on their roots.
On the flip side of the coin: cacti love heat! During those same times of year when it’s too hot for your average houseplant (from May through September), cacti can grow well outdoors since they have evolved specifically to thrive under these conditions.”
Water each plant differently.
- Watering each plant differently is the key to keeping your plants alive. Some plants need more frequent watering, while others should be watered less often but with more water.
- The soil should be moist, not drenched or dry. Most people over-water their plants, which results in root rot and moldy leaves. If you notice that your plant needs watering, you can use a moisture meter or stick your finger into the soil to test how damp it is. Just make sure not to get earthworms involved in any way!
Don’t drench fast-draining soil with water.
When you water plants that have fast-draining soil, don’t drench the pot. If you can’t see any water in the saucer after a few minutes and if there are no puddles of water on top of the soil, either wait longer or consider watering less often. If you feel like your plant is thirsty, try letting some water sit in the saucer for 5 to 10 minutes before watering again. This allows time for excess oxygen to be absorbed by the soil and prevents roots from drowning.
Another way to ensure your plants receive just what they need is to check how quickly their pots drain—if there are large drainage holes in them, they’ll need more frequent watering than pots with smaller ones. You can also improve drainage by adding perlite or vermiculite (or both) into your potting mix when repotting—just make sure these materials don’t come into contact with plant roots as they may not be healthy for them!
Do keep pots of slow-draining soil moist, but not wet or soggy.
- Use a watering can with a rose to prevent water from getting on the leaves of your plant.
- Water the soil, not the leaves. Watering from above can cause fungal diseases and mildew which are invisible to you but detrimental to your plants health!
- Water until it drains out the bottom of the pot – don’t just let it sit there in soggy dirt, it needs to drain away (you can use an empty pot for this).
Never leave standing water in the saucer under a pot.
Finally, always make sure that the saucer under your plant is not full of water. The saucer collects excess water that drains out of the pot, and if it’s full, it means you may be over-watering your plant. If the saucer is empty or nearly so, then you are probably not giving them enough water and should increase how often you water or up how much liquid you put in at each watering session.
For big plants in big pots, use soaker hoses to deliver a slow drip of water for no more than 15 minutes per day.
For big plants in big pots, use soaker hoses to deliver a slow drip of water for no more than 15 minutes per day. Soaker hoses are made from polyethylene or polypropylene and deliver water slowly but evenly throughout the soil. They’re not really practical for smaller pots because they require too much water—the larger the pot, the more time you’ll have to spend watering your plant every day—and if you have a lot of plants that need lots of water, a soaker hose may not be the way to go either since it can take hours just to get everything wet!
Manage humidity and airflow properly.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your plants alive is to manage humidity and airflow properly. If the air around your plants is too dry, it will cause leaves to curl and drop. If there’s too much moisture in the air, mold and disease can develop on their leaves. To avoid this, make sure that both conditions are balanced—too dry or too humid—and keep them at an appropriate level by using a humidifier or a dehumidifier depending on what you find works best for your climate.
Harsh weather can make it hard for plants to get enough water.
Even if you’re a seasoned gardener, it can be difficult to get your plants’ watering schedule right. Harsh weather such as strong winds or extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on your watering regimen.
If you’re worried about keeping your plants hydrated in harsh weather conditions, try these tips:
- To protect against windy days: Water early in the morning or late in the evening when winds are lower. Use raised beds and mulch around plants so that they don’t get blown over by strong gusts of air.
- For hot days: Plant your garden near large trees or other shade sources for protection from the sun’s rays. Watering just before sunrise or after sunset will also help keep water from evaporating too quickly under direct sunlight; this is especially important for seedlings and young plants whose roots are still growing rapidly—they need consistent access to moisture!
There are many things to consider when watering your plants, which can make it seem like keeping plants alive is impossible, but if you follow a few simple rules and guidelines, it’s easy!
It can seem like a daunting task to keep plants alive, but there are many things you can do to get the most out of your gardening efforts. Here are some tips for watering plants correctly:
- Consider the type of plant. If you’re dealing with a fern or other shade-loving plant, it’s best to water at night when temperatures are low and humidity is high. If you’re growing an herb garden indoors in pots, make sure that you don’t overwater them as this may lead to root rot (we’ll get there later).
- Scratch the surface where possible on a regular basis so that roots have access to oxygen at all times when growing in soil! If your potting mix has no drainage holes and lots of moisture builds up around its bottom lip then take care not too compact it down by pressing down hard on top while watering so that air doesn’t get trapped inside allowing mold spores an opportunity grow over time which could easily spread throughout entire container causing entire crop failure if left unchecked without checking regularly every few weeks throughout season(s).
As we’ve discussed, there are many factors to consider when watering your plants. And sure, there are plenty of different ways to go about the process. But don’t worry! With these guidelines and a little practice, you will be able to keep all your plants alive for years to come.