Here we discuss how to have a successful long term relationship with your plants by providing some simple tips and tricks on watering your plants (Yes there is a quiz!).
Caring for your plants is like a full time relationship. You need to give them enough attention to keep them on the hook but not too much attention that you scare them away. There is this ‘happy medium’ that we try and balance with how much water they need aswell as finding that sweet spot for how much light they require. Sounds easy right? Ha! Like, WHAT does indirect, bright light even mean? and moist, but not too moist!? Leaves most people guessing right?
On other occasions we just need to let go and realise that we won’t be able to make the relationship work because we live in the wrong country and the plant we are trying to win over hates where it lives. There are so many different tips and tricks out there for how to water your plants correctly, it can get confusing. I’m sure everyone is doing their best and sometimes it doesn’t matter what we do, some relationships just end! But maybe are rekindled again (we all know what sort of plant I am talking about). But in case you need some reassurance you are doing the right thing here are some simple tips and tricks on watering your plants that we swear by.
The good old finger test! Yes you might have to get a little down and dirty but it really does work. Most people have a routine which is great, like Saturdays are for watering your plants, but bear in mind not all your plants will need a drink. That is why the finger test is key. Give your plant a little attention, their love language might be physical touch. Get in there and feel the soil, if the top inch of the soil is dry then this is usually a good indication it is time to give your plant a good soak. Some plants can give you a good sign it’s watering time - like when your Peace Lily droops and curls over like it’s going to die. It’s a tricky balance, hence the ‘moist but not too moist’ reference. Some plants like cacti and succulents like to ‘completely’ dry out before watering and most others definitely don’t like to be sitting in water or they will get root rot. Which is not good for anyone (only gnats!)
It’s bath time! Another great hack to watering your plants. Chuck them in the bath or shower and give them a good drenching but give them time to drain before placing them back in their pots. If you have time let your water come to room temperature so you don’t shock your plants and this will also allow the chlorine to evaporate. This is also a great way to keep those moss poles nice and moist, as plants obtain water and nutrients through their aerial roots as well. Even better, if it’s raining throw your plants outside and get those leaves cleaned naturally.
Onto misting your plants - is this a yay or a nay? The point of misting your plants is to increase humidity but we would have to do this every few minutes to make a difference. Some research also suggests excess water on the leaves can cause mould growth and attract fungus gnats. Bottom line, there are better ways to increase humidity; get yourself a humidifier! (pebble trays work too). But if it helps you connect with your plants then go for it. Just remember, some plants will not benefit at all from misting but for plants like Bromeliads, orchids and carnivorous plants, they will love it!
The way we see it, plants give back 10 fold! If we care for our plants by providing them with light, nutrients and water, then they will care for us by providing us with clean air and a relaxing home environment. This in turn will greatly reduce our stress levels and boost our moods, which of course will improve our overall relationship with our plants.
Rate your relationship with your plants. Take the quiz to find out which of the following you are:
- Playing it cool
- Too aloof
Q1. How often do you stare at your plants?
- I check on them once a day maybe
- Once a week if that
- Every morning and night I make sure they are alright
- Occasionally, when they look dead
Q2. How often do you talk to your plants?
a. Most mornings
b. Occasionally when they aren’t doing what they’re told
c. I sing to them alllll the time
d. I don’t talk to my plants that’s stupid
Q3. How regularly do you water your plants?
a. I try to once a week
b. When I remember
c. I like to give them a little drink everyday
d. When they look sick and droopy
Q4. How much do you know about your plants?
a. I know all of their names
b. I know most of them
c. I know the scientific names of all of them and keep all of their informational cards
d. I know which ones are succulents
Q5. How frequently do you buy new plants?
a. Whenever I see a bargain or a plant I have wanted for ages
b. Occasionally when I’m in the mood and I see a cool plant
c. I might have a plant problem and need to buy one once a week
d. I just get cuttings or hand me down plants from friends
If you scored mostly a’s then you are playing it cool with your plant babies, b’s then you are a little distant and should take more notice of them, c’s you’re too overbearing and should lay off a bit and d’s too aloof and probably shouldn't own any plants (just joking haha or maybe just some cacti).