Newsletter: How Much Water

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31 Dec 2017 - How much water?


How much water?

Q: I have purchased many tropical plants from you throughout the summer and now I need to think about how not to kill them overwintering in my NY apartment. I was told that overwatering can be a big problem for house plants in winter. How much should I water, and how many times per week?

A: Overwatering in the number one cause of the houseplant death. But be sure not to underwater, either.
- Don't water on the fixed schedule, get to know your plant's needs instead. Most plants only need watering when the top 1/2" of potting mix is try. gently poke your finger into the soil to test it. Some experience gardeners go by weight of the pot - a very light pot will have a dry mix.
- Aim to make the potting mix moist, but not wet. Most plants hate sitting in soggy potting mix, so always let excess water drain away.
- Potting mix in terra cotta pots dries out more quickly than that in plastic or ceramic pots, because terra cotta is a porous material.
- Most plants need less water in winter because they are not actively growing and need this period of winter rest. However some plants are winter bloomers and they may need regular watering providing bright light to produce flowers, for example clerodendrums.