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Basic tips for watering plants

Whether you grow plants indoors or out in the garden, ornamental plants or vegetables, proper watering is still a prerequisite for good plant growth.

Not all plants have the same water needs. If you’re not sure about the right amount, time, and method of watering for a particular plant, ask where the plant is sold or look it up on the Internet. Here are some basic tips you need to know to take care of your plants more proactively.

Illustration: The Spruce.

Illustration: The Spruce.

Water the plants that lack water immediately

When you see that the plant is dry and wilted, water it immediately to restore the plant. However, don’t forget to test the soil first. Sometimes the plant also wilts from being watered too much.

Water when the soil is dry

To test, poke your index finger into the soil, a few centimeters deep. If the soil feels dry, you can water it. Note that not all plants will die if the soil dries out frequently. For example, cacti are drought tolerant and prefer soil that dries out longer between watering, while other plants need consistently moist soil.

Adjust watering for plants and soil types

The amount of water needed depends on the plant type, size, stage of growth, and local climate. In addition, the type of soil is also an important factor. Sandy soil drains much faster than loamy soil, so you need to water more often.

Watering plants from the root

Let the water go straight to the center of the roots by watering the base. For plants with extensive root systems, you need to water a larger area, below the entire canopy. Avoid wasting water, because wet leaves are also easy to spread fungal diseases.

Water the seeds and seedlings daily

Vegetable seeds, flowers and seedlings need to be watered daily, maybe twice a day when there is no rain, or even more when the weather is hot and dry. The reason is that seeds are prone to drying out during germination and seedlings are much less drought tolerant than mature plants. Be sure to test the soil to see how well your plants need water, as overwatering can also be harmful. For seeds and seedlings, you should use a small sprinkler and water a large area to wet the entire area.

Watering in the early morning or evening

Early morning is the best time to water the plants, but if you don’t have time to water in the morning, late afternoon or early evening is also reasonable. Absolutely do not water the plants when the sun is hot.

Dripping water

Irrigation and watering sparingly is much better than superficial but frequent watering, because it is important that the water reaches the roots of the plant. Additionally, over-watering will “train” the plant to seek out water deeper and further.

Irrigate slowly

When the soil is dry, it is important to water the top few centimeters slowly with very little water, or the water will run out. Once the water has penetrated the soil, you can increase the amount of watering.

Add mulch to cut down on watering

To retain moisture in the soil, maintain soil temperature and prevent weeds, you can add organic mulch to cover the surface of the soil.

Water potted plants more

Plants grown in pots or containers require more and more frequent watering than plants grown straight in the ground. On hot days, water your potted plants daily, even twice a day, after checking the dryness of the soil, of course.

How quickly the soil dries depends on the material of the container. Metal, terracotta and coir (common materials for hanging baskets) tend to drain quickly, and frequent sun exposure also significantly increases the evaporation rate of water. Be sure to choose a pot with drainage holes and a drip tray to avoid root rot.

Bao Chi (According to Spruce)

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