Houseplants have the wondrous ability to gain most of what they need to thrive through elements in the soil and natural sunlight. The houseplant however does not have the luxury that its outdoor counterparts do in regards to obtaining much needed water. Therefore, a houseplant depends on the gardeners hand to provide this essential nutrient.
Many garden professionals believe that over fifty percent of the houseplants in the world receive improper watering. Giving too much moisture will result in root rot or diseases and too little water is also negative. But with some know-how and guidelines, you can learn how to and when to water your plants easily.
Many gardeners will say with confidence that a Hygrometer is a tool that is useful. This handy tool allows the plant owner to receive a more accurate water level reading of the plants soil. This lets the gardener regulate the amount of water given to ascertain the plant is taken care of. The price of these handy gadgets can range from a couple of dollars to a pretty high price range, however, the cheapest version will still provide the essential information the gardener is looking for.
The Hygrometer comes in several varieties, including one that has a digital display. It makes it far more convenient to check the moisture level in the soil. Quite a few do come packaged with a useful thermometer. This is ideal for checking on soil temperature which is a crucial point in maintaining the plant’s health.
If you’d rather use the old fashioned ways to check for the water levels needed, you can try this.
Many still use the finger test. By simply placing your finger on the soils surface and applying a slight amount of pressure, you can determine if the soil is wet or dry. This method also allows you to feel the texture of the soil. Soil with moisture feels spongy while hard soil indicates a lack of moisture.
A cheap tool is a wooden chopstick or a tongue depressor. By simply inserting the wood into the soil, then withdrawing it, you should be able to see signs of moisture. If moisture is present below the surface, the wood will absorb it, displaying a darker shade. While it is true that surface moisture will be absorbed into the wooden tester, if done quickly, the surface water absorption will only count as a very small amount of the moisture collected.
The saucer trick is a good gauge of how much water a plant needs. Just fill the one third of the saucer and put it at the base of the plant. Keep doing it until there is moisture in the saucer. This process allows the water to be absorbed through capillary action from the drainage holes. Remember to take note of the actual absorption of water by the plant. It will give a good gauge of the moisture needs of the plant.
Finally, there is another way to reduce stressing the plant. Everything has a certain amount of weight to it, thus wet soil will weigh more than dry soil. After applying a water regiment discussed above, weigh your plant. If you do this over some time, it will give you a good gauge of the amount of water the plant needs. By now, you would not need to use the weighing test anymore.
Although you have ascertained the amount of moisture the plant needs, other issues can cause that measurement of moisture to fluctuate. Factors such as soil composition, humidity, seasonal changes and temperature changes are things that can change a plants water requirement. Keeping to a few tips and some tests can aid in maintaining your plants health throughout the year.
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