5 Common Mistakes When Watering Plants
Watering is a common task for all of us who have plants in the house. But just because it's done often doesn't always mean it's done right.
Mistakes are often made out of ignorance. For this reason, today I am going to emphasize this vital need. Here are some of the most common mistakes when watering plants. I'm sure we've all made at least one.
1. Treat all plants equally
One of the most common beginner mistakes is to treat all species in the same way. Plants have different requirements for light, temperature, humidity and water.
A vivid example might be to imagine placing a plant like a hydrangea on the patio in the July sun. If it miraculously survives, it will water and mist its leaves daily.
However, under the same conditions, any cactus would tolerate being watered just once a week.
All cacti and succulents are plants that need little water. Most flavorings, with the important exception of mints, also react in a similar way. In the trees: acacia, pine or those of the genus "Prunus" stand out from the rest in this.
My advice is to educate yourself about the biology of your plants so you know where to start.
There are varieties that easily get problems in the throat or at the base of the stem and others in the leaves. To avoid this, it is advisable to always water carefully, getting the soil but not the plant wet.
Some species are especially fragile and need to be watered by placing a plate of water under the pot. Remember to remove these, after a while the plant has absorbed what it needs. Some plants that receive water in this way are: clivias, cyclamen, peace lilies or African violets.
Acidophilic plants, on the other hand, have a different kind of mania. Demanding on acidic soils, these plants do not like tap water with too much lime, as this raises the pH of the substrate.
To solve it, you can use rainwater or distilled water for irrigation. Another option is to counteract the alkaline effect with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice.
2. Forget to water the plants
It seems obvious to say that you should water them with some regularity, but sometimes we forget that we have plants in the house.
You cannot ask us for water and if we find that the leaves are already limp, wrinkled, yellow or in the worst case no leaves.
If you are watering manually, it is best to establish a routine so as not to neglect yourself.
3. Always water with the same frequency
Based on what was said in the previous point, you may be wondering: does this mean that we should always water at the same frequency? The answer is a clear no.
This variable is determined by many conditions other than the cultured species.
Circumstances under which you should water more
- If there is little rain, you need to water regularly to make up for the lack.
- If the substrate in the garden is sandy, you should water the plants regularly; This type of soil hardly stores water.
- The material of the container is also important. Unlike plastic pots, clay pots are porous, so water loss will always be greater.
- In the warmer months they need more moisture because the leaves evaporate more moisture and the soil evaporates more.
- High wind episodes also dry out the plants. In places with normal windows, more frequent watering is required.
- In the flowering and especially fruiting phase, the plants not only need nutrients, but also an increased water supply.
- If the samples are in a jar, the periodicity will depend on the size of the container. The smaller the pot, the more often you need to water it.
- If your plant is in full sun, it will need more water than if it is in the shade or in a cooler place.
4. Go overboard with irrigation
Much more serious than being under water is too much water, so when in doubt it is better to wait. Far more plants die from benevolence than from lack of water.
If you water too much, the water will cover any gaps between the particles of the substrate and force all the air out. The roots of the plant cannot breathe and die. Moisture saturation in the soil can also cause fungal diseases or nematodes that damage these roots. Danger!
The symptoms in the plant are similar to those caused by lack of water - the plant wilts and the leaves fall off - so it is usually watered even more, making the problem worse.
5. Lack of good drainage
Closely related to the previous point is the problem of water accumulation due to improper drainage. To avoid this, make holes in the pots suitable for planting and always use the substrate specified for each type.
Cacti and succulents, for example, need loose soil because they do not tolerate moisture well. In this case, the sandy type, which retains less water, is best suited.
A good practice is to put gravel in the bottom of the pot before pouring in the growing medium. In this way, the insulation of excess moisture is promoted, facilitating the aeration of the roots.
As you can see, watering plants is not as easy as it seems. Not all are watered in the same way or with the same frequency.
To top it off, external circumstances also play a role. Practice alone will give you the experience you want, but for now you have this little guide.