Royal Horticultural Society: Humidity for house plants
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Houseplants are sheltered from the elements, but it means that they need to be watered more frequently than garden plants. While your indoor plants may not be exposed to rainfall, they will need to be given a drink more often during the warmer months when growth is more rapid. This is exactly how often you should water your houseplants in spring and summer to keep them looking bright and healthy throughout the year.
Watering houseplants can be a tricky task to master, with plenty of opportunity for things to go wrong with too much, or too little water.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to hydrating different types of indoor plants, but there are some key things you can do to avoid damaging them while watering.
Establishing a good watering schedule through spring and summer is easy with a bit of practice, and this is the exact time you should aim for to keep different varieties in good stead all year round.
When to water houseplants
The best time to water houseplants is in the morning, in order to give the plant plenty of time to dry out.
For plants on window sills which enjoy a lot of light, you should always avoid water on a cloudy day.
This is because their foliage will not dry out at the usual rate, which could lead to a number of issues – including disease and fungus caused by soggy leaves.
Most houseplants can survive quite happily for up to two weeks in most indoor conditions without being watered, though this will depend on the type of plant you’re growing.
Aside from the species of the plant, other variables which will affect watering include:
The type of potting medium – (can contribute to moisture or dryness)
- Light exposure
- Whether the plant is hanging or sitting – (hanging plants dry out more quickly)
Using a fixed schedule will not work all year round for your indoor plants, but you should have a set time to check the soil to see if the plant needs watering.
Check the soil by digging your index finger into the soil to test how dry or damp it feels.
Most of the time, bone dry soil means your plant needs watering – though some species should be watered just before then.
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Here are some of the different types of houseplants, and how often you should water them.
Giving your peace lily a drink should only be done once the soil is almost, but not completely, dry to touch.
It is crucial that you water the plant before the potting mix dries completely, as this is when the lily will begin to wilt.
Calathea Ornata (pinstripe plant)
This plant requires constant moisture, so regular watering is required.
Try to maintain slightly moist soil by watering a moderate amount as soon as the surface of the soil starts to dry out.
Succulents are a large group of plants which includes multiple different species, many of which have adapted to prevent water loss.
As a general rule, succulents such as aloe vera and cacti should only be watered once the potting mix has dried out completely.
You should wait until the soil is dry and the roots are silvery white before giving the plant a thorough watering.
The leaves will become wrinkly and droop when they are dehydrated, so try to avoid this from happening by checking the pot regularly to keep your plant healthy.
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