If you're like most people, you probably think there isn't much to watering indoor plants. It's simple, right?
Unfortunately, you and a lot of other people are wrong when it comes to this issue. Watering indoor plants can actually be a complicated task. In fact, not watering plants properly is the number one cause of death for them.
One of the things that complicates this situation is that there are just so many different varieties of indoor plants available. All of these plants come from different climates and have different needs when it comes to caring for them, especially when watering them.
Indoor plants don't have access to natural sources of water like rain, and they rely on you to give them adequate amounts of water. Too much water can kill a plant just as easily as too little water can.
In order to help you have more success in your indoor gardening, and to help your plants live longer, we come to you today with a guide on how often to water indoor plants. Keep reading for our tips and tricks to help you find the right balance when it comes to giving your indoor plants a drink.
1. How often should i water my indoor plants?
This is a question we often get asked, and the answer is as often as they need it.
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to watering houseplants. They all have very different needs, and we would be remiss to tell you to simply water on a schedule.
Indoor plants are not creatures of habit, they don't have routines they must stick to like pets. Every individual plant will have distinct needs when it comes to watering. Even two seemingly identical ferns could need different amounts of water on different days.
This might leave you feeling confused and wondering how you're supposed to care for these plants of yours. To give your plants the best care, you're going to have to get to know them a bit.
Often you can tell if a plant is in need of water by the way it is looking, this is also a good indicator when you are perhaps giving your indoor plant a bit too much water. You'll have to pay close attention to your plants and what they normally look like in order to determine what is “off”.
Another way of knowing how your plant is doing on water is by the moisture content in the soil. You'll need to get a little dirty for this one, but it will be worth it to keep your plant happy. Generally, feeling up to an inch deep in the soil your plant is potted in will be a good indicator of how much water is has or if it needs water.
Yet another way you can judge the water content of the soil surrounding your indoor plant is by the weight of the container. If your plant is small enough to be lifted in its pot, lift it and test its weight periodically. You will find that the container is much heavier when the soil has had a good soaking, and lighter when your plant is ready to be watered.
2. How much water do my indoor plants need?
This is another question that has no hard and fast answer, because all plants are different and have varying needs when it comes to being watered.
a. Type of plant
There are many things that go into determining what your plant needs when it comes to water, and the main one is what type of indoor plant it is.
Plants that are natural desert dwellers or that have thick and fleshy leaves, such as succulents and cacti, will need less watering than other plants. Overwatering these plants will quickly lead to root rot and your plants will die from the bottom to the top.
Other plants that have numerous small leaves, such as a Boston Fern, will do better if they are watered more often. You must still be careful to not give your plant too much water, though.
b. Time of year
The time of year also plays a large role in how much water your plants will need. Most plants have a “growing” season throughout the spring, summer and fall and they tend to be more dormant throughout the winter months.
During the growing months, your plants will likely need to be watered more often than they do in the dormant winter months. As long as your rooms isn't incredibly warm and dry, your plant shouldn't need watered too often in the winter.
The container your indoor plants are kept in will also be a deciding factor in how much water your plants will need.
If you've got a large plant in a small pot, you will need to water more often than if you've got a small plant in a large pot.
The soil your plant is planted in holds onto the water, so if there is less of it (due to a large plant taking up space) there will be less water for the plant's roots to draw in. On the other hand, if your small plant is in a large pot there will likely be plenty of water in the soil which will require you to water less frequently.
The material your container is made of is important as well. Indoor plant planted in clay pots will need watered more often than those in plastic pots. Clay is a porous material and the water in the soil evaporates through the clay, leaving your plant parched.
3. How will i know when my plant needs water?
Like we stated above, if you get to know your plant, you will be able to understand when it is telling you that it needs water, or when it has enough.
Some plants give clear indicators. For example, the Peace Lily will become severely drooped over when it needs watered, but when it has enough water the stems will stand tall.
Unfortunately, not all plants will clearly signal you to their needs. Here are some things to look out for.
a. Too much water
When your indoor plant has received to much water, it will let you know by exhibiting these symptoms:
- Leaves, both old and new, begin to fall from the plant
- Moldy flowers
- Brown tips on leaves
- Limp, wilted leaves and stems
b. Too little water
If your indoor plant hasn't been getting enough water, here are some signs it will show:
- Edges of leaves turn brown and become brittle
- Blooms fade quickly, if they happen at all
- Wilted limp leaves appear faded or even translucent
- Older leaves fall from the plant
If you are thinking that those lists are remarkably similar – you're right, because they are. As with most things when it comes to watering indoor plants, there are once again too many variables at play to know for absolute certain what the culprit is.
If you begin to notice your plant displaying any of these symptoms, no need to fret. You simply need to rely on other methods of testing whether or not your plant needs watered. Lift the container (if possible) or test the soil with your finger.
Whatever you determine the problem to be, simply adjust and fix the problem.
4. Final word
When it comes to caring for indoor plants, you will quickly learn that even the most carefree can be picky when it comes to watering needs.
Get to know your plants and you will be able to give them what they need.