Even if we do get some rainfall, pot plants will still need to be watered separately to ensure successful growth- follow our watering how-to for best results. Following our ‘waterwise tips’ from June is crucial, however rather than showing you how to save water, this blog is about how to use it. Knowing the requirements of your plants is vital to their growth and is also ever-changing.
Here are our tips on how to assess the watering needs of your plants and respond to them accordingly;
– Taking a glance can be misleading; be warned that whilst the top layer of compost in your container may look dry, this may not be the same all of the way through.
– Lift them! A simple test on small pots is lifting them up; feeling very light is a clear indication that the need more water.
– Inspect the roots. You can also lift the plant out of its pot to check that you have given it a thorough and even watering. This is simply a random check that will confirm that you have the right technique- we don’t recommend doing this to every plant every day!
– Root deep! Push your finger right into the compost to get an accurate feeling of how moist the soil is; when you can feel even the slightest bit of moisture it means that there is enough for the plant.
– Water the compost and the base of the plant. Watering anywhere other than here, such as onto the foliage or flowers is completely pointless because the plants’ roots never get to use this water.
– How established is your plant? Older plants need a drenching once in a while so that the water can spread through the roots and compost. In contrast, young plants need a small amount of water and more often.
– Stay away from pressure! High pressure from hoses can prevent the water from percolating into the compost sufficiently and can even misplace compost or damage the roots.
– Know when you have overwatered. Overwatering starves roots of air and unfortunately the symptoms are similar to an under watered plant. These include wilt, aborted flowers and stunted growth.
Fixing your mistakes.
– For under watered plants; these need to be watered slowly and more than once. Each time check the moisture. If the plant is hugely dry then the water will run straight through the pot without being absorbed. In this case the plant must be submerged in water until the compost is sufficiently moist and then be left in the shade.
– For overwatered plants; stop watering these and move them to a shaded area. If its possible to do so then you should lift the plant out of its container. This will allow more water to evaporate. If you can see that a lot of roots have died, simply cut them off and if it is necessary replant the plant into a smaller plant. Also prune the foliage to redirect the plants energy and reduce any added stress.
We have a huge range of watering equipment in store. Including the 6.5L watering can which is now ONLY £3.00! The perfect size for watering pot plants without becoming too much of a strain on your arm.