Container Plant Watering: How Much And How Often To Water Potted Plants
How much and when to water your potted plants depends on several factors such as the type of plant, climate zone, soil types, lighting conditions etc. There are different opinions about what kind of containers are best for various kinds of plants. Some people like to keep their pots small and compact so they can easily fit into a backpack or purse. Others prefer larger and fancier containers with lots of room inside.
So which one do you choose?
The answer to this question will depend on your personal preferences, budget, space constraints and other considerations. But if you’re still not sure then read on!
What’s the Best Container For My Potted Plants?
It all comes down to your preference. If you have a large garden and want to grow everything from seedlings to full grown plants then you’ll probably need something bigger than a standard pot. You might even consider getting a hydroponic system instead of growing in soil. A hydroponics system allows you to control the amount of nutrients your plants receive, making it easier for beginners who don’t yet understand the importance of proper nutrition.
If your goal is just to grow some herbs indoors then a regular pot would be fine.
If you want to take things to the extreme then an aeroponics system would be perfect for you. With this type of hydroponic system, plant roots are sprayed a fine mist of water and nutrients continuously. The mist either falls from above or is pumped through pipes. There is no soil involved at all so it cuts down on time-consuming care and makes watering much easier!
Just remember that any type of hydroponic system requires more maintenance than plants in soil.
Containers For Specific Types Of Plants
There are many different types of potted plants out there so it’s best to choose a container that is specific to the type of plant you want. Herbs, for example, require a pot with large holes at the bottom so the soil can drain well and nutrients don’t get trapped. It is not uncommon for water to collect in the bottom of pots containing herbs, this is what causes most of them to die.
If you want to grow something like a cactus, then a pot with a drainage hole wouldn’t be a good idea since their thick roots trap a lot of water and would overflow out the hole. You’ll need to either add a bit of gravel at the bottom of the pot before adding soil or get a pot that has an extra deep base for it to sit in.
Cacti and succulents grow in some pretty amazing shapes and sizes. They’re actually not all that difficult to grow if you give them the right environment and plenty of sunlight. Just make sure they don’t get too much water and you’ll be fine.
Watering Indoor Plants: How Much And How Often Is Enough?
As we’ve already mentioned, there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to watering plants. Some plants that grow in wet environments need less water than those that hail from a dry environment. So it all boils down to the kind of plant you want to grow, where it originated from and how big it’s getting.
If possible, try to stick with plants that are native to your area because they are used to the climate and don’t require as much attention or water.
There are two ways to be sure you’re not over watering your plants: the first is by using a moisture meter often sold in garden centers and home improvement stores. These can be a bit expensive for someone just starting out, so the second (and much cheaper) way is to stick your finger in the soil. If it’s wet then don’t water. You really can’t mess this up and it’ll save you a lot of money!
In general, most plants need about an inch of water a week. So if you don’t have a moisture meter, just water your plant each week and when the soil starts to dry out, give it some more water. An easy way to remember this is by thinking of the word W-A-K-E (week).
If you’re busy and can’t commit to giving your plants water every week then there is another solution: the self-watering plant pot. It’s a pot with a reservoir that holds a certain amount of water for your plant. The pot is connected to the soil with a wick that soaks up the water from the reservoir as needed. You just need to fill up the reservoir with water and the rest takes care of itself.
They’re really quite convenient and you don’t have to remember to water your plants nearly as much.
Caring For Your Houseplants: Repotting And Transplanting
You’re growing cannabis plants in a container of some sort right?
Well it shouldn’t come as any surprise that your plants will eventually need to be transplanted into a bigger container or possibly into the ground. Just like with watering, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. If you do it the wrong way then your plant will suffer a lot of stress, which could lead to loss of cannabis flowers or even death.
Your plant should be repotted just as the name suggests: when it’s in need of a new pot.
How will you know?
Well your plant will tell you. If you’re taking good care of your plants then they shouldn’t be filling up their pots too quickly, but it will happen and when it does there are a couple of telltale signs that you’ll need to repot them.
The first sign is that your plant will start to lean toward the light. This happens when a plant has outgrown its pot and can no longer grow toward the light as quickly as it would like. The second sign is that your plant will start to tilt because the weight of the soil is pulling on the roots. This is especially common with trees growing in containers.
Now when you repot your plant there are a few different reasons for doing so. The first, and most common, is that you’re simply transplanting your plant into a bigger container. This allows your plant to have more room to grow and gives you the ability to add more nutrients to the soil. Another reason would be if you suspect that there are pests or disease in the soil.
Finally, you may want to repot your plant to change the type of soil that it’s growing in.
Let’s start with the easiest first.
Repotting For Larger Containers
This is the easiest of the three options; you simply transplant your plant into a bigger container and refill the container with soil. If you’ve been taking care of your plant then it should have a strong root system, which will make this process easy.
Begin by using a trowel or small shovel to gently remove the plant from its current container. Try to keep the root ball as intact as possible when you do this. Next, find a new container that you would like to put your plant in. I recommend either going up only one size (from a four inch pot to a six inch pot for example) or going down one size (from a six inch pot to a four inch pot for example).
Going up more than one pot size can cause massive root trauma and lead to your plant’s death.
Sources & references used in this article:
Media and mixes for container-grown plants: a manual on the preparation and use of growing media for pot plants by BR Bunt – 2012 – books.google.com
Buried clay pot irrigation: a little known but very efficient traditional method of irrigation by DA Bainbridge – Agricultural Water Management, 2001 – Elsevier
An integrated method for irrigation scheduling of potted plants by L Bacci, P Battista, B Rapi – Scientia horticulturae, 2008 – Elsevier
Method and apparatus for watering potted plants by F Gergek – US Patent App. 10/093,510, 2002 – Google Patents
Display tray for potted plants by AM Dauernheim – US Patent 1,989,403, 1935 – Google Patents