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How to water your plants

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Watering your plants isn’t quite as simple as just pouring water on them and waiting for them to grow strong and healthy. Believe it or not, there really is a right way of watering plants, whether they’re outdoor varieties growing in your garden or houseplants. If you’re at all unsure about how to water your plants correctly, just follow this simple step by step guide and we’ll help you get them watered and growing beautifully in no time at all.

Work out how much water your plant needs

Outdoor plants

Every variety of plant has its own specific needs when it comes to being watered, but it’s relatively easy to determine the amount of moisture your plants need according to their type. For example, the grass that makes up your lawn will need far more water than a cactus, while certain flowers might need a different amount than a tomato plant.

Houseplants

The amount you water your houseplants comes down to what sort of plants you have and where you have them – for example, a plant placed on a windowsill will dry out quicker than one that is left away from direct sunlight. Always make sure to read the care instructions attached to the plant when you buy it to get a general idea of how much water your plant needs.

Test your soil

There are two easy ways of testing the soil in potted plants to see how moist it is. The first is to simply press a finger into the soil – if it feels dry you’ll need to water the plant.

The second method is to try thumping the side of the pot with your hand. A dull thump will indicate that the soil is sufficiently moist, while a sharp knock suggests that the soil has dried out and shrunk away from the edges of the pot.

An easy way of keeping track of how much water your outdoor plants are getting each week is to use a rain gauge. This handy tool just presses into the soil alongside your plants and allows you to keep an eye on how much water they’re getting after each shower. You can then supplement the difference yourself each week by watering more during dry periods and less during times of heavy or frequent rain showers.

When to water your plants

Outdoor plants

When watering your outdoor plants in the summer, make sure you do it either early in the morning or in the evening so that the sun doesn’t evaporate the moisture too quickly. Watering under a hot sun also means you risk scorching your grass or garden. At other times of the year you can water at any time during the day.

Houseplants

Indoor plants can be watered as and when needed. Make sure you don’t wait until the soil is too dry, but also take care not to oversaturate it either.

Adjust the amount of water for each plant

As a general rule, it’s worth remembering that young plants will need less water but on a more frequent basis, while more mature plants will happily take more water on fewer occasions in order to thrive.

Drench & drain

When watering houseplants and potted plants, allow enough water to go into the pot so that it drains out of the bottom as this will ensure the roots have received enough moisture. If the pot stands in a tray or saucer, make sure you don’t allow the plant to sit in the water. A simple rule to remember is drench, drain, and don’t drown.

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