As the days become longer and hotter, you can expect the needs of your indoor plants to change. Warmer weather and increased hours of sunlight mean your green friends dry out faster in between drinks, and thus, your watering routines must change if you want to keep your newly acquired plants from dying on you.
But don’t take that as a cue to drench your plants right now. In most cases, plants will perish from one of two extremes: either you’ll have neglected them completely and they’ll shrivel into brown crispy oblivion, or you’ll unknowingly overwater them and witness their slow and painful death. Overwatering is actually harder for them to recover from, but we’re here to help ensure you do neither.
Of course, every plant variety has different needs, but in the summer months, you should expect to water your indoor plants every one or two weeks. Feel around in the soil first and if the top two inches of dirt feel bone dry, then give your green friends a good dose of hydration.
Importantly, though, is the time of day in which you water your plants. And while you may never have thought it mattered as to when you whip out the watering can, experts will always, always encourage watering to occur first thing in the morning.
“The best time of day to water plants is in the morning before the sun becomes hot. This lets your plants absorb water without excess loss to evaporation, while ensuring the foliage has dried before nighttime, reducing the risk of plant diseases,” an article on Smart Garden Guide reads.
When plants enter the evening damp (ie. after an afternoon watering session), the chances of root rot, plus fungus gnat infestation increases. A such, it is always better to water plants in the early light of the morning, allowing the water plenty of time to be absorbed by the roots before the extreme heat of the day.
If you find you’re forgetful and have a history of either neglecting plants or overwatering them, then the internet has yet another tip for you.
An ice cube hack is doing the rounds for its easy convenience and effectiveness in preventing overwatering, and it’s simple enough for even seriel black thumbs to remember and not stuff up.
All you have to do is pop a few ice cube in your pot plants that require watering. As the water melts, your plants will have ample time to absorb the water without the risk of being oversaturated.
While the method is said to work well on plants that flower, note that not all fronds are as receptive — tropical plants like ferns can experience shock if watered with ice cold water.
Simply put, your plants will have the best chance of survival if you remember to water them with regular tap water in the mornings, only after allowing them to dry off in between drinks. If you need a little extra help, you can set a fortnightly reminder on your phone, or employ the help of a dedicated plant app.
Planta is a free app that lets you log your plants species and will send you a push notification when it’s time for you to water them. Now you have excuse.