If you have been following me for a while then you’ll know over time i have built up a good collection of indoor plants. They certainly make me very happy! So, today I thought I would share some tips for watering indoor plants so you can have a house full of healthy, happy plants too.
Don’t forget plants have different needs
This is probably the most critical of all the tips for watering indoor plants – just because they are indoors doesn’t mean they have the same watering needs! This includes not just the frequency of watering, but the way you water them and how much water they need each time. Make sure you read up on your plants and then water accordingly – keep an eye out for tell-tale signs like drooping leaves and discolouration too. I use books like Leaf Supply to read up on the preferences of my plants.
Test the soil before you water
Before you water any plant, first test and see whether it actually needs any. Stick your finger, or a wooden skewer, a few centimetres into the soil and if it is still damp then your plant doesn’t need any more water. If it has dried out then you are good to go! For the most part it is also best to water in the morning so any excess can evaporate off leaves and the surface of the soil throughout the day. This helps avoid them getting soggy and potentially diseased.
Don’t let water sit in the saucer
Once you have done all your watering there is likely to water that drains through and sits in the saucer under the pot. Don’t just let it sit there, after about 15 minutes tip it out, otherwise you might end up with waterlogged soil and roots. You really need to ensure your roots are able to breathe as if they start to rot your plant is in a lot of trouble.
Water your plants from the bottom
There are lots of types of plants that don’t do well with wet leaves or stems, so they much prefer to be watered from the bottom. You can actually do this for lots of plants, regardless of the sensitivity of their leaves! Simply sit your plant in a saucer, tray, or even bathtub, of water and allow it to soak up water for a while (depending on the size of the plant, up to an hour). This is a particularly excellent way to water larger plants as you don’t have to lug the watering can around as much!
Change your watering habits to match the season
This is another simple tip for watering indoor plants, but one we often forget about. As the seasons change our plants water needs do as well – so switch up your watering schedule to match. The difference can be significant as well, depending on the heat and sun your plants experience it could go from every couple of days in summer to every couple of weeks in winter. Keep an eye on the water levels of your soil and adjust accordingly.
Make sure you have drainage holes
I know most of us want to display our plants in pretty pots, but so many of those decorative pots don’t come with any drainage holes. This means there is nowhere for excess water to go which can wreak havoc on the roots of your plant. If you want to use those kinds of pots you can either drill your own holes, or keep the plant in a plastic pot that you slide into the decorative pot and just remove for watering.
Use the right sort of potting mix
Another key tip for watering indoor plants is actually not related to water at all, but what the plant is in! You want to use a light, aerated potting mix so the water can more easily drain through. A dense soil, like you might use in an outdoor garden bed, will hinder your watering endeavours.
Aerate the soil
In the outside world the soil around plants gets naturally aerated by insects and weather, but that doesn’t happen for indoor plant. So, every now and again make sure you are aerating the soil by poking holes in the soil. This ensures better airflow around the roots, avoids the soil getting compacted and helps the water distribute more effectively as well.