House Plants are perfect for brightening up any home but one of the big challenges is to water them correctly and actually keeping them alive! Watering can be a challenge if you don’t quite know what you are doing or are a novice at keeping plants.
Plant Watering Tips
Here we offer a few tips for getting it right the first time.
- Learn When Your Plants Need Water
Not all plants are the same. Cacti need very little watering while you might need to give your peace lily a weekly drink to keep it in healthy condition. Most plants come with a few instructions so make sure you read these.
In general, plants with thinner, more delicate leaves tend to need watering more than those with thick ones. So, for example, if you have a fern or rubber plant you may be watering it one or two times a week during the summer. Always makes sure, however, that you let the soil dry out first before adding more water.
Our top tip: It’s better to underwater than to overwater your plants as this can lead to issues such as root rot.
- Watering from Below
Where possible, you should try to water your plants from the base of the pot and not pour it over the top. This helps prevent issues such as overwatering and drowning the roots and is a healthier option for your plant.
There are a few techniques for doing this. You can place your pot on a saucer or specially made bowl and just fill this up when it’s time to water the plant. Don’t just leave the water in the saucer, however, let it soak for a few hours as the roots pull up the moisture and then discard the remaining liquid.
Another option is to do all your indoor plants at once in an area like the bath. Again, let the pots soak for a few hours before removing them. You can also get what are called self-watering pots which use a reservoir to keep the soil moist and which usually only need to be topped up every month. These can be more expensive, however, so they’re not ideal for everyone. Self-watering pots are a good option for when you go on holiday as they can keep the soil healthy while no one is home.
- Water More During the Warmer Summer
Different times of the year can also mean you have to water more or less. During the hotter summers, the soil can dry out quickly so you may need to water some plants a lot more. If you want to retain moisture better, putting some small pebbles on the top of the plant can help this. In general, during the winter you should be watering much less depending on the plant variety.
- Watering Cacti and Succulents
Finally, as we’ve already mentioned, cacti and other succulents like Aloe Vera need very little watering. They originate from hot, dry climates so resist the urge to water them too much.
In fact, cacti can go several months without any liquid at all – when you do give it a watering, make sure you do so sparingly and don't drown the roots.