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Watering Tips for plants

What’s the most common reason for plant death?

  • Overwatering
  • Lack of light
  • Pests

(yes, there’s actually a study by the University of Vermont that proves this :D)

Tip 1: Know your plants

Most of the plant require airy and well-draining soil mixes, that ensure the soil to be moist but not wet. 

However, different plants, require different care – some prefer to dry out (ZZ plants, succulents, cacti), some prefer to stay moist (ferns, maranta, calathea, vegetables – tomatoes, etc).

Some plants, like calathea, ctenanthe and maranta require to be watered with filtered water. 

Make sure to look up what your plant likes! 

Tip 2: Choose the right soil

Commercially available soil manufacturers offer different types of soil mixes to make our lives easier – even though they all might seem the same, there are significant differences – like drainage, PH levels and aeriation. 

Be aware that some potting soils will have slow-release fertilizers added to them. If you use this kind of potting soil, you won't need to extra plant food when watering your plants for at least 6 months to a year.

Tip 3: Use the right pots

If the pot is too big for the plant and the plant has a small root system, it won’t be able to drink up the water in the soil and most likely, the plant will rot. 

Keep in mind that different pot sizes require different watering habits – small pots will dry out quicker. 

In terms of material – clay and metal pots dry out much quicker due to being pourous, however, it’s common that the roots attach to the pot and can be damaged when repotting. 

! No matter what type of pot you choose, make sure it has a drainage hole.

Tip 4: Check the moisture

Don’t water according a schedule, especially when seasons change. Plants dry out at different rates during the growing season and in winter when central heating is turned on. We do, however, advise to check the plants on a regular schedule to establish whether they need watering.

Look at your plant first, lift up the pot – a dry plant will feel much lighter than a plant right after watering – experiment picking up the plant and try to get a feel for it! If you get a sense for its weight right after you water, you will have a base weight to compare it to as it dries out.

Stick your finger in the soil approx. 4cm in – if the soil feels “cold” and sticks to the finger – it’s still moist enough. 

Or use a moisture meter until you get a feel for it! 😊

Tip 5: Water sufficiently

It’s important to give a thirsty plant a good drink!

Water the plant until about 10% of the water poured on the plant comes out the drainage hole and never allow your plant to sit in standing water. 

Tip 6: Water in the morning

Plant roots are more susceptible to water in the morning hours. 

Evening watering can allow the water to sit and not be absorbed – resulting in root rot. 

Tip 7: Water the soil, not the leaves

If leaves get water while in direct sun – the leaves will burn, this goes also for misting where the water droplets act as a magnifying glass. Wet leaves also encourage fungus issues. 

Tip 8: Don’t let the soil mix dry out completelyyyyyy

The soil stops absorbing water if it gets too dry and the water just runs though, so while you think you’re giving your plant a drink – it’s not happening. 

Tip 9: It’s not “one size fits all”

There are many environmental factors affecting the watering needs of plants, such as – type of soil, light exposure, room temperature, humidity levels and dormancy.

Each home is different, so the best option is to observe the plant to see how fast it usually dries out, what kind of light it gets and to try and get the feel for the environment. 

Tip 10: Use room temperature water. Plants hate ice-cold water. “Watering” with ice cubes is a myth.

Written by @augiem_buut