Many people believe that house plants require less attention, but if you want them to thrive, you need to take decent care of them. Just like any living being, they cannot live without water. What happens if we have a busy schedule that prevents us from watering the plants? Can house plants survive without water for long?
House plants usually can survive for two to three weeks without water. Nevertheless, the watering requirements can be different depending on how hot or how dry it is, and the type of plants you have. Tropical plants like monstera, pothos and cacti can survive longer, while succulents and cacti can’t.
Watering is vital to support houseplants. The frequency of watering varies with a variety of factors including where the houseplant is located.
By following the relevant factors, you can easily determine the water requirements of your houseplants.
- Plant type
- Plant size and age
- Growing medium type and condition
- Indoor conditions: Light, temperature, humidity, airflow
- Regional climate
- Growing phase
- Pot size and material
- Season of the year
- Current weather
Despite the fact that houseplants that are fast-growing and vulnerable to water are more prevalent, succulents store water and can survive for several years without water.
Throughout this article, we have assembled as many varieties of houseplants as possible in order to give you accurate information regarding their water needs.
Let go of everything you’ve learned for a while and read this article to understand what your houseplants water needs are, what could happen if they don’t get enough water, and how to restore them.
When you are going on an extended vacation, you will learn different ways to water your houseplants.
How long can houseplants survive without water?
Although indoor plants need a lesser number of waterings than their outdoor counterparts, there is no bottom line when it comes to watering indoor plants.
Indoor plants have their own water requirements. You can spend time with your plants and know how long they can live without water and find an appropriate watering regime for them.
Below, we have put together a table of common houseplants and their watering needs. You should know, however, that this is not a rule of thumb for watering your plants. Your plant’s needs will vary depending on many factors like the size of the plant, the season, humidity, and more.
|Plants Name||Watering Schedule(Approx)||Can Survive Till?|
|Rubber plants||5-7 days||13-15 Days|
|Pothos||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Monstera||5-7 days||10-12 days|
|Snake plants||2 weeks||18-20 Days|
|Spider plants||5-7 days||13-15 Days|
|Dracaena||7-10 days||20-25 Days|
|ZZ plant||1-2 weeks||20-25 Days|
|Ivy||3-4 days||10-12 Days|
|Peace lily||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Money Tree||10-14 days||20-25 Days|
|Lucky bamboo||14-21 days||20-25 Days|
|Areca palm||2-3 days||7 Days|
|Aloevera||15-20 days||25-30 Days|
|Bird’s Nest Fern||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Daisies||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Wax begonia||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Philodendron||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Peperomia||7-10 days||25-30 Days|
|Fittonia||3-4 days||10-12 Days|
|Club moss||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Parlor palm||2 weeks||25-30 Days|
|Calathea||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Boston fern||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
|Christmas cactus||7-10 days||10-12 Days|
|Air plant||5-7 days||10-12 Days|
Note: All Data Based On Practical Experience And Community Pole
What would happen to a plant without water?
For a short answer, the plant would likely die without water. Water is essential for all living things. Plants cannot exist without it. They need water to survive and function properly.
To produce oxygen, plants rely on water to breakdown carbon dioxide and process water into energy. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make food. They are unable to do this without water, so their growth will be impaired.
Additionally, water is required to stiffen the plant’s tissues, which is called turgor.
Plant cells lose water due to lack of water, which results in loss of turgor, which causes the plants to wilt and lethargic.
The plant’s transpiration rate will be reduced due to drought conditions, leading to partially closed stomata and internal functions to flourish.
Aside from this, water as well replenishes some of the soil’s nutrients. This means that if you water too little or too often you are likely to have a lack of nutrients.
The roots of your plant will be affected if dry leaves are left on the plant for a longer period of time. They may suffer severely and never recover back.
Lack of water can greatly affect the growth of houseplants. Some of the common problems you will notice are:
- Wilted leaves
- Droopy leaves
- Dull leaves
- Stunted growth
- Dying plant
You need to act immediately if you see any of these signs, otherwise you might lose them.
Can plants recover from lack of water?
There are different stages of plants’ recovery from a lack of water. This is what you can expect:
- Mildly stressed plants may recover within a few weeks with proper rehydration.
- Houseplants that undergo severe stress may either take a long time to recover or may not recover at all. Their growth may be affected in the future since they may not be able to photosynthesize properly.
- Plants that are most severely damaged might die in a few days.
How do you know if a plant needs water?
Any plant owner should know what their plant needs. Through regular assessment and care, you will learn when your plant needs water. It is possible to identify when they are stressed by the clues that they give, and then fix them.
To take care of your plants, you should keep an eye on them and make sure they’re not over watered and keep inspecting them every few days.
The reminder app can remind you to keep an eye on your plants.
Test the soil for dryness with your finger
Using your finger, you can test the soil dryness with a simple method without any equipment. Check whether the soil is dry or moist every 4-5 days with your finger.
It is possible that the soil may look dry from the outside but may be wet from the inside. To find out, dig your finger at least 2 to 3 inches into the ground.
Test the soil for moisture with a stick or skewer
There is a possibility that the soil outside is moist but inside might be stressed with drought. In order to get better results, dig a skewer deeper into the ground without disturbing the roots.
Check again in 1-2 minutes to make sure there are no wet marks or stain on the stick. When the stick comes out dry and clean, water your plant urgently. Do this every few days to find out its water requirements.
Wilting or drooping leaves
Lack of water causes the plant to stop transpiration, which causes the foliage to become unwatered. With a lack of moisture the thick, plump leaves will wane or droop.
Check the root causes of the problem rather than just reacting as you see wilted leaves.
There are several causes of wilting and drooping foliage. These include direct sunlight, overfeeding, excessive lighting, pests attack, disease, and even overwatering.
Dry leaves and leaf drop
Lack of water can cause houseplants to lose their leaves. Under-watering causes the leaves to get dry and fall. Make sure that the leaves aren’t drying out and dropping abnormally, underwatering is the culprit.
Validate the symptoms by checking the moisture level in the soil.
As a sign of aging, houseplants often drop their mature leaves. Don’t worry. It’s perfectly natural.
Yellow or brown leaves
If you neglect a houseplant, it starts to lose its color and become brown or yellow in color. As a result, the leaves become crispy and weak.
Although it is a good idea to go through your maintenance routines before fixing an under-watering issue.
A plant stressed via excessive lighting, over-fertilization, or environmental stress leads to discolouration, browning, and yellowing of leaves.
With a small investment, you can have more accurate results about your plant’s watering needs. Make sure your plant has enough water by getting a moisture meter that has a scale of 1 to 10. One is very dry and ten equals very wet.
For a few minutes, simply press the soil probe into the moisture meter. Get out the scale and read the result. You can use it to interpret the water your plants need.
Color of the soil
Knowing if your plants require water can be determined by a glance at their soil. If the soil appears darker than the original color or dries from the top, the plants don’t need water.
Just notice when the soil color changes, i.e., the soil color gets lighter signaling to the need for water, whenever you see this difference. It is possible to carry out a more detailed evaluation of your plant.
Weight of the pot
Water in the soil effects the weight of the pot. When the soil is moist, the pot will be heavier, and vice versa.
It is possible to give a quick and rough estimate of the plant’s water requirements just by observing the weight of the pot.
To verify that the soil is dry or not, you can look at the color of the soil.
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