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How often do my plants need water?

One of the most commonly asked questions in regards to caring for interior plants is the age-old quandary, “How often should I water my plants?” Although the task seems a simple process, knowing the correct amount of water to provide your plant can be at times perplexing. Supplying a plant with too much or too little water are both easy ways to kill our green friends. We’ve compiled five watering tips that will help you keep your house and office plants healthy and happy.

Consider the plant type

Most plants generally like to be watered moderately moist but it’s always a smart idea to research your plant before watering. For example, the Spathiphyllum (commonly know as Spaths) prefers extra moisture and will start drooping quickly if it has not received enough water. Conversely, plants such as cacti and succulents do not need to be watered as often. If you are unsure about the correct watering frequency of a specific plant, visit our Plant Catalog for guidance.

Don’t drown your plant

Plants are not like pets in the sense that they have an internal instinct that tells them they’ve had enough water. The largest cause of plant death isn’t under-watering, it’s over-watering. When the roots become deluged with water, the plant will not have enough oxygen to breathe and will die. Also, excess water in the soil will give birth to microbial waste which will rob the plant of nutrients.

Note the lighting

While the amount of light a plant needs to live varies with species, you should always remain cognizant of your plant’s lighting environment. If your plant sits near a window where it basks in natural light everyday, it will require less water than a plant that is tucked in a dark corner of your interior. Plants convert sunlight into chemical energy which they use to power cell processes.

Monitor the temperature of the interior

The hotter the temperature, the more interior plants will use water. Take note of the air conditioning in the summertime and the heat during the winter. Often Ambius service technicians actually water plants more often in the winter. When businesses turn up the heat to keep their employees and clients warm, the air will become drier and the plants will require more water. If the temperature is too hot, the plant can actually be damaged.

Avoid watering the leaves

In general when watering interior plants, there’s no need to get the leaves wet unless you are attempting to rid the plants of spider bites or some other pest. Focus on watering the soil so that the roots of the plant receive the moisture it needs to thrive. Getting the leaves wet could spread disease, spread insects, or make it more desirable for insects. Use a paper towel instead of water when cleaning the leaves.

Further information and next steps

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