How to know an interior plant needs water? LOL forums

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Aug 27, 2005
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I have had three interior plants for several years now, they don't seem to grow so much even though I change their dirt and put miracle grow, do u think it's because I just water them once a week? How to know when to water them, sometimes it seems that they get too much water and their leaves start falling when it's not time.

<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr valign="top"><td colspan="2" height="27"> How to Water Houseplants

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More houseplants die from too much water than from not enough. Here's how to determine when your plants need water.

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</td> <td> Steps: </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 1. </td> <td> Poke your finger right into the dirt, about an inch below the surface or up to your first knuckle. If the soil feels dry to the touch below the sur-face, it's time to water. If it feels damp, wait a day or two and test again. </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 2. </td> <td> Use an inexpensive moisture meter to check the moisture level in the soil as an alternative to the fingertip test. </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 3. </td> <td> Provide extra water to plants that require moist soil, such as ferns and philodendrons. The soil should feel like a wrung-out sponge. </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 4. </td> <td> Use self-watering pots if you don't have the time to check your plants daily. These handy pots allow the plants to help themselves to a drink. You will need to check the pots' water reservoirs every two weeks. </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 5. </td> <td> Use tepid or warm water to water tropical plants. Allow the water to sit in the watering can overnight so that chlorine and chemicals can evaporate. This is called 'seasoning' the water. </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 6. </td> <td> Use water from a freshwater aquarium. It contains nutrients, is the proper temperature and has no chemicals or chlorine. </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="2"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="top"> <td align="right" valign="top"> 7. </td> <td> Mist plants frequently. They do take in moisture through their leaves, and the humidity mimics their tropical environment.</td></tr></tbody> </table>

I'm not an expert on houseplants by any means, but it does depend on the plant and the pot. For example, a pot with holes on the bottom will dry out much faster than a pot with no holes, since the water sinks to the bottom. And of course how much water you give them at a time can make a difference.

All I know is that I almost killed an aloe plant (which is supposed to be a resistant desert plant!) by watering it every week! But its pot didn't have any holes and the poor plant was drowning, and some of its leaves started molding from the inside out!
Poor plant .... I cut back on the watering though and it survived

My mom always just told me to water them when you stick your finger in the dirt and the dirt is dry, and her plants seem to be doing fine, except for when the cats eat them
I think she waters her plants once a week (less for the aloe plant, which I gave her when I left for grad school), maybe twice a week for a few of them?

Thank u for ur suggestions girls, I actually do the 'stick ur finger' part but I can't never figure that out

Actually I just thought of something else, if your plants aren't growing but are otherwise healthy, they may just need a bigger pot! Plants grow to the size of their pot, and when there's no more room for more roots, they can quit growing!


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