One of the main reasons plants die, whether indoor and outdoor, is that they’re getting either too much water or just not enough. Finding out the water requirements for your specific plant and then factoring in what environment your plant is situated in, is a good starting point. For example, if your heat loving plant is outside in the direct sun, it will have different water requirements than if you have it indoors with less sunlight.
The finger test is a good guide to see if the soil is moist: stick your finger, upto your 2nd knuckle, into the soil and feel what the soil is like. You’ll want to feel for whether its moist, wet, or dry.
Now look up what the plant likes!
You can also buy a moisture meter, as an alternative to sticking in your finger, and then match up the watering requirements.
Here are a few general guidelines that will help:
- Water in the morning, when the sun is weakest, the ground is cool and the foliage will have a chance to dry. Evening is not recommended because it encourages bugs, fungus, and disease; plus, foliage won’t dry completely.
- Water deeply and at fewer intervals; doing so will encourage deeper root growth instead of shallow roots. This is true for grass and trees.
- Don’t water lightly but more often because this promotes shallow root growth.
- Try to water directly at the base and root of the plant, and avoid getting the foliage wet.
The foliage doesn’t feed water, the roots do!
- Use irrigation systems, with water close to the ground. Don’t use sprays that send the water all over the foliage and everywhere. Focus on the roots and base of the plant.
- Container gardens, pots, and planters need to be monitored and watered regularly. They are exposed to more sun and heat and dry out quickly since they are more exposed, compared to plants in the ground.
- Using mulch in containers and beds keep the ground cool, keep weeds away and also retains moisture.
- Some plants like to be ignored and watered infrequently – don’t get tricked into overwatering them!