Watering your way to success

Watering your way to success

Watering your way to success

Not everyone is born with a green thumb. Most of us have to cultivate it. But cultivating your plants can be rewarding if you have the right tools and tips at hand. GoodRoots is here to ensure your plants don’t just survive, but thrive.

House rules to help your house plants

Here are the 5 golden rules to keep on hand for watering indoor plants:

  1. Don’t over water. Soggy bottoms aren’t only a bad thing in a pastry. Soggy, waterlogged compost can cause root rot and disease in your plants and often does irreversible damage. Remember, it’s easier to revive a dry plant than an over-watered one. Tip: Keep plants in pots with drainage holes for excess water to drain away into the sleeve or saucer. Don’t forget to tip out one hour after watering.
  2. Check on them every two days. Frequent checking doesn’t equate to frequent watering. If still wet on day 2, water on day 4. Most house plants come into growth in the spring and summer months and prefer to live in moist conditions then. Tip: Water most plants every 2–4 days (or as required) in spring and summer to keep the compost moist.
  3. Channel habitat vibes. Think desert when watering cacti and succulents. Only water occasionally when the top of the compost feels bone dry. In the desert, less is more. Think rainforest for ferns and tropical plants. A soak is always welcome. Just remember Rule no. 1! Tip: Section plants according to habitats to make your watering schedule easier.
  4. Go with the season. Remember, spring and summer are seasons of growth when more water is needed. But adapt your schedule for winter when frequency should be reduced to match lower temperatures and slower growth. Tip: Mark your calendar for seasonal changes.
  5. Not all water is equal. If you’re serious about plant care, it’s worth checking to see what water your plants prefer. Some plants should only take rainwater (or distilled water if you’re fancy), while others are fine to order tap water. Tip: Bromeliads and air plants (ie. non-planted plants such as hanging succulents with exposed roots) should only take rainwater or distilled.


Ways to water

  • From below: For soft, furry (or spiky) plants that don’t like having wet stems and leaves, such as African violets, succulents and cacti. You can gently soak soil by watering from the base of the plant using a thin-spouted watering can or use a self-watering spike for easy topping up. Tip: Ensure your plant is in a pot with drainage holes and a deep saucer. 
  • Misting: For plants that absorb water through their leaves and aerial roots, such as orchids. Tip: Mist regularly and check soil is watered weekly. 
  • Reservoir: For plants like bromeliads with leaves that form a natural cup-like reservoir in the centre of the plant. Fill this up with rainwater or distilled water every few weeks. Tip: Check soil is watered. 
  • Soaking: For hanging air plants. Best to soak in a tray for one hour every week. You can also place orchids in a bath for 15 minutes per week. Tip: Leave to drain after removing from the tray and ensure they are fully dry and ensure potted plants only have their bases dipped (not covering top soil).  
  • Mulching: Adding a layer of grit or mulch on top of compost when repotting helps water drain away more quickly, preventing rot. Tip: Bark, straw, stones, gravel, nut shells or leaves do the trick here.

For all things sprinkling, soaking and splashing, visit our GoodRoots store and explore.