Watering your houseplants might sound like an easy task, but once you start taking care of them you will realize that it takes some extra effort to properly grow and maintain them. The most common error that many beginners make is to assume that all their indoor plants can be treated identically in their care and watering needs. It can be an expensive and even painful lesson when your favorite plant wilts, droops, or – worst case scenario – dies.
Common sense suggests that succulents such as cactus plants or prickly pears would need considerably less water than the thick foliage plants such as ferns and other tropical species. Some plants thrive on drier soil and some prefer it moist. House plants can be like pets – if looked after and loved, they will give you much pleasure. A good word of advice is to do a little research before you buy your plant. It could save you a lot of trouble, time and indeed money.
Common problems- Overwatering and Underwatering
You will soon see if you have looked after your plants properly. If you have not watered enough, or even- whisper this – entirely forgotten to do so, the plants’ leaves will be dry and brittle. Try pushing your finger into the soil and if it’s crumbly and dry to a finger length you may be too late to save your plant. But that is unlikely. So now get your watering can and drench the soil until it runs out of the bottom. And please start a routine so you don’t repeat the neglect.
More common is the problem of overwatering one’s plants. The visible signs are yellow, hanging, and limp leaves. And that is only what you can see. Remember that indoor plants are not usually exposed to direct sunlight or wind, hence there is little evaporation which exacerbates the problem. Root rot is the most common symptom. You can use your nose to detect if you have an overwatering issue. If you watered the plant more than you should have, that might have caused an unpleasant odor, especially if the root of your plant has started rotting. Gently lever the plant out of its pot – root rot smells foul and the affected roots are mushy and squishy to the touch. Now carefully clean away the clinging soil, perhaps even under the garden tap. When clean use a sterilized pair of pruning shears to cut away the rot-infested roots and place the plant carefully back in a clean and dry pot. Pack the roots with just barely moist soil. It should recover.
How to water and when?
Now let’s discuss the all-important subject of watering; how and when do you water. Here a routine is critical. Early to late mornings are ideal for normal evaporation and transpiration. Check your plants, and only water when the topsoil is dry. Remember that your tropical plants may be watered from the top - it doesn’t matter if the leaves get wet, but to avoid possible fungal infection, water directly onto the soil and water until it drains out of the bottom. Other plants need to be watered from the bottom and the best way to do this is as follows: fill a shallow tray with up to 2 cm of water and gently place your pot plant in the tray. Leave for 20 minutes before removing.
Nevertheless, there are some tips that you should keep in mind related to watering your plants:
- Before repotting make sure to always water the plant.
- You should know that plants in larger pots dry out more slowly than the ones in smaller pots.
- Humid air compared to dry air keeps the soil moist for longer.
- For large plants, it is better to wait until the soil is saturated before you pour water and leave it soak in.
- You can be flexible with your plant care habits. You can be the one to judge how the water affects your plant and choose a schedule that seems best to you.
- There might be some expectations from the rule. Some houseplants might require special treatments and as such it would be best if you pay attention and keep track of the plant's needs.
LED grow lights
Should you be lucky enough to enjoy a coworking space with its shared facilities, surely it would be worth turning into something cozy and welcoming. Potted plants are ideal but there may be little direct or indirect sunlight to help essential photosynthesis, so why not consider a LED Grow Light? These are less hazardous to the environment and use far less heat. Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use light and carbon dioxide from the air to produce significant amounts of oxygen. An LED Grow Light is perfect to aid this process. Its limited spectrum includes red and blue – red for photosynthesis and to inhibit stem elongation - and blue to help the plant with leaf expansion and to breathe.
Which water to use?
A few words about water. Not all water is good for plants, for example, avoid very cold water, it will kill your plant stone dead. Room temperature water is best so if very cold let it sit awhile. Rainwater is the first choice, but if not possible, tap water may be used. Tap water should be a good choice for your houseplants but it might happen that the water is soft which might cause issues for the soil later on. Leave it until all residual elements sink to the bottom.
Once you get the hang of it and you feel confident that you have mastered the basics, you can take plants that are more demanding. There is no doubt that after you get used to taking care of your plant, the experience will be very enjoyable and wholesome. Look after your plants, they will reward you richly.