These days most people need a stainless steel, double-walled, vacuum insulated water bottle just to help them remember to drink their recommended two liters a day. If we can’t water our persons, what hope do our house plants have? Luckily, there are several easily integrated habits that will help you get better at keeping your plants healthy.
First, it may help to understand why your plant needs water in the first place. Like all living things, plants need water to survive. Specifically, water helps structure plants by keeping cells plump and rigid. This is why under-watered plants appear wilted— they’ve lost the water that was keeping them up and as a result are curling at the tips or turning yellow.Water is also used in the photosynthesis process. In addition, it helps transports mineral throughout the plant as well as cools it through evaporation.
Water is a vital part of your plants life and it is important to maintain a good balance. Over- and under-watering are actually two of the most common mistakes people make when caring for their plants. There should be both air and water in the soil. If the soil is too dry, the water will run right through to the bottom. If it’s too wet, the roots can rot and you will see entire leaves drooping over.This can be avoided by simply monitoring your plants appearance as well as its soil.
Plants absorb water from the soil through a process called osmosis. By testing the soil around your plant with your finger, you can tell by the texture of the top layer if your plant is due for more water. If the first inch down from the surface are still moist, you can generally leave off watering for a while.
It also helps to know what you’re growing. Our citrus trees are going to adapt much differently than succulents, cacti, orchids, fiddle leaf figs etc… everything has their own preferences. Take some time to get to know your plant.Pay attention to how it reacts to your home. Think: where would it grow in nature? How different is that environment from where the plant is now? Remember that Florida is hot and humid and bright and stormy. In your home, will your plant experience seasons? Only artificial light? Lots of humidity? If you relocate your plant, will any of these factors change? A good rule of thumb is to simply pay attention.
Other important details that may help demystify water retention and loss are:
- -the pot size and the amount of soil affect watering needs
- -the plant’s age and condition
- -the type and duration of light it’s exposed to
- -the type of material it’s housed in, both pot type and soil composition
Depending on the circumstances, your plant will lose water at a different rate and once you’ve decoded that, you’re well on your way to a house full of happy plants.
As always, if you have more questions, DM us on Instagram or email Charley@viacitrus.com