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Is There A Correct Way To Water Your Plants?

And how to tell if you're over watering or under watering them.
PHOTO: COTTONBRO/PEXELS
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As a kid, whenever I had projects that involved planting seeds or trying to grow my own plants in school—and believe me when I say, I had plenty—I couldn't quite grasp the proper way to water them. Like, if I didn't see any water on the surface or if the soil didn't look wet, it must not be getting enough. Of course, thanks to the Internet, I now know that was such a big mistake! So if you're a beginner plantita and have no idea if you're watering your plants properly, here's what you need to know. 

Plants have varying water needs. Succulents, for example, only need to be watered once every seven to 10 days because you need to let the entire root system dry first. If you add too much water, they will actually start rotting. But there are also plants, like herbs, that fall at the other end of the spectrum—those that need to be watered every other day. And of course, there are the more "forgiving" kinds like the ZZ plant, spider plant, and honestly most indoor plants that need to be watered every five days. 

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How to properly water plants

If you have a potted plant, slowly pour water to the base of the stem; let the soil absorb it and wait for the excess water to exit through the drainage holes of the pot. This is to make sure that every single root of the plant gets water. Keep a plate underneath so it collects all the extra water. It doesn't really matter what kind of water container you use as long as you're mindful of the pressure; too much water pressure can hurt some of your more delicate plants. 

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Are you over watering your plants?

Did you know more plants die of over watering than dehydration? It's a common misconception among new halamoms that the more water your plant gets, the happier they are. Yikes! According to Apartment Therapy, your plant may be getting too much water if:

  1. It has wilted, yellow leaves. 
  2. It looks limp and don't perk up even after you water them. 
  3. It smells moldy. 
  4. It's attracting insects.
  5. It has spots or blisters underneath the leaves (which is also a sign of root rot). 
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If luck is on your side and your plant is hanging in there, try repotting it with fresh soil to bring it back to life. If, however, it's time to move on, attempt to propogate a new plant by taking some trimmings. 

Or under watering them?

A very clear sign that your plant is not getting enough water is if its leaves are brown and shriveled. It's true that most houseplants aren't fussy, but make sure you don't neglect them by letting the soil completely dry up. Because over watering and under watering share similar symptoms, one easy way to check on your plant is by touching the soil; if it feels like dust, it's probably not getting enough TLC. Simply water your plants, check that the leaves perk back up, and apologize for your mistake, lol. 

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