Posted on Nov 25, 2023 at 5:25 pm by Emily A
Like a secular ritual, watering and fertilizing, both rooted in the science and delicate art of horticulture, reveal the keys to thriving growth of our indoor plants. On the advice of a florist, discover the right actions to take.
Table of Contents
Watering: beware of excess water
It is estimated that amateur indoor plant owners water their plants too much. Excess water causes brown spots that are so common on leaves and a seemingly wilting plant. Lack of water causes similar symptoms.
A good recipe for simplification. During the growing season (mid-March to mid-October) and at an average room temperature of 18 °C, water plants with trunks and woody stems once a week (palm tree, ficus, croton, yucca).
Water herbaceous species twice a week, with soft or flexible stems or without stems (African violet, pilea, nerve plant).
In the winter season, the frequency of these waterings will be halved. It is obvious that if the temperature increases, in the middle of summer, watering should be more frequent.
The technique for watering properly
To water properly, the entire root ball must be soaked. However, in peat-rich substrates, this is not easy. Ideally, proceed by soaking the pot, immersed three-quarters of its height, for 1/2 hour.
Then let the root ball drain, that is, get rid of excess water, before putting it back in place. Preferably use non-calcareous water, always at room temperature. The base of the pot should never (except for papyrus) be constantly submerged in water.
Our advice: you can use spring water as long as you don’t have too many pots to water. It is also possible to acidify the water by adding the juice of one lemon for every 10 liters.
Fertilization, the necessary food for plants
We have seen that the plant has a small volume of soil inside its pot. Consequently, the amount of nutrients is also very low.
For regular and well-balanced growth of your plants, it is absolutely necessary to provide them with fertilizer.
Fertilization is only done during the vegetative period, which for most species is between March 15th and the end of October. In winter, the plant rests, so there is no need to feed it.
Most fertilizer manufacturers recommend fertilizing plants once a week with the average dose of one cap of liquid fertilizer per liter of water. Let’s say that’s a bit excessive.
The average is to fertilize once every two waterings. This avoids the over-concentration of mineral salts in the soil which, in the long run, can cause burns.
How much fertilizer to give to your plants?
However, we prefer to advise you to follow this technique: dilute one and a half caps of fertilizer in 10 liters of water and systematically water all plants with this “gentle” solution. The effect on growth will be spectacular, without any risk of harm to the plant.
Our advice: wait a good month after repotting to fertilize the plant. Then, preferably use stick fertilizers which are effective for 8 to 10 weeks.