To Water, or Not to Water
Should I water?
Anyone that's ever owned a houseplant has probably had this phrase run through their mind, and certainly more than once. In fact, if you've never thought this before, either your plants are all dead, or you're a houseplant prodigy.
But if you're like me, you've had your fair share of watering related questions. Should I water in the morning, or at night? How much should I water? How often should I water? What kind of water? These are all questions we're going to explore, so let's dive right in.
Morning or night?
People have long debated over the best time to water your plants, but general consensus these days is that mornings are the best time to water your plants.
While both should be fine, watering in the mornings allows time for the sun to dry some of the water, preventing a night of excessive stagnant water in your soil, which could lead to root rot.
You're probably wondering how much to water your plants. While different plants have different needs, a good rule for most houseplants is to give it a good thorough drink of water, so that the water goes throughout the soil (but make sure it drains well, or the stagnant water will rot the roots). Only do this once the soil is no longer moist. You're going to want to do more than feel the top of the soil, since often the top of the soil will be dry while plenty of water remains underneath.
Stick your finger into the soil, preferably to the middle of your finger where the second knuckle lies, and it's time to water if the tip of your finger feels dry.
People have various opinions about frequency, and while there is no hard and fast rule, a good rule is to wait until the soil is dry, like we just talked about above. Some houseplants are more water-dependent than others. The snake plant is going to need much less water than your typical fern. And your average succulent wilts at the thought of a weekly watering.
What kind of water?
Honestly, unless your local tap water is seriously harmful, it should be just fine for your plants.
It may be better to err on the safe side if you don't know the quality of your tap water, especially if there's a chance the water has been softened. The salt used to get rid of the minerals can build up in the soil, stunting plant growth.
Beyond the Basics
Watering is simple to begin exploring, but we wish it were all as easy as 1-2-3. There are so many intricacies, and different situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. We'd love to hear any watering stories you have. Leave a comment about your situation - we'd love to hear from you.