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Watering 101

Watering isn't rocket science, though some people feel intimidated when it comes to watering their houseplants. Here are some simple steps:

  1. Make sure your pot has a hole or holes in the bottom.

  2. Use a good lightweight potting soil (not topsoil or garden dirt).

  3. Water the plant when the soil has dried out some.

  4. Water from the top and water until water comes out the bottom. (A saucer under the pot will keep the carpet dry, butů)

  5. Don't let the plant sit in that water for more than a few hours.

  6. Allow the soil to dry some before watering again, then repeat steps #4 and #5.

  7. Fertilize your plant with a soluble fertilizer, such as Miracle Gro, once every 3rd watering. Mix fertilizer according to package directions.

Watering Tips:

  1. A plant in a plastic pot, potted in lightweight potting soil will be heavy when wet. Lift the plant every day and notice a difference in weight. When the plant/pot is light in weight, it is time to water.
  2. Try to avoid wilting; most plants will recuperate but some will respond poorly. Expect yellow leaves and fruit, bud, and/or leaf drop if allowed to get too dry.

  3. Water any given plant on a regular schedule; don't be erratic in your watering. Most plants need water once every 5-7 days. Find a time/day that you are likely to remember to do your watering. (I have a plant that needs watering every day, so I water it when I brush my teeth at night. Some plants in the greenhouse don't need water every day, but just get watered on "church days" (Sundays and Wednesdays). It makes it much easier to remember.)

  4. Succulents need a longer time between waterings, but still need to be soaked when you do water.

  5. Do not use water from a water softener. However, chlorinated city water should have no ill effects on most houseplants.

Gardening Wisdom #1, 2/8/2014 © Hilltop Farm

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