How much water do your potted plants need?

When you receive a beautiful potted plant, your first instinct might be to put it in the sun and give it plenty of water. It’s important to understand that plants are a lot like people – they are all different and have different needs. The seasons also dictate how much water they need and, if you over water, it can cause more harm than good.

In general, plants require more water during the summer than in the winter. This is not only because of the temperature decrease in winter, but also the fact that many plants become dormant during this time. Your plant will require more water and food during its growth or bloom period. You should always check the soil before watering. If the soil is still damp, you should check again the next day.

If you notice that your plant is wilting but the soil is wet, you could have overdone it in the watering department. When you water too much, it causes something called root rot. This is when the roots are constantly subjected to a wet environment which results in decay. Once root rot sets in, there really is no going back.

If the leaves of your plant are turning brown but the soil is still damp, this is another sign of excessive watering. Remember, it’s not just about the top layer of soil. You should stick your finger in the potting soil to feel the lower layers. The top layer will dry out relatively quickly and this is normal. What’s important is that the lower layers are moist.

On the other hand, if you neglect to water your plant, you will notice things like wilting and browning but the soil will be very dry. It’s essential that you water your plants immediately in order to help them revive. For some plants, like orchids, water is not only important for their roots but also the air around them. If your plants enjoy a humid environment, make sure that you place the pot on a tray of pebbles and then fill this tray up with water. The water will evaporate and this will help create the perfect humid climate for the plant.

Different types of plants require different quantities of water. For example, a succulent or cactus will not need as much water as an azalea or rose plant. Make sure that you read up about the needs of the plant before you start a watering schedule.