Too Much, Too Little? And which water should I use anyway? Watering flowers properly is not that easy. Here are five tips from a professional.
Water is essential for plants – so watering flowers is one of the most important points in keeping and caring for them. Without water, the leaves wilt, and ultimately the entire plant dies. Watering the flowers is not always easy, and it is often necessary to have a sure instinct. What hardly anyone suspects: In most cases, potted plants do not die because they die of thirst – they are drowned! Here you will find five professional tips for watering flowers that will make it easier for you to water them correctly.
1. Water requirements: guidelines for watering flowers
Professionals know: Flowers should always be watered according to the conditions in their natural location. In addition, your individual water requirements depend on various factors: the nature of the plant, its age, the respective development phase, its location, the light conditions, the temperatures, and the prevailing humidity.
Plants with hard, leathery, or wax-covered leaves and thick-leaf plants (e.g. succulents) need relatively little water. Plants with large, soft leaves or dense foliage, on the other hand, need a lot of water. Older plants with well-developed roots usually do not need to be watered as often as young ones. High temperatures and light-intensive locations also mean an increased demand for water. The same applies when plants are in their growth or flowering phase. Also, consider the substrate of your houseplant. Pure peat substrate can store more water than a sandy soil mix, for example.
2. The ideal water quality
If possible, use water at room temperature for watering. Species that need warmth are particularly sensitive to “cold feet”. Let the water from the tap stand in the watering can for at least 24 hours so that it takes on the temperature of the room. Since tap water usually contains too much lime, which in the long term damages the plants, you should be careful not to pour water that is too hard and to decalcify hard tap water. You can inquire about your water hardness from the responsible water supply company or you can easily determine it yourself using quick tests from a chemical specialist.
Use a watering can that is the same volume as the number of plants you want to water. The spout should be long and narrow
The water hardness is measured in degrees of German hardness (° DH). 1 ° dH corresponds to a lime content of 10 mg per liter. The water is divided into four hardness ranges: 1, soft water, 1 to 7 ° dH; 2, medium-hard water, 7 to 14 ° dH; 3, hard water, 14 to 21 ° DH and 4, very hard water, over 21 ° do. Most plants can easily cope with degrees of hardness of 10 ° dH, between 10 and 15 ° do you have to consider lime-sensitive plants. Calcareous water can usually be recognized quickly by the white (mineral) deposits on the leaves or the substrate.
The following plants are particularly sensitive to water that is too hard: azaleas, hydrangeas and bromeliads, orchids, and ferns. Poinsettias and African violets do not tolerate lime either. It is best to water the indoor plants and flowers with rainwater. Because it’s soft. Only catch the rainwater after it has rained for a while – this will reduce the level of pollution from environmental influences.
3. Finger test
When it comes to watering flowers at the right time, you need a sure instinct. In most cases, watering should be carried out exactly when the top layer of soil has dried. Professionals do a finger test as a check. To do this, press the soil in about an inch with your thumb or forefinger. If you feel that the soil is still moist even under the top layer, you do not need to water it yet. Clay pots with white spots on the outside wall usually indicate a lack of water. It can also help to tap the clay wall with your knuckle. If the soil is still sufficiently moist, you will hear a relatively muffled sound. The noise sounds bright when the soil is dry.
4. When and how to water flowers properly
In sunny locations, it is important that the water droplets on the leaves can dry well before the sunlight becomes too strong. Otherwise, they will burn quickly. Therefore, it is advisable to water the flowers in the morning. The way you pour is also important: whether from above or from below. You should only water cyclamen, bobbed, and African violets from below. Plants with sensitive leaves or tubers are also poured over a saucer. Most of the plants can be watered directly over the substrate from above. Orchids usually do better if they are sprayed or dipped in a flower shower. It depends on the species.
However, very few house plants can tolerate waterlogging: their roots then begin to rot. A little gravel or stones as a drainage layer at the bottom of the flower pot prevent the water drainage hole from closing up with soil and moisture from building up. If on plants, excess water collects in the saucer half an hour after watering, it must be poured off by hand. This is an important point, especially after watering succulents.
If the root ball has dried out so badly that it detaches from the edge of the pot, it can be helpful to immerse the entire plant in a bucket of water or to put it in a water bath until no more air bubbles rise. In the case of extremely withered leaves, it can help if you cover the above-ground parts with thick layers of wet newspaper for a while.
5. Certain plants, certain desires
When it comes to watering, each plant has its own requirements. Some plants such as cacti or succulents, for example, need a rest phase in winter, during which they only need to be supplied sparingly with water. Bromeliads, on the other hand, form a funnel from their leaves, through which they should also be watered. The best way to do this is to use a watering can with a long and narrow spout.
Plants that need to be watered particularly frequently and abundantly are hydrangeas and various types of ornamental asparagus. Cyprus grass and room bamboo always want to have their water administered through the coaster. It is best to find out the individual needs of your new plant when you buy it.