We will look into the Top 10 golden rules of watering your plant the right way like how much to water and how often to water.
How much water should I offer to my plant and How Often – what should be the frequency of watering? – The answer to this question is not easy and depends on a number of factors like the Type of plant, your location or the local climatic zone, the season of the year, the type and size of the container and so on..
Before we list out the 10 golden rules of watering for beginners, You must remember this line – OVERWATERING IS THE MOST COMMON PLANT KILLER THAN UNDERWATERING.
Rule 1: Avoid Water Logging and Stagnation – for this you need to have a well draining soil mix and also you must check whether the drainage holes are open.
Rule 2: Check Top Soil for Moisture: Before you water your plant, make sure the top 1 – 2 inches of soil is dry either by using a soil moisture meter or moisture testing gadget or by inserting your finger. The best gadget is your finger! This is important because drying out of soil just before watering promotes growth of roots.
Rule 3: Water less often, but thoroughly – But This also depends on the type of plant. Generally for most plants, its better to water less often but thoroughly. This is always much better than watering more frequently with little quantity of water. The next tip explain this concept better.
Rule 4: Water Must Reach the Roots – Most roots are located deeper near the bottom of the containers. Hence superficial watering with small amounts and even though more frequently will not give you good results. Hence thorough watering and less frequent watering is recommended so that the water reaches the deeper roots till the bottom of the container.
Rule 5: Water late in the evening or early in the morning – In late evenings and early mornings, the soil is cooled and hence less water evaporates than it would on hot soil during the day. And the plants can sufficiently stock themselves with water for photosynthesis and the plants will be able to deal better with the upcoming heat of the sun.
Rule 6: Keep the Leaves dry to avoid fungus – Generally its recommended to pour water on the soil and not drench the plant completely due to the risk of fungus, but this depends on your local climate. If its scorching hot in summer, you can mist or drench some of the plants. But not those plants which store water in their leaves and stem like the succulents and cacti.
Rule 7: Water Gradually and Allow it to go down into the soil, wait and water again till the water comes out of the drainage hole. This is thorough watering and important for deeper roots to receive water. As I already said in rule #3 – less frequent but good watering.
Rule 8: If you are on a vacation or want to reduce watering frequency, you can use clayrich soil but smartly. This holds water well and this is the soil used by most nursery guys to water their plants less frequently. But there s always a risk of root rot from water stagnation. You can also use SAP gel crystals which are now available as non-toxic safe granules which significantly reduce watering frequency. You can watch my experiment video – HERE.
Rule 9: Different Watering For Different Plants- This is really important specially if you are a beginner. You have to know the plant name and its care tips like watering requirement. Do not hesitate to ask the plant name and google about its care tips and watering requirement.
Rule 10: Container Gardening Vs Ground Gardening – Watering Requirement and Frequency is different for these two types of gardening. Remember Container grown plants dry out much faster, and hence require greater watering vigilance.
So there you have it folks, Remember to apply these 10 golden rules whenever you are watering your plants.