Container Garden Basics: How and When to Water Potted Plants

“How often do I need to water?” Is usually the first question I get from clients after completing their container gardens. It’s an important matter, and the simple, honest answer is that you ought to water as often as the plant requires. But determining when, how much and how often can be more complicated. A number of factors come into play: container place, type of plant material, climate and other environmental factors. Observation and knowing your plants’ requirements can allow you to learn about your container garden’s watering needs.

Planting ideas for your container garden

Kate Michels Landscape Design

Plant Needs

Reading the plant label should inform you whether it prefers moist, medium or dry dirt. Cacti and other succulents, such as in the container shown here, prefer the soil to completely dry out between waterings. If watered too often, these plants will decrease. Some plants, such as numerous tropicals, prefer moist soil. This means that you don’t wish to let the soil become dry to the touch. You can also discover the water needs by individual plant in the gardening section.

Kim Gamel

The tall papyrus here may even withstand being put in a pond. Knowing the plant demands ahead of time can allow you to choose a healthful container.

If you’re still not sure how much water a plant needs, see it. If it starts to go limp, it needs water. Just be sure that it doesn’t go too badly limp, as that may permanently damage the plant.


Assess the Soil

The best way to tell whether a plant needs water is to feel the dirt. If the first inch or so of soil is dry to the touch and the plant contains average water requirements, it is time to water. In case the plant requires moist soil, you don’t want it to get dry to your touch. This may indicate watering at least daily, and more often in drier climates.

Kim Gamel

Just How Much Is Enough?

A general guideline on how much water to provide a container plant is to water until you notice water flowing out of the pot’s drainage holes. You would like to ensure that the root mass is sufficiently watered.

Nevertheless, if the kettle gets completely dried, the dirt will contract and allow the water to run through the drainage holes too quickly. If that is true, you might need to replicate the watering process a couple of times to enable the soil to become rehydrated.

Even though it’s only rained on an outdoor container, you will still wish to confirm the dirt, as plant leaves tend to divert a few of the rain away from the soil.

J. Peterson Garden Design

How to Water

It sounds simple, but there are actually preferred methods of watering container plants. For example, it’s better to wash the dirt rather than the leaves of plants, as moist leaves are more susceptible to mould and fungus.

It’s also much better to water your plants in the morning when plant roots are more open minded, and it’ll provide the plants the capacity to resist the heat of the day. If you must water in the day, give the plants enough time to dry before evening drops, keep them healthy.

What to Utilize

You can use a wand attachment with a hose or a simple watering can, as long as you follow the advice above. In case you’ve got a lot of containers to water at the same time, you might choose to invest in a trickle irrigation system. Many nurseries these useful devices, which may be put on timers so that your plants may be watered even if you are out for days at a time. The emitters are placed near the soil so the water may reach the roots quickly.

Container Garden Basics: The Dirt on Soil
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