By Kathee Mierzejewski
A lot of people who work in offices enjoy having potted plants around because the windows don’t open so they bring a little of the “untouchable outdoors” inside. Since plants need water, it is important to know how to water a plant.
How Much Water Should I Give My Plant?
Over-watering is the most common cause of death in indoor plants. If the roots of a plant are surrounded by water, they cannot absorb oxygen. Does a plant need water or oxygen to survive? It needs both, so over-watering kills the plant by rotting the roots and preventing the plant from absorbing much needed oxygen.
There is no easy answer to “how much water should I give my plant.” This amount could depend on the type of plant you have, where it is located, how old the plant is and the type and size of the pot. Even soil conditions come into play as some soil holds more water than others.
Plants with large or thin leaves usually need water more often than succulent plants. Does a succulent plant need water? Yes, but succulent plants have fleshier stems and leaves and can store more water during drought conditions. Therefore, they don’t need as much water.
During dormant conditions, or just after heavy flowering or growth periods, plants require watering less often.
You might ask yourself, “How little water will kill a plant?” Truth be known, it varies. How long can a plant last without water? Once it dries out, not that long.
Water your plant whenever it is necessary. The best way to know when it is necessary is to touch the soil. If the plant soil is dry to the touch, does the plant need water? Yes! Further, if you tap the pot and it sounds dull, the soil is moist below the surface, so your plant is probably safe. If it sounds hollow, watering is needed.
How to Water a Plant
When the soil is dry, water the plant thoroughly. In fact, water the plant until the water comes out of the bottom of the planter. This will guarantee that the bottom roots in the planter have gotten water as well. However, don’t let the pot sit in the water on the saucer. Empty the saucer once it is done draining.
Make sure the water temperature is between 62 and 72 degrees F. You don’t want to shock the plant. Finally, keep in mind that if the plant wilts, you should still check the soil before watering because wilting doesn’t necessarily mean the plant needs water.
Now that you know how to water a plant and how little water will kill a plant, you should have healthy office or home plants for your enjoyment from now on.