‘Tell-tale signs’ you’re watering indoor plants incorrectly

Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

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Houseplants have been proven to reduce stress levels and increase people’s moods. Whether you’ve just started your houseplant journey or are planning to, indoor plant watering can be one of the most tricky aspects to get right.

Many houseplants that can be found in UK homes come from tropical or exotic climates that are native to warm, frost-free parts of the world.

This means many indoor plants like humidity which can be difficult to replicate in UK homes, especially in winter.

Although the weather is cold during the winter months, our homes tend to be too dry and hot due to our central heating systems which can dry plants out.

With this in mind, Sean Lade, the director of Easy Garden Irrigation, has shared his knowledge on how the “tell-tale” signs of over and under-watering houseplants.

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Sean said the amount of water needed for your plant sill vary depending on the type of plant and its origin.

A cactus, for example, which normally survives in extremely hot and dry conditions without water will require much less water than an orchid which can usually be found in rainforests.

It’s important to research the specific houseplant you own for accurate guidance on how often it should be watered.

The amount of water your houseplant needs will also depend on the time of year and temperature inside the house which is important to take into consideration.

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Sean continued: “There are a few key tell-tale signs that can be used to identify whether your plant is being watered correctly which will help you to understand if you might be under or over-watering your plant.

“As a rule, if your plant’s leaves are yellow or browning this is an indication of overwatering and leaves may also wilt.

“However, in some plants, this may be a sign of underwatering, so do plant-specific research.

“Check the moisture in the soil, if it is very damp then this is an obvious sign of over-watering and you may notice a white fungus growing on the surface of the soil.”

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Another factor to take into consideration is pests and insects which love damp soil.

If your plant is “attracting pests”, this is most likely because it is being overwatered.

The pests are likely thriving off the moist vegetation that has been created by overwatering.

Sean also shared the “main points” to look out for when it comes to underwatering.

He explained: “When it comes to noticing the signs of an underwatered plant, the main points to look out for are drooping, lifeless and even curled or wrinkled leaves and the soil pulling away from the side of the pot.

“If you have realised that the growth of your plant is minimal or no progress has been made whatsoever, this may also be due to lack of water, but check.”

Some houseplants that need little water include snake plants, spider plants, ZZ plants, ponytail palm and cacti.

Houseplants that need more water include ferns, orchids, pathos and philodendrons.

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