How to keep your plants happy and hydrated during summer?!
During warm summer days our plants can get pretty thirsty, just like us. You might think that they just need some extra water. Watering your plants sounds simple; ‘as long as they get some water’, right? If only it was that easy… Watering correctly is something all plants lovers struggle with from time to time, because there are many variable that can make watering your plants tricky. When to water, how often and which amounts? Each plant variety has other needs. With this blog we want to help you read the signs of water need of your plants. We give you some of the guidelines that help us best understand the needs of our plants. With these summer watering tips you’ll never have to worry about drowning your plant again!
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 your 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.
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!
You check them best in an easy and old fashioned way: by sticking your finger into the soil mix. When the first 3+ centimeters 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.
PLNTS tip: check the water need of your plants at least once a week
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 memorize! The amount of water to use is always about 1/3 of the pots 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 and 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 you beloved plants. Lots of moisture also encourages fungi and bacteria to grow in the soil. This can cause unpleasant odors, 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 meter to your plants in a pot without drainage hole!
Use a water meter to keep your plants in top condition. Don’t ask yourself whether the plant has received enough water or too little. Let the water meter do the work!
Let finish where we started: check your plants regularly to know her water need! When you read what she’s telling you, you will be able to give her the perfect amount of water any time of year.
You’ve got this!
Lisa has spent quite a fair amount of hours in the greenhouse and loves to share her experience with others!