Of all the care that indoor plants need, watering is probably the most difficult to dose. But it is better for a plant to lack (a little) water than to water it excessively because this can be fatal to it. And the fact that water needs differ from one species to another represents a difficulty for people who lack gardening experience. Here are six recurring mistakes that you absolutely must avoid if you want to preserve the good health of your indoor plants and be able to admire their fullness for many years.
Mistake n°1 – Watering all your green plants at the same frequency
Giving your houseplants a general tour with metronome regularity is exactly what you need to do to see some of them die. This is logical since they do not all have the same needs. However, they are the ones who dictate the frequency of watering.
To not commitirreparable error, we ask an advisor at the time of purchase, and if we want to learn about growing plants indoors, it is best to start with plants that are easy to live with. Some tolerate the lack of water perfectly, which is the case of the superb Zamioculcas or even various polysciasand others tolerate overwatering such as bamboos where the carnivorous plants.
Mistake #2 – Watering your houseplants once a week
Weekly watering of houseplants is a funny habit that many people have taken. It is in any case a piece of advice frequently given when buying plants, and which does not really hold water.
watering should not be systematic, but distributed à la carte, usually when the plants start to get thirsty. It may be once a month when others need to be watered every 3 or 4 days. It is therefore essential to check, before taking out the watering can, if the growing medium is still wet. If it sticks a little to the finger, no need to add water. The best advice we can give is to allow the substrate to dry on the surface between two waterings, except in specific cases. Indeed, some plants grow in water without any problem, such as Papyrus for example.
Mistake n° 3 – Watering your green plants with cold water
In this way, we create a Thermal shockand stress whose roots could well do without! This can be enough to cause the death of a plant.
On the contrary, care is taken to fill the watering can a few hours before watering because the water must be at room temperature. However, you should not leave the watering can filled in direct sunlight because water that is too hot is not appreciated either. It can also cause great damage.
Mistake #4 – Letting water stagnate in the saucers
This is an error that harms indoor plants as well as those grown in pots outdoors because the water that stagnates in the saucers drown the roots. This promotes their rottingnot to mention that the constant humidity is the cause of many maladies especially cryptogamic.
Once the watering is finished, you must always take care to empty the saucers when, after about fifteen minutes, they have been able to collect the excess water. It is a habit to take for the majority of plants.
Mistake #5 – Not considering the surrounding temperature
Watering your houseplants the same way from January to December is a very bad idea. In some overheated dwellings or in summer, when the scorching heat ends up raising the indoor temperature, watering should be more frequent than when it is chilly at home. The substrate dries more or less quickly, it is therefore necessary s’adapter. It requires a small verification before taking out the watering can. In addition, as far as possible, avoid placing your plants too close to a radiator or a window facing south.
Mistake n°6 – Drowning your houseplants before leaving on vacation
This frequent error consists in distributing to all the plants a double or even a triple ration of water so that they do not miss it during the holidays. It’s taking the risk of asphyxiate and to find some in bad shape on the way back, full of mold or completely rotten.
But everyone takes good care of close its shutters to secure his home in his absence. Plunged into darkness, the plants live in slow motion. As the room is protected from direct sunlight, the interior temperature remains moderate. Consequently, the substrate dries out less quickly. A reasonable watering is therefore more than enough before departure.
Watering indoor plants: advice for compensating for long absences
Of course, if we plan leave for several months, the good idea is to entrust the care of your plants to someone you trust. Another solution is to install your plants around a large basin full of water placed on a chair or stool so that it is at a higher level than the flower pots. Then just dip one end of a woolen thread in water and insert the other end deep enough into the substrate. L’watering will by capillarity. Each pot must be able to be connected to the basin by a woolen thread. Note that it also works with string and strips of fabric.
As we have seen, excess water is more harmful to plants than beneficial, a persistent lack of water is no better. These poor growing conditions lead to physiological diseases. It is therefore from the planting or repotting that you have to think about it. It is essential to install indoor plants in pots or trays with a pierced bottomand to file a drainage layer before filling the container with the appropriate potting soil.
This draining layer can be made up of balls of clay, shards of terracotta, crushed gravel, rolled gravel, small pebbles… Ideally, this draining bed should represent 1 volume for 4 volumes of substrate, knowing that the latter must also be draining. In this way, the indoor plants do not risk being suffocated by an excess of water… provided, however, that water them only when necessaryof course, and if possible with rainwater.