Homeowners put a lot of effort into recreating the Garden of Eden in their living rooms, but some of us don’t have enough of a green thumb manage that. Houseplants add freshness indoors and bring life to your home in the winter months. These natural home accessories keep your air fresh by absorbing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen and smelling great. Flowers and greenery add beauty to your interior in a way that will never go out of style. Most indoor plants are pretty easy to care for, except for the watering part. Houseplants are often killed by water, whether they get too much or too little. Since watering your plant is absolutely necessary to keep it alive, wade through these water tips, and find the right balance for your houseplants.
Soggy soil suffocates your plants
Keeping houseplants alive is difficult. Let’s face it, none of us is Mother Nature when it comes to proper plant care. The most common cause of death among houseplants is overwatering. All that excess water keeps the soil too soggy, which means that oxygen can’t reach the roots of the plant. Without oxygen, the roots, and therefore the plant, will die. Wilting or yellowing in your plant can be a sign that it’s getting too much moisture. The tricky part is that wilting and yellowing can also be a sign that your plant is not getting enough moisture.
Different plants, different moisture levels
How often you should water your houseplants depends on what kind of plant it is. If you purchased your greenery from a nursery, there’s probably a little card stuck in the soil that tells you exactly how often to water it. Even if your plant doesn’t have this cheat sheet, your local garden experts or the Internet can probably offer some direction. When it comes to effective watering techniques, replicate the plant’s natural environment. This will give you an idea if the water levels in the soil should stay consistently damp or fluctuate between dryness and moisture. Some species of plants need a few days in between waterings for the soil to dry up in order to grow.
Temperature, water, and plants
The time of year is important when determining how much and how often to water your houseplants. In the spring and summer months, your plant will be growing and need more water. During the winter, the air is cooler, so your plant won’t need as much water. The amount of water your plant requires is directly related to the temperature and climate of a room. Hotter rooms with intense light will mean more water for your plant. In humid environments, the plant will need less water.
What water waters best?
Natural water is the best for watering your plants. Collecting rainwater or melting snow into plant water are two methods that provide easy access to natural water. Unfortunately, rain and snow are not available on command, so you’ll need a backup plan to access water for your houseplants. Bottled water is great for houseplants, but that can become very expensive. Well water works too. The problem with well water is that sometimes it’s too alkaline, or not acidic enough, for certain plants. Most people just use tap water for their houseplants, because it’s easily accessible and cost effective. Tap water is fine, but soft water damages your houseplants. Soft water contains trace amounts of salt, which can eventually accumulate in the soil. Too much salt in the soil will mess with the transfer of minerals and moisture into the plant roots.
Rugged plants for dry soil
If you’re feeling waterlogged by all this water talk, get some houseplants that can handle a dry spell. Snake plants are low maintenance and come in interesting colors, shapes and sizes. Air plants don’t even need soil to stay alive, they just hang in the air and soak in water for a bit ever week or so. Ponytail palms store water in their thick trunks, which means you won’t have to water them very often. ZZ Plants are perfect for the lazy plant lovers, because these leafy houseplants thrive under many different light and water conditions. Succulents come in a lot of different textures and colors and survive on mere drops of water. There are many rugged plants that prefer dry soil, so it won’t take a green thumb to keep them alive.
Houseplants are a pretty easy way to decorate your home’s interior and keep it fresh, but only if you can keep them alive. Watering plants is a tricky balance between not enough and too much. Once you master this, you’ll be able to transform your indoors into an Eden of natural beauty.