Yes..this is actually my bathroom. In summer time, this is how we roll. Bath time for one means bath time for all.
When it is warm, I find it much easier to move everything to one place and water them at once. The bathroom is already a place that gets wet so it's not messy either. Our home doesn't get too hot in Summer but once the plants dry out I've noticed the leaves droop quite rapidly. Plus it saves water when all the pots are in the sink with the drain plugged so while you are watering from the top down, the water collects and also waters from the roots. That allows me to leave it to soak for a couple of hours and unplug the drain so they can dry out.
As we are heading into Spring next week in Melbourne, here are my top 10 watering tips:
- Not EVERY plant needs a watering at the same time with the rest of them. The ones that like to stay dry (eg. cactus, succulents and some hoyas) should be allowed to skip a bath or two while the others have regular ones.
- I typically water everything every 3 weeks in winter and every 2 weeks in Summer.
- In warmer months I give my airplants a full soak in the sink every two weeks and mist in between weekly. I find that they have pups faster with this routine.
- I am not lazy- I never leave the plants in the pot holder and water. Root rot is one of nightmares. Always take them out and allow them to drain the water away completely. Even if you choose to leave them to soak, give them time at the end to dry out before putting them back in their pots.
- Water slowly. I use a 250mL glass beaker and allow the water to absorb through the soil. Once I can see the water come through, I give another pour. A 250mL beaker is also quite handy because it gives me an estimation of how much water I am using. For a good decade, Australia's drought conditions taught me to be mindful with water consumption.
- Notice the types of pots. I find that if I have grown a plant directly in a ceramic pot, they tend to dry out quicker than keeping them in the original plastic pot. Depending on how porous the clay is and what kind of glazing is used, the more raw finishes absorbs more water and can dry out the plant quicker.
- Water the soil evenly. Make sure the soil surface is completely wet. Overtime, if there are parts of the surface that are not watered they can become almost water-resistant and don't allow the water to absorb or drain through.
- Check the soil is dry. How do you actually know if the soil is dry? They tell you to stick your finger about an inch into the soil to check. Well I don't do that. It's gross. I don't want fertiliser and dirt in between my nails and potentially ruining my nail polish. So I have a stick the length of a pencil. Light coloured. When I stick it in, if it comes out without dirt or moisture-then it's dry!
- Misting. It's always fun and rewarding. On particularly scorching hot days, I walk around the house misting everything that is green. Just to give the plants a boost in between bathing sessions.
- It is much easier to fix an UNDER-WATERED plant than one that has been over-watered. So the overall rule is to wait until the soil looks dry before you water again. Trust me- you'll have plenty of time to see the signs of death if your plant is so thirsty for so long that it dies. But enough about death! Go forth and cultivate a green life!