How to avoid overwatering your plants
Overwatering your plants is something that everyone has done at least once, and finding the ideal balance between overwatering, underwatering, and perfectly watering your plants can be challenging. It’s happened to me that I killed some plants from not watering them properly and not seeing what the problem was. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can follow to make sure your plants are correctly watered every time.
The following tricks can be divided into two categories, since these tricks are not applicable to all plants in the same manner. The two categories are:
- How to prevent overwatering your soil plants
- Tips for not over watering plants grown in Leca
The first category includes plants that grow in soil and the second category includes plants that grow in Leca, baked clay balls. Taking my plants from the soil to the leca has been so much easier for me, since leca is much easier to water than the soil. However, I am still keeping plants in the soil, since it is still a really great way to grow your plants.
So let’s get straight to the topic, so you can get back to taking good care of your houseplants!
How to avoid over watering your soil plants
Because there are so many different types of soil, choosing one that fits your plants’ needs can be tricky. After choosing the right soil, you need to ensure that it provides the right amount of water. You should consider whether your plants prefer moist soil all of the time, or if they like it dry most of the time. If you are not providing your plants with the moisture levels they love, you might end up killing them.
The right soil is half the work
You should water your plant once you’ve found a soil that can hold or drain the correct amount of water for your plant. If you overwater a plant, you’re likely to experience problems associated with excess water that the soil cannot absorb. If the excess water sits in the pot, it could cause root rot.
Drainage holes are key
When you water your plants, the soil will absorb all the water it needs to keep the plants alive. So when you water them, you will not have any excess water at the bottom of your pot. Hence, you will not have excess water at the bottom of the pot. As the excess water will no longer sit at the bottom of your pot, it makes it less likely that you will overwater your plants.
When your favorite pot does not have any drainage holes, this does not mean it cannot be used for your plants. The plant can be planted in a plastic pot in which it came with drainage holes, and the pot can be placed inside of your favorite pot with no drainage holes. So whenever you water your plants, you can put them in the sink and water them for a few minutes, and after that the excess water will have drained and you can replace the plastic pot with a nice looking pot.
The key here is to let the excess water drain from your plants after watering them. The soil will retain all the water your plants need, if you choose the right soil for your plant. If this seems difficult, I can help you find the right soil for your plant.
How to avoid over watering your Leca plants
Growing your plants in leca instead of soil will make your job easier when it comes to watering. But before we get into how to prevent overwatering your plants in leca, we need to define leca since most people aren’t familiar with the term. These brown balls of clay often appear in office spaces and public spaces. Plants will grow in these instead of in soil for several reasons, including:
- No soil, no mess
- Easier to maintain
- Watering is easier
- Less chance of getting pests
Growing your plants in Leca
Now that you know what Leca is, let’s talk about how to grow plants in these clay balls. Before putting a plant in the balls, make sure the roots are completely free of soil. Soil will create messes and could result in root rot, so it is vital that you carefully clean your plant’s roots.
You will need to thoroughly wash the leca balls with water until all the clay dust is removed. Once they are clean, it’s recommended to soak them in water for a couple of hours. However, I’ve personally never done this and haven’t noticed any issues.
You should put your Leca plant in the plastic pot that your plant likely came with, which has drain holes. This will also mean cleaning the pot, as the soil will get in it. Once your plant is planted in the leca and you’ve had time to water it, the hardest part of this whole process is starting.
Watering your plant in Leca
In order to water the plant properly, you only need to take care that the roots aren’t allowed to sit in water, which means you should only add water until the level of the roots is just below the surface of the water. If you wish to use a pot, you can do so, but you’ll need to be sure to add enough Leca under the roots so they are lifted off the bottom of the pot. When water never touches the roots, it’s impossible to overwater your plants.
The clay balls will retain a little water, but not too much, so your roots can drink the water from the bottom of the pot. The leca material will absorb the water and your plants will drink from these barrels. A plant’s roots will grow towards the water if it requires an excessive amount of moisture. Leca is great for plants that require much or very little water. A clay ball regulates the water steadily, so if the plant feels as though this is not good enough, it will go and obtain its own water.
Here is a picture of my spider plants growing in leca – they have been in there for about a year or so and it is one of those plants who loves lots of water.
As Spider Plants enjoy drinking lots of water, you don’t have to worry about adding too much to the pot, the plant will consume it all very quickly. But as mentioned before, this also works with plants that require very little water.
It is imperative that the water stays below the roots at all times because this Sansevieria thrives in a dry environment. In Leca, the water will be regulated by the Leca, so you only have to keep the water level below the roots when watering these types of plants.
There are many ways to prevent overwatering your plants. Whenever you plant something in soil, make sure you get the proper soil for the plant. Does the plant like to sit in moist soil all the time? Put the plant in a soil that retains a lot of water. It may be difficult to water your plants properly if your soil does not drain water very quickly. If your plant prefers dry soil, pick one that does. This will help. Water your plants in soil gradually to ensure that there is no excess water remaining in the pot after watering. After watering, let the plants drain for about five minutes to make sure there is no residual water.
The process becomes much simpler when you use Leca. The only thing you need to remember is to keep water below the roots. Don’t allow the roots to sit in standing water so the plant will thrive and be healthy. When you have plants, like spider plants or Sansevierias, that love water you don’t have to worry about this as much. If you have plants that prefer dry soil, make sure the roots keep away from the water, and the Leca will take care of the rest.