Irrigation is one of the most important points in the care of each plant and, therefore, special attention should always be paid to it. Without proper watering, no plant can develop well and, although each has irrigation needs that can be very different, it is important to keep in mind some points that are common to most plant species.
If you want to learn some tips about when to water the plants to know if they need water or not, join us in this article.
When to water plants – a basic guide
Do you wonder how often to water the plants? It must be borne in mind that the water needs of each plant are different, as well as that when we talk about irrigation it can be as harmful for the plant to fall short as to overdo it.
Plant species that are more resistant to drought , such as succulent plants and those in dry areas, tend to tolerate excess humidity quite poorly. If you water them too much and puddle their substrate, it is very likely that they will be attacked by fungi or their roots will rot and the plant can even end up dying.
Likewise, bulbs, in general, do not tolerate excess irrigation once they have formed the underground bulb itself and too high humidity will damage them.
Other plants, on the other hand, do not tolerate humidity in their leaves, and must be watered by drip or with the method of the dish filled with water under the pot to prevent fungi from settling on their leaves.
And at the opposite pole we find many species of tropical plants , which require constant humidity , both on the ground and in the environment, to be able to develop properly and flourish. In this type of plants, it is important to maintain adequate levels of humidity in its substrate, and to water whenever we notice that the surface layer of it has dried excessively.
There is no golden rule that works for all species, but in general you should always avoid waterlogging regardless of the type of plant and its specific needs. Even species that require more moisture and constant watering tend to prefer well- drained soil in pots and in the ground to maintain a moist substrate, but never waterlogged.
How to know when plants need water
Pay attention to your plants on a daily basis and, in this way, you will be able to observe the visible signals that they themselves give when they need more or less water. Take these factors into account to know if plants need water and should be watered or not:
- For example, if in winter your camomiles needed to be watered every 15 days, with the arrival of the hot months it is certain that they will need more water. Most plants spend the cold months in a vegetative state where they require much less moisture and nutrients, but this process is reversed in the spring and summer months.
- If the edges of the leaves turn yellow or you see the petals of their flowers dry prematurely, it is likely that the plant needs a greater contribution of water or, that it needs more shade.
- Another detail you can look at is the substrate itself. Except for the most drought-resistant species, most plants should be watered when the surface layer (up to 2 or 3 cm deep) of the substrate appears dry and brittle.
- If, on the other hand, your plant seems to lose strength in its stems, which fall languidly, or some of its leaves or parts show dark spots due to the attack of fungi or rot, the plant is probably enduring excessive levels of humidity. In this case, water it less and put it in the sun.
Common mistakes when watering plants
There are some very common failures or mistakes in plant watering. The most common of these, especially among the less experienced in gardening and horticulture, is overwatering . As we have already said, there are signs to see when a plant is overwatering and you have to think that watering your pot will hardly do you any good.
Another common failure is trying to water your plants on vacation by flooding them before you leave. That will only weaken the plant as long as the excess moisture lasts, then make it sensitive to drought once the water evaporates. The best that can be done in these cases is to use home drip irrigation systems, such as those that can be done with a simple container of water and several cords.
It is also common the mistake of watering all plants with the technique of sprinkling water on their leaves and flowers . While there are species that require this practice in some climates, others do not tolerate it well at all, so it is vital to be well informed about what type of irrigation each plant that we have at home needs.
Finally, there is the system of irrigation by dish under the pot. It is true that some specific species, in which it is convenient to keep moisture away from the upper part of the plant, benefit from this system. But in others it is just the opposite, and the roots are especially sensitive to humidity. Do not practice this form of immersion irrigation without first informing yourself if it is convenient for that particular plant.