Apr. 12th, 2016

lizcommotion: sunflower in a field (sunflower)
As promised, my hack for watering houseplants.

But first, because I'm wordy and trying to get my campnano word count up a quick examination of why watering houseplants the "right amount" is hard and also important.

includes fun science! )

Please relax. Seriously. It's okay to make mistakes! Mistakes will happen. That is how learning happens.

So, here is my "it's probably the easiest way to not overwater a plant that I've found" method. Please share your own method if you've found a good one!

  1. Check to see that your plant needs to be watered. They sell doohickeys for this --especially useful if you have soil texture issues -- but I stick my finger in to about the first knuckle and see how wet the soil is. If you have a cactus, wait for the soil to be SUPER dry. Check your individual plant species for more specific info, or if you don't know the species, see what "tropicals" or "succulents" like.

  2. If your plant needs to be watered, fill a sink or bucket or tub with water

  3. Put your plant in the tub (without watever saucer you have underneath it

  4. Let the plant water itself using the magic of osmosis! Leave it there for up to 30 minutes. Use trial and error to see how your plant does

  5. Let the bottom of the planter drain out excess water (and, yes, some soil) before you put it back where it lives. If it drains out a LOT of water, leave it for less time next time you water it.

  6. profit Happy plants!



In general, don't water houseplants til their soil gets "soggy" (like after a huge rainstorm). Soggy: if you press the soil and it goes "squish", it is TOO wet. Aim for "moist": the soil is a darker color, and it feels wet when you put your finger in, but there's still air and space in the soil. It still...crumbles? When you touch the soil, if that makes sense. (This will obviously also vary depending on the soil you use.) I...it's like baking, it's hard to describe?

Very vague general guide to how often I water types of plants. Read more... )

And to be perfectly honest, you are probably going to kill at least one houseplant through a watering issue. I have done so. I have also raised perfectly happy houseplants. It is okay. Seriously.

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