How Often to Water Plants: The Key to Keeping Your Plants Alive
Posted on February 14 2021
Plant health can seem like a pendulum swinging between overwatering and underwatering. When a plant's leaves are dry and wilted, it's often an indication of underwatering. However, when a few extra days of watering results in limp and mushy leaves, it is a sign of overwatering. To strike a balance, a few basics on how often to water plants should be taken into consideration. For instance, after bringing home a plant from a greenhouse or receiving it by mail, it should be allowed to acclimate to its new environment for a few days before watering. Rather than sticking to a rigid watering schedule, it's crucial to monitor the moisture levels in the soil closely.
Water is an essential part of any plant's system, and a lack of water means there is no good flow of nutrients. On the other hand, too much water removes the oxygen from the soil, suffocating the plant. Water pressure or "turgor" in plant cells is what makes up a plant's skeleton, and a low turgor pressure deflates the plant. When a plant's soil has insufficient water, it starts drawing moisture from its leaves to its core, which makes the leaves and stems go limp. This makes it critical to replace the moisture in the soil to keep the process of photosynthesis going.
When it comes to watering plants, understanding a plant's origin and natural growing conditions is crucial. For instance, rainforest plants require more moisture in their soil and high levels of humidity, while some succulents only thrive when the soil is allowed to become bone-dry. A plant's environment also plays a significant role in how often it should be watered. Humidity, light, air circulation, container type, pot size, soil type, and the season are all factors to consider when watering plants. In conclusion, watering plants should be approached with care, taking into account the different factors that affect plant growth and development.