Water: Do’s & Dont’s Water: Do’s & Dont’s

Inspect your plants on a daily basis. Look among the foliage for brown and dead leaves. Plant diseases love rotting and decaying matter, so remove any dead leaves or spent flowers. Watering is the most important aspect of taking care of your plants. Many people water too much or not enough. Before you water, stick a finger–up to the first knuckle–in the soil to see how moist it is. If the soil below your knuckle is dry, your plant needs to be watered. One of the most common mistakes is watering a little bit every day. Instead, let the plant dry out to one-knuckle depth and water thoroughly until the water drains out the bottom of the pot. Remove any water sitting in the saucer after it drains from the pot–wait until the water has drained for half an hour and then discard it. Leaving water standing in a saucer will hinder oxygen circulation to the roots. Excess water in the saucer is the root of many plant diseases.

Make sure you give plants plenty of space for good air circulation, and keep plants from touching each other. You can pass diseases from plant to plant if leaves touch, and it's harder to water plants when they're too close together. Isolate diseased plants.

After you get a feel for your plants and when they need water you can simply pick them up and feel how heavy they are. You can also get a hydro meter from wal-mart for cheap. Make sure each plant has its own pot so you can individually monitor their growth and diagnose problems.

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