Plants are amazing elements to use in interior design. No matter if you live in an expansive house, or a small apartment, you can use plants to accentuate your favorite spots and to improve air quality.
Besides enhancing the atmosphere in your home, indoor greens can also provide you with valuable vitamins. Whether it’s a few pots of herbs perched on a window sill, or a fully-fledged indoor garden, growing your own produce gives a healthy boost to your daily diet and well-being.
However, keeping plants in your home requires some basic gardening skills. From picking the right varieties to investing in the right indoor growing equipment, the choices abound.
One of the trickiest aspects of keeping indoor plants is watering them properly. Too much water will damage or even kill your plants. Too little water – same story.
If you’re an aspiring indoor gardener – or you struggle to keep anything green alive – here’s everything you have to know about watering indoor plants.
Adjust the Watering Frequency to Varieties and the Season
First off, the amount of water needed varies by plant and season.
In spring and summer, most plants need to be watered every 2-5 days – unless they are succulents or cacti. In autumn and winter, plant growth is slower due to the lower temperatures and shorter daylight. During this time, plants need to be watered less frequently.
Plants usually come with tags specifying their water needs. If it says you need to water them “steadily”, touch the soil surface once in a while. If it’s dry, it’s time to water. When a tag tells you to water “moderately”, allow the topmost inch of soil to dry out before watering the plant again.
Use the Right Type of Water
Not all plants happily take tap water.
Many orchids, for example, thrive on distilled water. Others, like bromeliads, prefer rainwater.
However, even if tap water is theoretically fine, you might want to invest in a water filter.
Depending on where you live, water hardness and pH value can vary considerably. A filter will even out these differences and protect sensitive plants.
Ensure Drainage With the Right Pot
If you overwater your plants, and the surplus can’t drain away, you’ll be facing root rot.
To prevent this, make sure that any excess water does not get stuck in the bottom of the pot.
Use pots with drainage holes, together with pot sleeves and saucers. Just tip them out a few hours after watering if any liquid is left.
Use the Right Watering Technique
Finally, you have to be careful about how you supply your plants with water.
Tropical plants, for example, prefer watering from above. They are happy to get their leaves wet. Most orchids prefer to be misted rather than doused.
Other plants you have to water from below. Plant them in a pot with drainage holes, and set it in a tray of water about ¾ in deep. This will allow the soil and roots to soak up water.
A final option you may want to consider is an irrigation system, which allows you to pre-program watering amounts and frequency. This is especially handy if you have a larger indoor garden, if you travel frequently, or if routine household tasks tend to slip your mind.
At the end of the day, with a little planning and research, you’ll be able to figure out a watering schedule for your indoor plants that will help them thrive.