> THE REAL ANSWER: How often should you water your plants? – Plant Daddy YQG
THE REAL ANSWER: How often should you water your plants?

Watering -

THE REAL ANSWER: How often should you water your plants?

So, the big question: how often should you water your plant?

Well... the answer is a little complicated.

It would be wonderful if you could water on a set calendar schedule -- say watering your pothos every Sunday, all year long -- but if you think about the list of factors that affect how often you need to water... a lot of them change over time! Lighting waxes and wanes over the course of the year, you might move it to a new spot with entirely new lighting/humidity, the roots grow in the pot and there's less soil there, you might repot it completely... So at the same time, how often it needs to be watered will change over time!

The single best piece of advice I could give any plant parent is to learn to water based on the plant, not on the calendar.

What this looks like can take a couple forms!

The easiest and simplest way to check if a plant needs watering: stick your finger in it! If dirt clings to your finger when you pull it out, then it's still wet to that depth, and you can judge from there whether that species of plant needs to be watered or dry out some more!

(Note: Don't shell out the money for a fancy water meter -- they can be unreliable, and honestly your finger works just as well! If you really can't stand the feeling of dirt, then use a clean chopstick -- the same rules apply!)

The fastest method to check if a plant needs watering is to pick it up -- believe it or not, this is the method that most waterers at garden centres will use, and it's frighteningly accurate, particularly for smaller plants in plastic pots. Plants aren't generally that heavy on their own when they're small -- and dry soil, in small pots, is pretty light as well! Water, however, is heavy. So if you pick it up, and it's heavy -- it has a decent amount of water in it!

Pick up your plants every time that you water them, and compare how heavy they are before and after watering -- you'll learn the difference over time, and that'll be the quickest way to water your plants!

As well, you can often tell if certain plants need watering in more specific ways! Often, plants will droop or sag a little bit if they're thirsty, and some plants like peace lilies or fittonia will "faint" or "play dead" -- ideally, you should be watering before it hits that point, but if you're unsure about watering still for that plant, that can be a cue!

There are three more specific ways to check for some plants that we can share:

First, for hoyas, there's something called the taco test -- find a mature leaf, close to the soil, and gently try to fold it up like a little taco (hotdog-style, not hamburger-style). If it resists, don't force it -- you can easily snap a leaf in half that way! That means that it doesn't need any water, anyway. If it bends easily, with no resistance, give that baby a drink!

Second, for snake plants: similarly, try gently bending one of the mature leaves! It should resist your attempts to bend it (though generally it's still fairly pliable). If it bends super easily, and feels paper thin, then it's time for a water!

Third, for many succulents, including the jade plant, string of hearts/pearls/etc, or any plant that is thick and fleshy -- try gently squeezing the leaf! If it's thick and plump, then you don't need to water it -- but if it feels paper-thin, then that baby needs some water!

(The underlying principle is the same for all three, by the way -- the water is stored in the leaves, and that's what's changing!)

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