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Do I need to water plants every day?

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Overwatering is one of the most common causes of death for outdoor plants and the most frequent demise driver for indoor ones. Gardeners send bulbs, annuals, perennials and houseplants to watery graves every year while attempting to provide extra-vigilant care.

Do you need to water plants every day?

That depends on a whole lot of variables:

  • The type of plant
  • The type of soil
  • Whether the plant is an indoor or outdoor, in a pot or in the ground
  • Whether the plant is full-grown or a young seedling
  • The weather conditions in your area

Know your plants:

If you’re growing rainforest plants that are used to a daily drenching, then water them every day. But for most other plants, a daily watering does more harm than good.  If plants receive too much water, it can cause a leaf-spot fungus, root and, or crown rot.

  • Outdoor plants will need water every 3-7 days or when the soil is dry. A dry top doesn’t signal a parched plant. Poke your finger in and check all the way to the environment below

*Pay attention to Mother Nature. Be aware of the rainfall levels before giving your plants a drink. Use a rain gauge to keep track of how much moisture is being received from the weather

  • Indoor plants are tricky because there are thousands of plants we can grow indoors, each with different needs and preferences. Know your plants and monitor their behaviour. This will determine the type of care they need. Watch for wilting (a sign of water stress), leaf drop or yellowing
  • Potted plants without drainage holes must be handled extra carefully as excess water will pool in the bottom of the pot. Potted plants tend to store less moisture. This is due to the lack of soil space and the material of the pot. Keep an eye on your indoor and outdoor potted plants and water judiciously

It’s important to monitor your plants because they usually give signals when they are in desperate need of water, or the opposite – when you’ve over-watered them.

Check the soil:

Before watering your plant, check the soil. If it’s wet or even soggy to touch, then the plant isn’t thirsty just yet.

Don’t drown your plants! To thrive, plants need to be able to absorb oxygen. This can’t occur if the soil is wet and all the space for air between the soil particles has been taken up by water.

However, if the soil is almost dry, the plant needs a drink. Be sure not to let the soil completely dry as this will damage the plant.

The climate:

How often you water your plant also depends on the climate where you live.

If you live in an area that experiences hot, dry and sunny weather, you might need to water your plants more frequently, for example once a week.

If you live in an area that’s cold with frequent rain spells, it’s recommended that you water your plants every two, or even three weeks. Remember, the soil is a key factor in determining whether or not your plant needs water so always check it.

* If you live in an area that gets lots of rain but you want to grow dry land varieties, consider putting them in pots and placing them where they will be sheltered from the showers.

Be aware of your interior’s temperature:

The warmer the room, the more water your indoor plants will use. Pay attention to the air conditioning in the summertime and the heat during the winter.

A room that’s too warm means the plant will dry out.

Keep an eye on the lighting:

All plants need light – it helps them to grow and flourish. However, the right amount of sunlight varies with the different species. If your plant is close to the window, it gets lots of light from the sun and this encourages the plant to flourish.

However, keep an eye on the amount of light your plant receives. Too much light causes the petal to dry out, the flower’s colours to fade and the entire plant to droop. Watch out for these signs when monitoring your plants light source.

Sources:

Bryan Traficante, Co-Founder, GardenInMinutes

Experts, Easy to Grow Bulbs

C.L. Fornari, The Garden Lady