The Ultimate Houseplant Watering Guide
Hello Quirky Plant people!
Today we will be taking you through how to water your houseplant. Poor houseplant health most of the time comes down to your water routine. Poor watering routines can cause root rot, yellowing of leaves, crispy leaves, brown spots and all sorts of other problems. I know the word "routine" sounds very boring but, indoor plants thrive on stability and adapt to your routine and live happier lives.
How often do I water my houseplants?
The first thing we have to do as a houseplant parent is get to know our plant. Researching your plant is always beneficial and creates a big picture in your mind, which will help you when thinking about care instructions. For example, Monty our lovely Monstera Deliciosa or Swiss cheese plant (as they are more commonly known) are native to tropical rainforests. So, big picture, Warm, Humid, loads and loads of trees. In the rainforest it rains frequently (hence 'Rainforest'). It rains in short and heavy bursts. The warm rainforest temperature and strong equator sunlight evaporates water very quickly drying out the top of the soil almost daily. Now we have the big picture we have to try our best to recreate this. From this information, helping us with watering we know our Monstera loves a good watering but he doesn't like cold soggy wet soil. So make sure you use our finger test guide below. To keep it simple, when the top 2-3cm of the soil is dry its time to water. This will probably equate to watering twice a week in the summer and a lot less in the cooler, darker winter time.
Most houseplants are tropical but you must research a little bit to understand them.
Succulents and Cacti are the exception to this. They are plants that are from a totally different environment.
How much water does my Cactus and Succulent need?
Firstly, let start with trying to create a big picture about where our plant is from. Let's use Sammy our Snake plant (Sansevieria Zeylanica) as an example. She is native to parts of Africa. As you can also tell from her leaves, they are pretty thick and it almost looks like she could store something in there. Yes, that's exactly right! She is a type of succulent and stores water in her leaves. But why? Sammy Sansevieria comes from a part of the world where it is hot and can sometimes lack water. Sammy needs to be prepared like a Camel and store water in her leaves to help her when she’s thirsty and it hasn't rained. We now have to try and create this environment for Sammy, to make her feel at home. Water Sammy and leave her for a few weeks until her soil completely dries out. You will know the soil has completely dried out when it has been a few weeks, she will feel a lot lighter because there's no water, you may even see her leaves look thinner as she might of used some of her reserve water. Do not over water Sammy! You probably love her and want to give her attention but it will kill her.
How do I water my houseplants?
Okay, you've done the hard part and you have decided your plant needs water. Now it's time for the watering fun. You need to thoroughly water your houseplant as if it is a heavy rain shower. The easiest way to do this is by using the shower, this will also wash off all of the dust on the plants leaves as well. Otherwise use the sink, a watering can or whatever you have to make the soil completely wet! Please make sure the water can drain by using a pot with holes at the bottom. If you have a decorative pot without holes we recommend using a plastic pot with holes and then placing it in the decorative pot. Leave your plant for a few hours and then drain all of the excess water in the drip tray or decorative pot. Letting your plants roots sit in water for long periods of time will cause root rot.
What type of water shall I use to water my houseplants?
If you're really looking at becoming the world best plant parent you need to get the water type right.
Tap water is okay to use. However, sometimes small brown or white spots can build up on your plants leaves. This is because our water tends to be filled with loads of minerals that these plants are not used to. They struggle to digest this and it appears in the leaves undigested.
The best water to use is a soft water, distilled, reverse osmosis or bottled water. To keep it simple you can use rainwater. As a watering hack you can also leave a cup of water on the side for a day and your plant will enjoy that more than fresh tap water. Plants love old bedside table water.
Step by Step houseplant watering guide
1. Dip your finger into the soil, up to your second knuckle. Take your finger out. If your finger is clean from mud, the soil is dry. ITS WATERING TIME.
2. Place your plant under and shower or tap. Give your indoor plant a soaking until water is flowing from the bottom holes of the pot.
3. Repeat this process every 3 days. Small regular watering isn't recommended.
Houseplant watering problems
The biggest and most common overwatering plant problem is root rot. This can turn your plants leaves yellow. The best solution for this is repotting and looking at the root structure. Remove any roots that are mushy and brown. Healthy roots will be white and strong.
If you're not watering your plant enough your plant will droop its leaves and look thirsty! Also crispy brown leaves can be a problem from a watering issue but most likely be caused from too much sunlight or not enough humidity.
The most important tips for watering your houseplants
1. Research your houseplant and learn about the environment and country it came from. This will give you better idea of the conditions you need to recreate.
2. Use a pot with drainage holes and use a general houseplant soil mix which will dry out quickly.
3. Create a routine to help your plants stability.
If you need any more help, email us or find us on social media. As a customer you can even send us a WhatsApp for even quicker plant advice.