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Ideas You Can Steal From Me When It Comes To Watering Your Houseplants.

Ideas You Can Steal From Me When It Comes To Watering Your Houseplants.

The problem is some people don’t give their plants enough water and some give them way too much. Plants need to be watered all the way through and if you don’t it’s actually really bad for them.

So how do you water houseplants?

Get to know your plants. It’s all in the leaves. They get droopy, show signs of yellowing, leaves can drop off or turn brown.

Touch the soil. To know if the soil is still moist inside, stick a finger (or a toothpick) in the top 2 cm (1 inch) of soil. If the soil sticks to it, it’s moist. If the soil is dry, your finger (or the toothpick) will come away clean. You can also eyeball the potted plant to see if it’s dry. There will be a visible gap between the soil and the edge of the pot. It means that all the water evaporated out. 

Succulents are not as easy, soz. 

You’re going to have to use a more hands-on approach to this one.

  • Feel the soil
  • Pick your little plant up and feel the weight
  • Look at the soil is it shrinking away from the sides of the pot?

Succulent soil tends to be a bit more porous - when you water it all the way through, the water will drain out faster due to the soil type so make sure you re-water again until your pot feels a lot heavier. On the flip side, loads kill their succulents by overwatering. Cacti and succulents need their soil to stay dry! Water once a month and make sure all the water drains out of the pot through the drainage holes. Cut watering right back in the wintertime.

How do you water? 

My top tip: with plants that are up to let’s say 200mm (or ones that you can lift), bring them up to the sink.

Run the tap over your plants to water, let the water absorb then repeat until you have given your plant a thorough drink - let the water drip on down and out. Place the pot back into its cover pot or sleeve once it’s fully drained and if it’s a self-watering pot place the drip tray again underneath to collect the water. Your plant will take up any more water it needs. 

Another way to water is to Soak your plants in a tray, a large container, the sink or in the bathtub. Fill the bottom of it with a few centimetres of water. Place your plant pots in and let them absorb water from the base for a couple of hours. The advantage of this is you can water several plants at the same time. Let them dry before placing them back and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Ain’t nobody likes sitting in soggy wet feet, and wet soils will only attract those painful fungal gnats.

And for the bigger plants...

Take them outside to water with a hose, out in the rain (pending weather) or pop in the shower to give them a good soak. Leave there until the liquid has fully drained away. You can even poke a pen or a reusable chopstick into the soil and make a few little holes to help the water drain down.

Keep in mind that every plant is different - the larger the plant the more moisture it will take up. Depending on the size pot you are using (if the pot is too small for the plant it will dry out quicker). Plants in ceramic pots require more water than plants in plastic pots. Glazed ceramic pots do not dry out as quickly, but restrict air exchange. 

The self-watering pot is a good idea. Self-watering pots are incredibly useful and time-saving, no more over-watering or under-watering, the plant does it all for itself. You need to refill the water reservoir at the bottom before it’s empty. If you are using our Mr Kitly pots, we recommend watering from the top now and then, removing the drip tray and allowing the plant to drain. The water helps to clear the dust off your leaves and freshens up the soil. Then place your pot back onto the matching drip tray and top up the reservoir again.

Let’s sum watering up 

The number one pre-requisite: make sure the plant’s pot has drainage holes at the bottom to avoid damp that can create root rot.

  1. When you’re watering, you want the water to go right through the soil and out the bottom
  2. Touch the soil - does your finger come away with dirt on it?
  3. Touch your plants - are the leaves falling off? Are they crispy? Are they brown or soggy? 
  4. Pick up your plants so you know their weight - how they feel when hydrated.
  5. Water well and make sure your plants drain before placing them back 
  6. If bottom-up watering - fill the sink with water and allow your plants to take what they need - now and then shower them and wash away the dust off the leaves (this is an excellent option for plant varieties that don’t love their leaves wet).
  7. Bigger plants - take outside to water or pop them in the shower - leave to drain
  8. Critical dryness - make sure they are not too dry before you water them again it’s harder to get them re-hydrated from this level.
  9. Cut back water during the wintertime and pick back up again during spring and summer and only liquid feed during the growing season e.g. seasol 
  10. If you're still a bit worried your green mate isn't getting the right amount of H20, try a Sustee Watering Device and take out all the guesswork!

Plants need water - don’t overwater them and that’s how I do it.