Effective Water Management for Indoor Plants

Guest Post: By Ana Symraina

Last Updated: 9th October, 2019

The Key to Plant Care

The key to a long and healthy plant life is water management.  Indoor plant care is very manageable with the most basic of information.

The Intelligent Ice-cream STICK method is brilliant yet very simple and applies to all plants in all types of containers:

If in doubt as to whether your plant requires a watering, use an Ice-cream stick to test for moisture.  Just as you would use a toothpick to check to see if your muffins are done; insert an Ice-cream stick into the base of the plant stems.  Pull the stick out and either notice if any soil is clinging to the stick.  If soil clings to the stake, this is an indication there is moisture in the root zone.  Alternatively, feel the stick for moisture levels (dry, moist or wet).  Depending on the care for your particular plant, you can make a watering decision from there. To extend the life of your Ice-cream Stick, remove it from the plant and “keep it in a dry place between uses.

Light levels are the most relative factor associated with watering routines.  Plants do require varying water management in association with their unique characteristics but light levels are the most important factor.

As light levels increase and decrease; so should our watering routines.  The changing seasons require a little extra attention as this is when we need to retrain ourselves with our watering routines.  In general; plan to increase your watering in Spring then maintain this more frequent ‘summer routine’ until Fall when watering should be tapered off to a less frequent ‘winter routine’.

As a simple example for an average indoor plant; if you are watering once per week in Summer, your Winter watering will be reduced to once every 2 weeks.

General Plant Care guidelines for glass vases with pebbles, sand, bark or decorative granules:

  • Resist any temptation to fill the vase with water
  • Water sparingly according to the label directions
  • Little to no water should remain in the bottom of the vase following watering.

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