Are you a bit unsure when it comes to watering your house plants? Do you give everything a good soak once a week or maybe an eggcup full? If the answer to one of these questions is yes and some of your plants are protesting then you may find the following hints useful.
- Firstly, forget watering on a time scale. Plants need water when they are dry.
- If compost is kept constantly wet, in the majority of cases the plant will eventually succumb to root rot.
- If in doubt leave watering a bit longer as most plants have a better chance of recovering from a brief period of dryness than they have from constant wet.
- Drooping leaves and flowers are generally the first indication that action is needed but check the compost first before watering as over-wet plants will show the same symptoms as dry ones.
- Choose succulent plants if you are a bit forgetful with watering. The leaves of succulent plants are fleshy and act as a water-storing unit so these plants can draw on their water reserves if they feel threatened with drought.
- Kalanchoe (Flaming Katy) and Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) are two good examples of plants with succulent type leaves.
- Remember that watering needs will change with the seasons. Many indoor plants slow down in growth when light levels drop and therefore will not need as much moisture as when in active growth.
- The debate between rain water and tap water goes on but personally I have never used rain water on any of my indoor plants. I'll leave that one with you.
As is the case with everything there will always be exceptions to the rules, but hopefully the above hints will help you enjoy your prize specimens for many years and give you the best displays possible from shorter-lived flowering pot plants.
(Originally posted by Linda Creek)