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Watering Schedules

I do not recommend trying to establish a watering schedule.

I am as “Type A” as they come, but watering plants on a schedule is like giving everyone the same size shoes. We all have different requirements and so do your plants.

It’s been suggested that schedules for watering can be followed if you categorize your plants. Many congratulations to you if you are that dedicated and organized, but no, I am not going to recommend that you categorize your houseplants and even typing that sentence feels a bit nutso.

The water requirements for a plant vary tremendously based on their genes, but they are also very different depending on the conditions of its environment (namely: light, humidity, pot material, soil/substrate, and size.)

How do I know when my plants are thirsty?

Pot Weight

I have found that the best way to judge whether you should pour some of that sweet, sweet water in a pot is to feel its weight.

There’s this weird thing that happens when your home starts to resemble a jungle. You develop a sixth sense: pot weight.

Gently lift each pot as you are piddling around your collection. When a pot feels so light that it makes your mouth open a bit, and perhaps you even hear yourself say “oh, shit” – it’s time to water.

My Plants are Talking to Me!

You might have heard the phrase, “Oh it’ll tell you when it needs water.”

A few of my favorite “talking” genera include most pothos, monstera, philodendron, scindapsus, hoya, and the ever so dramatic fittonia.

Fittonia albivenis (often called Nerve Plant or Mosaic Plant) was one of the first plants in my collection. I was convinced I’d killed it after having it a week and threw the whole thing away in a fit of frustration.

But it wasn’t dead.

Fittonia look like limp, lifeless, death vortexes when they are thirsty. But rest assured, they will come right back if you “listen” to them. This timelapse is a really good example.

I decided to try once more and this time when I thought I had killed it, I resisted the urge to chuck that sucker in the garbage bin and watered it first.

It perked back up to its former glory in less than an hour!

Monstera, Philodendron, Pothos, Scindapsus, and most plants in the Marantaceae family will tell you they need water by curling their leaves in an effort to conserve moisture and prevent evaporation.

Most Hoya need to dry out completely in between watering. I recommend waiting until the leaves look slightly shriveled (don’t worry, they’ll rehydrate!) and waiting until this point stresses the plant enough to encourage more frequent blooms!

Moisture Meters

Moisture meters are great! Don’t waste money on some fancy pants meter, the cheap-o meters you can get anywhere are awesome. I got this one on Amazon and it has never let me down.

They are not as helpful with larger pots because the sensors will not reach to the roots of your plant, however moisture meters are trusty with the majority of houseplants.

As you finagle your pots to use a moisture meter, you may notice you start to become accustomed to the weight of your pots at which point I would suggest relying on your new sixth sense and giving that meter to your newbie plant friend who bought a weekly planner just to schedule watering.

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