Watering can often be the difference between a healthy and unhappy houseplant. The two most common issues we face when it comes to watering is either over or underwatering our indoor plants. Overwatering can lead to yellow leaves, drooping and, in some extreme cases, eventual root rot. Underwatering can cause the leaves of your plant to turn brown and dry up which can stop new growth coming through as the plant struggles to access the necessary nutrients to thrive.
Am I overwatering/underwatering my plant? The Tell-Tale Signs
Soil always wet to touch
Wilting/drooping leaves with very wet soil
Roots begin to smell and feel slimy and mushy to touch
White mould begins to form on top of the soil
Soil pulling away from the inside of the pot
Dry, dead leaves
Leaves starting to turn yellow
Check if your plant needs a drink
You can check if your plant needs a drink by inserting your finger an inch into the soil, 2-3 inches for larger plants. If it feels dry, this is usually an indication that it’s watering time! If the soil feels moist to touch, this usually means the plant is happy and hydrated so there is no need to grab the watering can just yet.
Grab your moisture meter
If you have a moisture meter to hand, pop this four fifths of the way into the soil and check the measuring gage. This will let you know straight away if your plant needs a drink or not!
Watering your plant
Place the spout of your watering can or water container on the top of the soil. Water until the soil is saturated. Once the water starts slowly seeping into the soil or is starting to sit on top for a few seconds, this is usually an indication that the plant is sufficiently hydrated. Please note, this can vary from plant to plant so it is always worth double checking how much water your plant likes and needs!
Set a reminder
Once you know your plant’s watering needs, a handy way to keep on track is to set a reminder on either your phone/tablet or by creating a handy plant diary. This can be a great way of keeping your plants regularly topped up and living their best lives right on schedule!
Stop the rot Ensure your plant’s grow pot has adequate drainage to avoid excess moisture sitting in the soil.
Feeling thirsty? So is your plant! Make sure you check them weekly to see if they need a little drink and set those handy reminders for help on the go!
The more you know If you notice your plant isn’t looking too cheery despite a regular watering schedule, it might be time to do a little more research! Each plant is unique and some varieties do need a little bit of extra special treatment!
Check your levels Make sure you water directly onto your plant’s soil not above as this can lead to fungal infections and leaf damage.
Data driven Keep yourself ahead of the game with a handy moisture meter for more accurate moisture readings (optional)