Watering your plants - how much and when?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

We’ve just got back from a great few days at an artisan market at Haddon Hall, where we met loads of people and chatted away to them about plants. The most common statement we heard was ‘I love plants but I keep killing them’ – and after talking for a while, it seems that most people are worried about under-watering their plant and actually end up over-watering, essentially killing it with kindness!

We’re here to tell you that there a few tips to help you work out whether your plant needs water, to give you the confidence to tackle plant ownership once more.

The easiest and most natural way to do it is to put your finger in to the soil, until you’ve pushed a good couple of centimetres down. When you pull it out, if there is soil on your finger, it is still moist and therefore is fine for the time being. If it comes out with no soil on, the soil is dry and your plant is ready for a drink.

If you’re worried you’re not going to get it right, the second option is to use a moisture meter. These meters don’t need batteries, you simply stick them 2/3 of the way down the pot and leave for a few minutes. The meter reads from 1-10, if it is less than 3, your soil is dry and it needs a drink. To be totally sure, it is worth putting the meter in a couple of places around the pot to check. Once you’ve used it, give it a wipe down to make sure you get an accurate reading next time. These meters also check for light and PH levels, so if you’re really worried about the right conditions for your plant, it’s well having one of these in your arsenal.

How much water does my plant need?

Now you know when you water your plant, the next question is how much? I genuinely believe this may be where people are going wrong. If you have your pot in a lovely plant pot and pour the water in, do you check whether it comes out the holes of your nursery pot, and then throw away any excess? If not, you may be letting your plants sit in water and that can cause root rot. It’s very easy to stop this from happening. When it’s time to water your plant, lift it out of its decorative pot and either take it to the sink or sit it on a plate. Water your plant and the excess water will drain through – let it sit there for around 5-10 minutes, then throw away any leftover water and put your plant back into its pot. Job done! You have a happy plant that’s had just the right amount of water.

Hope this helps!

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