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Proper Houseplant Watering Techniques - Ed's Plant Shop

Proper Houseplant Watering Techniques

Probably the most difficult and most asked question we get is ‘when exactly should I water my plant’? The truth is, the only one who can give you that information is the plant itself. Through this article we hope to give you some tips and tools you can use to identify when your plant might be ready for a drink, or needing to dry out a little 

What it Means to Thoroughly Water Your Plant 

When people talk about ‘over’ or ‘under’ watering plants, what they’re actually talking about is the frequency of watering or how often they do it. It has nothing to do with the amount of water you give your plant at the moment. In fact, always make sure that you’re covering all of the surface soil and pouring until excess water starts to drain out of the bottom.

water draining from terra cotta pot into it’s tray while watering a plant

 

The Importance of Drainage

While there are ways to cheat and use pots that don’t have drainage holes, we do not recommend planting directly into them. We always prefer our planters to have drainage built in, especially for new plant parents

drainage hole on a terra cotta pot

 *a note on soil & aeration*

    • Hopefully you read our posts on choosing the best soil for your plant and repotting. If you did, we have every bit of confidence that your soil should be airy and not hold water. If not and you notice water pooling at the surface or not moving through the soil quickly you may need to aerate the soil by poking at it (gently) with a stake or skewer

    Water Quality

    Here at Ed’s we always use filtered water for our plants! Some people take another step and use exclusively distilled or rain water to further reduce risks, but we haven’t seen any issues with filtered thus far. The reason for this is that materials like salt, chlorine and hard metals contained in a lot of normal tap water will harm your plant over time. Some plants, like Calathea and Nepenthes are more sensitive to tap water than others, but we find it’s always best to err on the side of caution 

    Signs Your Plant is Thirsty

      • yellowing/browning leaves at the base
      • droopy leaves
      • wilting 
      • soil coming away from the outer edge of the pot
      • the pot feels much lighter than normal
      under watered plants

      Signs Your Plant Needs to Dry Out

        • soggy soil, even days after watering 
          overwatered, soggy soil
        • soft, even mushy leaves especially at the base 
        • wilting
        • root rot 

        Again, keeping and caring for plants is a learning experience. It’s important to observe your plants consistently in order to figure out their needs and it’s normal to lose a few leaves (or plants) here and there. We’re always here to help wherever we can, but we believe in your ability to grow! 

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