How to keep your plants happy and hydrated during summer?!
Water, a life necessity. We as PLNTSparents might know how difficult it can be to water your plants correctly, since different species or families have totally different needs. Some like to have their soil on the drier side, some like to have it constantly moist. And when you think you have your watering routine under control, summer arrives. We might spend a little bit more time outdoors or away from the house and our green babies should be able to grow to their fullest during this warm and light time of the year. We might even give our plants some more water, since we think that is the best thing to do. Well, this isn’t the case for all our plants. We have actually seen lots of PLNTSparents accidently overwatering their precious collection over the summer. Well, if you recognize yourself within this, we come to the rescue. Since this blog will contain lots of tips and tricks to keep your plants happy and hydrated during the summer time. Let’s get into it!
Do my plants need more water during summer?
The time of year can definitely make a difference! Many houseplants grow fast during spring and summer and slow down their growth in fall and winter. Ease up on the amount of water that you're giving to your plants as soon as you see a slowdown in the growing process! You can start adding more water as soon as the growing process improves again.
PLNTS tip: Check the moistness of the soil of your plants weekly. What is also important to know is that your soil will dry out quicker when the temperature is high and the humidity is low. And slower when the temperature is low and when the humidity is high. What will help you this summer with maintaining the moistness of the soil is by increasing the humidity. Not only will this save you some work, since your plants need to be watered less frequently, but will also stimulate lots of plants to thrive. Our tropical origin babies will thank you later for it! ;)
For us there is only one way to make sure you never give your plants too little or too much water. Of course we are happy to share this trick with you! Make a habit of checking your houseplants at least once a week to see if they need a drink. They will love this act of care!
PLNTS tip: If you have plants that prefer to have moist soil at all times, adding a substrate like sphagnum moss will help you! Sphagnum moss is known to hold a lot of water, which will make sure the soil mix will stay moist for a longer time period. We would also advise to add some chunky and water draining substrates to the mix, which will make sure your soil will not get water logged or overly wet.
You check them best in an easy and old fashioned way: by sticking your finger into the soil mix. When the first 3+ centimetres of the soil feels dry, it is time to give your plant a sip of water! If you detect dampness, your plant is all good already. Check up on her after a couple of days. With smaller plants you can also pick up the plant to feel her weight. When she feels lighter than normal you know it is time to add some water! Lift her up again after you have watered her. This way will give you a sense of the weight of your plant when her soil is saturated and she’s all happy and hydrated.
How much water do my plants need?
Sure, not all plants need the same amount of water but to make it simple there is a sort of ‘general rule’ that’s easy to apply and memorise! The amount of water to use is always about 1/3 of the pot's volume. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the entire root zone should be moist. Making sure the whole root zone is watered is important for two reasons. Firstly it will encourage roots to grow all the way to the bottom of the pot. Well rooted plants are happier and healthier plants; isn’t this our main goal when it comes to our green roomies?! Secondly, it’s a time saver: you won’t have to water as often if you water thoroughly. Your plant will be hydrated for a longer amount of time so this will save you time to read some PLNTS blogs for example 😊.
How to know that you are overwatering?
As stated above, drainage holes in pots are there for a reason! Too much water will literally drown your plant. Roots need oxygen. Keeping the soil constantly wet can make it difficult for air to reach the roots. If they don’t get enough oxygen they will rot, also known as root rot and will eventually die. Sad, right? The consequences of overwatering are sad plants…. The plant will show her sadness to you by not growing new leaves, stop growing in general, drooping leaves, dropping yellowing leaves and sometimes even wilting. These are signs that you are overwatering your beloved plants. Lots of moisture also encourages fungi and bacteria to grow in the soil. This can cause unpleasant odours, especially when the roots are rotting. In this case you can even smell that you’ve been too heavy-handed with the watering can. Yikes, right?!
PLNTS tip: Add a water metre to your plants in a pot without a drainage hole! This will make it much easier for you to know when your beloved plant needs a sip.
This was our guide to keep your plants happy and hydrated this summer. If you need help or have a plant that is struggling, you might want to check out our PLNTSdoctor page to find a diagnosis and a treatment for your problem. If that is not working, you are always welcome to reach out to us on Instagram. Also if you just want to share some of your beautiful plants, we are more than eager to see them over there. You’ve got this!
Plants make Lisa very happy and she is secretly addicted to buying lots of BabyPLNTS. She loves to inspire the community with fun content, from styling tips to plant care to new products!