How much water should I be using?

When it comes to watering your plants, there are endless questions. How much water should I be using? Is it best to water from the top or the bottom? How do I know when my plant needs water? Does the time of day matter? What about the type of water? The list goes on.

Adding Willow to your plants can help your soil conserve up to 50% more water. But, knowing when and how to water your plants is essential. We want all plant parents to feel empowered in growing happy, healthy, plants, so here are our suggestions for watering:

When To Water

Every plant is different, and that means every plant’s watering needs are different too. Because of this, we recommend checking on your houseplant’s hydration levels regularly. To check, you can stick a finger or toothpick about ¾-1” into the soil to feel if it’s moist. If not, it’s time to water your plants! If the soil has separated from the edge of your pot, your plant is dehydrated. Additionally, wilted leaves signal a thirsty plant, but letting your plants get to this stage isn’t healthy, so don’t use this as a regular indicator!

The seasons, and even the time of day, can affect your soil’s water retention. Typically, during the spring and summer, your plants need more water than in colder months. Additionally, watering your plants in the morning allows excess moisture to evaporate, helping prevent disease. Finally, and most importantly, it is key to know if your plant prefers dry or moist soil. Cacti and succulents are examples of dry-soil plants, and need to be watered much less regularly. Comparatively, plants that prefer moist soil prefer to be watered every time it gets dry.

What To Water

When it comes to hydrating your plants, the type of water should come into consideration too. Tap water can be chlorinated or have salts in it to soften the water, both of which can make plants unhappy. In general, use the cleanest water possible. If you don’t live in a polluted area, try collecting rainwater or leaving tap water out for a few days to dechlorinate.

Don’t forget about the water temperature! Water that is too hot or cold can shock your plants and stunt their growth. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to refill your watering can immediately after each use, so the water has time to acclimate to room temperature. 

How To Water

Last, but certainly not least, how plants are watered affects their success. Bottom watering is a recommended way to keep your plants hydrated. To do this, you’ll need a saucer or another basin to fill with 2-3” of water before placing your pots in. The drainage hole in the pot will allow water to absorb up into the soil, ensuring proper root hydration. For this method, it’s important not to leave it soaking all day, the water needs to be drained within a few hours.

If you decide to top-water, which is great once a month for bottom-watered plants, use a long-necked watering can to avoid getting the leaves wet. Be careful not to over-water your plants. To avoid this, pour water over until it goes out of the drainage hole. Allow your plant to drip dry for about an hour before returning it. 

Final reminders

All plants are different, and watering techniques are not one size fits all. Successful plant parents need to regularly monitor their plant’s growth, soil health, and hydration. Willow can help promote microbial growth and hold on to just the right amount of water. See what it can do by feeding it to your plants today!

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