Believe it or not, plants are now a trending hobby among Malaysians since the first MCO (in 2020) started.
If you think you have no luck with keeping plants alive, it’s likely because you don’t know how to water them ;D
In fact, this is where people usually go wrong with plant care. Most plants actually die from being overwatered than under-watered!
We like to live by these simple rules:
- Wet, soggy soil - No!
- Moist to dry soil - Yes!
It's best to water your plants in the morning so that they get to dry off excess water during the day.
And there you have it. Keep to those simple rules and you're on your way to taking care of most plants (so your grandparents won't laugh at you).
But if you REALLY want to be sure, here are sure-signs to not overwater them.
There is actually no one specific answer to watering problems but we can teach you the signs to look out for. After all, prevention is better than cure!
1. Watch out for wilting or drooping leaves (when soil is dry).
Plant enthusiasts will tell you to wait until the top of the soil is dry, and then water the plant. So when their leaves start to wilt or droop after several days, your plant is telling you that it wants water.
Make sure to water the soil thoroughly (not on the leaves) until water drips out of the drainage hole.
Do be mindful that drooping plants can mean other unrelated problems too (overfeeding, infected root or over-exposure to direct sunlight ).
2. Feel the soil ( with your finger).
The easiest way to check if your plants need water is to stick a finger in the soil and feel it. When you stick in 2-3 inches (7cm) deep, feel how moist or dry the soil is first. Be careful not to damage its roots when you use this tip.
3. Check for brown tips at the leaves
Leaves tend to get dry, wrinkled or crispy looking on the outer edges if you don’t give them enough water. However, be warned that yellow or limp leaves can mean an overwatering problem.
4. Be aware of crispy-dry leaves and young leaves dropping.
Some plants tend to get droopy when they are thirsty and it's best to water them just before they turn into a brown-looking, crispy leaf tip.
While mature leaves drop as a way of renewing their foliage, young leaves are often likely to drop when they are underwatered, so do look out for this pattern.
5. Test the weight of the plant by picking it up.
A common practice in nurseries when watering plants, carrying your plant may help you know when to water it. If the soil is dry, the pot will be lighter than usual.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with its weight, it becomes easier to know your plant's needs.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, it's as simple as that!
Apart from knowing how to water your plants, get to know them individually by watching over them every other day (place them somewhere that you will see/visit often). That way you will get to understand their water needs better as well as eliminate potential problems.