Watering House Plants

Although seemingly easy, incorrect watering kills more plants than anything else. These watering tips will help keep your plants healthy. 

Regardless of the scientific name of your plant, it falls into one of a few basic categories below. The general category gives you an idea on the watering process. 

Foliage plants are purchased simply for their leaves. These plants should be watered directly on the soil, near the roots. Water foliage types thoroughly in the growing season (from spring to fall) and much less during winter. In winter, allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering. This helps facilitate the plant's resting period.

Flowering plants are purchased for the flowers they bloom. The soil for majority of flowering plants should be kept moist but not wet. 

Succulent and cacti have adapted to a dry climate but still need watering. During spring to fall, water these so the soil is between moist and dry. In winter, these plants will barely need water. 

Indoor Plant Watering Methods 
There are different methods of watering that plants prefer. To give your plant the best chances at survival, you should take the time to learn what it needs. 

Top To Bottom: Most varieties of house plants prefer to have the root ball exposed to a large dose of water from the top of the soil. Push the leaves aside and add water for several seconds. Continue this until water runs out the bottom of the container. 

Bottom: These plants have roots that grow close to the bottom of the pot and prefer their water to be delivered from the bottom. To water, fill a saucer under the container and wait. Keep in mind that once they have had enough water, the excess water should be removed from the saucer. 

Immersion: Plants of this nature prefer to have their container placed in a sink of water for up to an hour. Many plants enjoy this during the growing season once a month, long as the excess water is removed before placing the plant back in its display spot. 

The frequency of watering depends on several factors. Each plant's needs may change throughout the year. 

Environment: Watering will depend on the environment the house plants are in. Those placed in sunny windows will require watering more often than those in dark corners. 

Time Of Year: Plants need less water during the winter and more when they are blooming and growing. Adjust watering accordingly to prevent root rot. 

Species: Different types will need water at differing intervals. Plants that need watering only once a week should not be soaked every day. 

Signs of Under-Watering Or Over-Watering 
These signs on plants can tell you that the plant is going into shock. Look for these signs to know if you need to adjust the frequency of water. 

Dry Soil: If the soil of the plant is so hard that you can't feel moisture with your finger, then you need to water more often. 

Brown, Crisp Leaves: Plants often become crunchy and lose leaves when treated with too little or too much water. 

Refusal To Bloom: If a plant should be blooming, but isn't, it probably isn't getting the right amount of water. 

Drooping Or Sagging: Plants that don't get the right amount of water often droop or sag. 

Soggy Soil: If there is water standing under the plant or in the soil, the plant's roots may rot away. 

Average home humidity is roughly 60%, which means our plants can tolerate some dry air. For plants that prefer more humid conditions we recommend misting them once a week. During winter, group your plants together to create a microclimate. 

Average home temperatures range from 55 degrees to 85 degrees, though plants are most comfortable between 65 and 75 degrees. Avoid placing plants near temperature hazards like vents, radiators, and exterior doors, which might create hot or cold spots.

Anthoni LuWatering