We often get asked how often to water a plant and how much. This is a question that can be hard to answer, because there are many factors which have to be considered before one could answer this. The sun, wind, humidity and temperature play major roles, also the location, plant type, soil type, and the size and age of the plant must be considered. The first step is to know what the plant prefers. Does it like to be wet, moist or dry? The next step is what type of soil itís in and if itís in a container or the ground. A plant in the ground in general requires less water than one in a pot. This is because the roots arenít contained and they can reach out farther to find more water.
The soil is a major factor, because some soils (such as sandy soils) drain quickly, so the water isnít available to the plant as long. Clay based soils, once wet, tend to hold moisture longer. Consider the location of the plant. Is it in full sun, partial shade or full shade? Is it a hot area or a cool area? Is it a windy area, or a still area? Is it humid? Light, wind and high temperatures cause moisture evaporation to happen quicker than humid, shady, still, and cool areas. The size of the plant and its age matter because the older and larger the plant the more water it will require. Most plants when they start getting too dry, the color of their leaves become dull or in some cases fades, and next they begin to droop and wilt. This in many plants causes yellowing leaves and leaf drop if itís left too long unattended, and may eventually cause death to certain plants. If a plant has too much water, it can also cause yellowing leaves and wilting. Watching the soil is a good indicator. Sticking your finger in an inch will let you know if the soil is wet, moist, or dry.
Mays Greenhouse ©2012