Watering Houseplants: Everything You Need to Know

Houseplants offer such an array of benefits, from making our homes look prettier to removing pollutants from the air to helping our stress, anxiety, focus and creativity levels. No wonder indoor plants have been surging in popularity, working from home has accelerated houseplant popularity even more. Plants naturally are intended to be grown outside in the ground thus, when making the decision to grow them inside, we need to ensure they are cared for with the right conditions to thrive, which is where Happy Houseplants comes in.
Each plant is different and therefore, each indoor plant will have different care and watering needs. This does not just apply from species to species, in fact, it depends on location of the houseplant in your home, the pot it’s in, the weather, the season, humidity and many other external factors. You must learn about your plants needs and how to read their signs, it may take time, but you will build a better relationship with your houseplant and master the art of watering.

How often should I water houseplants?

When deciding when you should water your houseplant it is important to identify the signs that your plant gives you. With the majority of indoor plants, when the top couple inches of the soil is dry, it is ready to be watered. The finger method involves you gently putting your finger into the compost and seeing how dry the soil is. Remember the type of plant whilst doing this. Succulents tend to like being dry due to the environment they originate from; you want to try and replicate those conditions in the soil. Other houseplants can be guzzlers, they require watering more frequently. It is always recommended to research your plant and at Happy Houseplants we aim to inform how frequently our plants need to be watered, caring instructions and where to place them.
Consider the time of year when deciding how often you should water your houseplants. Plants are just like us, during hotter months like summer we require more frequent hydration. Majority of plants (not all) will require more watering during spring and summer and less during autumn and winter. Happy Houseplants recommend using water at room temperature as cold water can shock the roots, especially the tropical ones!
Other indications that your plant needs watering is if the leaves are discolouring and/or wilting. The only problem with this indication is the symptoms are the same for overwatering as well as under-watering therefore, soil is your best indication when and how often you should water.

How to Water Houseplants

Water From the Bottom:

An extremely effective method to water your houseplants, bottom watering is a process of which the bottom of the plant absorbs the water in comparison to watering it from the top. The reason this method is so effective is

the roots are located at the bottom thus, making it easier for the plant to receive a sufficient drink and hydrate itself effectively. Watering at the top which is most common is actually harder as not all the water makes it to the bottom. It is worth noting that some plants don’t mind sitting in water to keep their roots moist, but others can have a risk of dying as the roots can rot.
Place a plant pot saucer under the plant pot and for those plants that like to sit in water, ensure the saucer is topped-up with rainwater preferably or room temperature water. For plants that do not like sitting in water, place the plant pot saucer with water until the soil becomes moist, drain the water, and repeat once the plant is ready to be watered again.

Tip – Avoid splashing your houseplants leaves when watering it. This is because sometimes the leaves can stain easily, and we want to keep them dry and healthy. To avoid this, we recommend just gently pulling the leaves away to reveal the large compost surface area.

Watering a houseplant with misting:

Everybody loves a tropical plant. They come in different shapes and sizes, unusual foliage and sometimes, amazing flowers. It can really elevate interior design, bringing a real jungle tropical feel to your home or office. As these plants are native to tropical environments, we must try to replicate the tropical environment to ensure our houseplants thrive. Try adding them in rooms with lower-light levels and high humidity such as a shower room or steamy kitchen. You should also mist the compost and leaves regularly which mimics that tropical environment by raising humidity. Just ensure you are keeping the plant out of direct sunlight.

Water houseplants sparingly:

As well as houseplants that are native to tropical environments, there are houseplants that are native to drier regions and will suffer if they are watered too much, these plants thrive of neglection! If you decide to water these plants from the bottom using a plat pot saucer, do not leave the indoor plant sitting in the water! This is because it can cause their roots to potentially rot leading to the plant’s death. Instead, we Happy Houseplants recommend watering these drier plants sparingly. Wait for the compost to dry in between watering, the top couple inches of the soil should be dry when its ready.
Every houseplant has its own needs even if they are within the same species. It’s very important to build a bond with your indoor plants and know how to identify their needs. Once you do, you can create a watering and care routine for your plant so they thrive all year round.
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