Tuesday Oct 17th, 2017


How Often Should You Water Your Plants?

Is your green thumb failing you when it comes to houseplants? It’s probably the water! Here’s a master list of how often you should water the most common houseplants to get you started.

Peace Lily
Water: Once a week

As its name suggests, this plant is low maintenance, pretty and actually contributes to your general well-being because of its air-purifying qualities. The key to having this plant bloom its stunning white flowers? Don’t overwater. Check in every week to see if the top of the soil is dry- if it’s still damp, no need to water. Washing the plant under the shower or wiping down the leaves once a year also helps it to process sunlight better.

English Ivy
Water: Mist daily

An elegant plant commonly found in Canadian households, the English Ivy needs bright light to thrive. Keep it in a partly shaded area where it can get enough light (but not too much direct sunlight) – without light, these plants tend to attract pests like whiteflies and mealybugs. Mist it daily to clean the leaves but don’t overwater – ivies prefer slightly dry soil and need to have a good drainage system since they wilt in excess water or overly wet soil.

Snake Plant
Water: Once every 3 weeks

Touted to be one of the best houseplants ever thanks to them surviving long periods of water starvation (especially when you are away on vacation) and for their beautiful, artistic leaves, the snake plant needs minimal light to grow. They thrive in indirect sunlight and need to be watered only when the soil dries up. When watering, avoid wetting the leaves. Also, they rot easily so plant them in free draining soil (high on sand with less clay). Fun fact: It’s also called the “mother-in-law’s tongue”.

Water: Roughly once a week

The moment you see the leaves of a philodendron turning yellow, you know that you have been overwatering (notice a trend here?). Newly potted plants need careful watering in the early days so that the roots don’t dry off, but keep in mind that the soil shouldn’t get soggy. Mist the leaves two to three times a day and you should be good to go. They tolerate low light but not very dim or the leaves tend to be smaller than usual and too much direct sunlight will simply burn the foliage off. Keep away from kids as they may spark off harmful reactions if eaten and irritate the skin and eyes.

Golden Pothos
Water: roughly once a week

When you get a Golden Pothos, also called the Devil’s ivy, remember to water around the container in which it is planted. Again, don’t overwater but keep the soil hydrated. They grow well when watered liberally during the growing season- in winters, remember to add just a moderate amount of water. The pothos usually takes pride of place in the bathroom since they are good with low lighting and because they filter out the toxins hanging about in the air. Also, the moist conditions of a bathroom serve a pothos well.

Water: Once a week

One of the simplest plants to look after (especially if you do not have a green thumb), aloe needs to be watered deeply but be careful to let the soil dry at least 2 inches deep between waterings. It does not need much water in the winter. Also, make sure that they are protected from frost in the winter, so keep them warm and cozy — indirect light is best for aloe. Look out for thin and curled leaves; if you see them, your plant is not getting enough water and is probably using up its own liquid.

Dumb Cane
Water: Once a week

Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia for the purists) thrives in well-draining soil (that is consistently moist) and needs to be watered lightly. Check the soil to make sure it is dry an inch down before watering the plant. It does well with filtered light so keep it by a window with a thin curtain- you don’t want the tender leaves to wilt in strong sunlight. Be sure to rotate this plant regularly so all the leaves get equal amounts of light. A word of caution: the plant is covered with tiny needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals and if perchance end up in your (or your pet’s mouth) can cause massive swelling, consequently making them unable to speak. Where do you think the name came from!

Trellis Lucky Bamboo
Water: A bit every week with distilled water

This beauty needs some special care- you need to use chlorine and fluoride free water (use distilled water) which needs to be changed completely every few weeks. Make sure the roots are completely covered with water and that the levels are constant. Also, mist the leaves of the lucky bamboo every couple of days if lack of humidity is a problem.

Water: Once a week

This one doesn’t like to be too wet or too dry. Water the soil (not the leaves) because it rots easily, and keep pouring water until it drains out and repeat a couple of times. Keep the mix lightly moist spring through fall and water sparingly in winter. In the winters, make sure to place your plants near the brightest window in your house. Cut back on water and keep the room temperature mild — a cool, sunny room is ideal.

Staghorn Fern Kokedama
Water: Once every 1-3 weeks, depending on the season

This fern needs to be watered once per week in dry, hot summers, and once every two to three weeks as it gets colder. A two-step process of misting and soaking is most effective for this fern. The undersides of the plant should be misted and, subsequently, placed side-down in a sink full of regular temperature water. Soak the plant for 10-20 minutes, or until the root-ball is saturated.

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