21 November 2007

To water or not to water...that is the question! Indoor Gardening Part 3

My husband's favorite saying is "Don't kill 'em with kindness!" Sometimes, we are so used to having to water our plants so much during the summer months, that we tend to over-water them indoors, thinking the plants need the same amount of water. The simplest way to tell if your indoor plants need water is to touch the soil in the pot. If the soil is moist, leave it alone. It is usually OK to allow a plant to wilt slightly as most plants recover quickly and suffer no long term effects. Just don't drown them the next time you water them. Over-watering takes oxygen away from the roots of the plant. Oxygen is required for a healthy root system. Constantly wet soil also provides prime opportunity for fungi and bacteria to set up housekeeping and attack plant roots and stems. Many times there is no cure for these problems other than to try to take a cutting of a healthy portion of the plant, try to root it, and start over. Plants in very large containers may be more prone to over-watering because even though the top layer of the soil seems dry, it is still wet deep into the pot where the majority of the root system is located. Nowadays, there are many creative containers which help to regulate the amount of water a plant receives and they may well be worth the investment.

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