How To Properly Water Plants

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How To Properly Water Plants
How To Properly Water Plants
Video: How To Properly Water Plants
Video: How to water a plant.... the right way! 2023, February

The frequency of watering is determined by the physiological state of the plant and external conditions: air temperature, soil and air humidity, light intensity, moisture capacity and looseness of the substrate, size of pots, etc. It is desirable that the watering is uniform - without abrupt transitions from strong drying (lack of moisture) to waterlogging.

Also, the need for plants in water is determined by the specific characteristics of species and families: the structure of the aboveground organs, the power of the root system, etc. For example, plants with succulent, fleshy leaves (such as agave, aloe) require less water than plants with large leaves (hibiscus), which sometimes need to be watered more frequently (every day in summer or twice a day). Excess moisture is harmful to bulbous plants. It is best to water them by directing a stream of water not to the onion, but closer to the walls of the pot, or to water them from the pallet, so as to moisten the roots, but not wet the bulb itself.

Different literatures provide different ways to determine the plant's water requirement. This is the tapping of a pot (a booming sound - dry), a difference in weight (wet ground is heavier), etc. But using these methods is easy to make mistakes. You can more accurately determine the condition of the earth by immersing your finger in the ground. In general, over time, at fairly constant temperatures, watering is established in a certain mode, for example, every other day in spring, every day - every other day in summer, after two to three days in autumn, once every two weeks in winter.

how to water flowers
how to water flowers

Irregular depressed spots appear on orchid leaves from watering with cold water or watering at cool temperatures.

how to water flowers
how to water flowers

When irrigated with cold water, as well as when spraying with cool water (or when spraying in cool weather), colorless irregular spots also appear on the leaves of violets.

There are plants that are very sensitive to lack of moisture, such as azaleas, maidenhair. When the land dries up completely, azaleas die. There are also such plants (there are quite a few of them among indoor flowers) that do not tolerate either overdrying or waterlogging. This is araucaria: when its branches begin to droop from overdrying, then no amount of soldering helps. But overflow also leads to inevitable death. The same goes for gardenia, which is very much loved by flower growers.

In winter, during the dormant period, plant growth slows down or stops, at this time the plants need less water, and they are watered much less often, sometimes up to 1-3 times a month. In spring and summer, when the plant has a period of growth and flowering, on the contrary, watering is needed more often, sometimes up to 2-4 times a week. Autumn, especially rainy and cloudy, is a transitional period for plants. The growth of plants slows down, but does not stop, it is already cool in the apartment and on the balcony, the earth dries out much longer than on warm days in summer and the likelihood of overflow increases.

Factors affecting the abundance or frequency of watering

Which plants to water more Which plants to water less
  • Plants in the growing stage
  • Plants with a lot of leaves
  • Plants with large, wide leaves that evaporate a lot of moisture
  • Flowering plants (other than those that bloom during dormant periods, such as orchids)
  • Mature plants with strong root systems
  • If the pot has good drainage and large drainage holes
  • Plants in clay pots
  • In rooms with dry warm air in winter
  • If the summer is dry, hot weather
  • Dormant plants
  • Plants with few leaves
  • Plants with succulent fleshy leaves, stems, bulbs
  • Plants with a small root system, especially if the roots of the plant have been damaged by pests, diseases or due to improper care
  • If there are no drainage holes in the pot
  • Plants in non-porous containers (plastic, metal, etc.)
  • Plants in a cool or humid environment
  • If the weather is rainy and cloudy in summer

This is not to say that the cases shown in the comparative table are an unconditional rule. In fact, you need to take into account a number of factors to determine whether the watering should be more or less. Violation of the irrigation regime, water quality, its temperature, will inevitably affect the plant. The more often this happens, the more severely the plant will suffer. For example, a particularly sensitive plant can immediately die from watering with cold water.

Irrigation disturbances

Signs of lack of water Signs of excess water
  • The leaves are drooping, soft, the soil in the pot is dry as fluff
  • In plants with soft, delicate leaves (balsam), they become lethargic and droop. In plants with hard leathery leaves (ficus, laurel, oleander, myrtle), they dry up and crumble (first of all, old leaves fall off)
  • Flowers and buds fall off or wither quickly
  • The leaves are lethargic, there are soft areas with signs of rot, the soil in the pot is damp
  • Slowdown in growth
  • Curled, yellowed and withered leaves, leaf tips brown
  • Both old and young leaves fall
  • Mold on the soil surface, gray fluffy bloom on stems and flowers

There is a golden rule of watering plants - it is better to water less, but more often than less often and in large quantities.

Care errors - waterlogging of the soil

Reanimation of flooded plants

watering flowers
watering flowers

From a lack of moisture, plants often drop their leaves. But the leaves also droop from waterlogging. The difference is that the overdried plant immediately after watering (immersion of the cutting in water) restores the elasticity of the leaves.

watering flowers
watering flowers

The lack of air humidity cannot be replenished by increasing watering. To increase moisture, place the plant in a pan of water, but insulate the pot and roots from contact with water.

There is such a thing as plant turgor. Turgor is the filling of plant cells with water. If the plant does not have enough water, the leaves and branches droop, become lethargic, then they talk about the loss of turgor. If the plant was not dehydrated for a long time, then it is enough to soak the soil well with water for the turgor to recover.

It should be noted that leaf wilting is not always associated with a lack of water. This can happen under the influence of sunlight, on the first clear day, a field of long cloudy weather. Therefore, before committing to wrong watering, you should exclude other errors that give a similar reaction of the plant.

Abundant watering

Plants are watered immediately after the earthen coma in the upper third of the pot dries (determined by touch, by dipping a finger into the ground). Such watering is required by most tropical plants with thin delicate leaves (allocasia, begonia, fittonia, heliotrope), as well as some plants with leathery leaves (lemon, ficus, oleander, ivy), but only in the warm season, during the period of active growth.

Moderate watering

Plants are watered not immediately after the earthen coma dries, but after two or three days, as the earth dries up in the upper layer of the earth. This applies to plants with fleshy or heavily pubescent stems and leaves (peperomia, columnea), with thick roots and rhizomes (palms, dracaena, aspidistra, aroid), as well as with aquifer tubers on the roots (asparagus, chlorophytum, arrowroot) and bulbous. For some plants, light drying is a prerequisite during the dormant period, as it stimulates the formation and maturation of flower buds (zygocactus, clivia).

Rare watering

Plants are left dry for several days, weeks, months. This applies to cacti and succulents, as well as deciduous tuberous and bulbous, having a dormant period (crinum, gloxinia, hippeastrum, caladium). The earth in this case dries up completely in the pot. The water-storing organs of plants make it possible to survive drought. Rare watering is carried out during the dormant period of plants, when all life processes are inhibited. For most plants, this period falls in the winter months and is accompanied by a drop in temperature, sometimes very significant (up to + 2-3 degrees, but on average up to + 8-12 degrees). At low temperatures, plants are especially sensitive to excess moisture. But if, for some reason, the dormant period did not take place, the temperature dropped slightly in winter, the plant should not be transferred to rare watering.Watering frequency will depend entirely on the temperature and rate of drying out of the land.

There are no general strict rules for watering, each type of plant needs its own watering regime, read about this in the Encyclopedia section.

What water to water

Watering plants is best done with soft rainwater. Hard water (including well water) containing various salts should be avoided. Aroids, azaleas, orchids, ferns, camellias are especially hard to tolerate hard water. Watering with hard water is well tolerated by those plants that grow on calcareous soils. Collecting rainwater is difficult and can be replaced with filtered or boiled water. The settled water is devoid of chlorine (it evaporates in a day or two), but not salts, so it can be used if it is soft enough.

How to soften water for watering flowers

To soften hard water, wood ash is added to it, at the rate of 3 g of ash per 1 liter of water.

You can also add fresh peat to the water, at the rate of 100 g per 10 liters of water.

It is not always recommended to water plants with boiled water, devoid of air. However, if other options for softening the water are not available, then it is better to boil it.

If funds allow, then it is possible to advise filtering water for irrigation through household filters.

You can use special chemicals to soften the water, containing, for example, oxalic acid. However, for this you need to know exactly the hardness of your water in order to accurately calculate the dose.

The water temperature should be at least at least room temperature. This rule is especially important when watering tropical plants. It is recommended to water cacti with warmer water. Watering plants with cold water can cause root rot, bud fall and even plant death. On the contrary, watering plants with warm water in a cold room is also undesirable, because this will lead to premature plant growth. Watering with hot water, which is also practiced, stimulates plant growth. Hot means a temperature not higher than 45-50 degrees (the hand is hot).

Sometimes the question arises whether it is possible to use tap water with hot water, diluting it with cold water. In fact, the chemical composition of the water from the hot and cold pipes is almost the same, so if the water is soft enough, then such water can be used.

Watering flowers
Watering flowers

If there is a lot of soil in the pot, or the leaves block access to the ground, it is very convenient to make a special device: drill a hole in the bottle cap for a tube from a ballpoint pen. It is especially convenient to water cacti and seedlings this way.

Watering flowers
Watering flowers

The bottle attachment can be made from any available means (inhaler tip, juice tube). After abundant watering, it is advisable to loosen the soil in pots with a thin wooden stick.

Of course, the most common watering method is from a watering can, this is probably the easiest and most affordable way. Some plants that require highly moist soil (for example, cyperus) can be watered by immersion: place in a pan with water, so that the water reaches the ground level, for about 5-15 minutes. Then drain the water.

It is very convenient to water plants from plastic bottles. If water is poured into bottles and placed without lids, the chlorine will disappear in a day and the water will warm to room temperature. Sometimes it is convenient to put the bottles near the battery, then the water will be slightly warmer.

Crops, just emerged seedlings, small plants, planted children or plants requiring drip irrigation are conveniently watered through a sprayer, adjusting the flow of dusty spray until a thin stream is formed.

If the soil in the pot is dry:

Watering overdried plants is best done by immersion in order to more evenly moisten the soil. It is necessary to immerse the pot completely for a while (5-10 minutes) in warm water (25-30 ° C), poured into a large container, for example, a basin.

If the plant is very dry, then keep the pot in water until no more air bubbles. Then take out the pot, let the water drain onto the pan and drain.

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