As I sit in front of this computer revising this ever so popular post, I’m sure somewhere in my house there is a plant slowly dying that I am going to have to try and bring back to life. It’s not from the lack of love, it’s from too much love clearly! I mean the more you water the bigger they grow right?
Well I learned quickly that THAT IS CLEARLY NOT the way to take care of plants. It’s beyond frustrating when you love something so much but for the life of you, you can’t quite keep it going…or alive? I’m just going to go ahead and admit it. I’m a houseplant serial killer… still after four years of hording plants. If you’re just like me and tend to not be able to keep things alive (don’t worry my cat and dog are 100% alive and well), I have found the top practically no sun needed, little to no love required and the perfect “I’ll go along with the fact that we’re both surprised I haven’t killed it yet” vibe of house plants just for you!!! and better yet a new fool proof way to NOT over water them and an awesome new way to water your plants as well.
Before I get into it, how about we take a look at a few new tricks I have learned recently. The first one is a game changer and honestly, the only reason why basically all of my plants haven’t died of over watering. This baby right here YEP that’s right a basic bitch moisture meter that you can’t screw up using. I picked up a three way one from another store, but this shop is a young boss babe and I rather you support her than some random big box store like I did. The best part, Emily also provides you with a FREE EBOOK that has instructions that are provided once you receive your product. It contains 19 pages of helpful ways to understand which of your favorite plants need watering AND some more tips to help you not kill your plants beyond what I am offering you here right now, today.
The next new tip I found to be helpful was a new method of watering your plants. While there’s always pros and cons to everything, here is a quick breakdown of a new method and the old school method of top watering.
Pros of top watering
Reduces Pets. This is an important one but also can be a bit tricky. Literally you are able to wash pests away when you top water, meaning any eggs that are developing in your soil, or larva, will be sent down the sink while you water your plant. This is great for plants that fit in your sink as any excess water will over flow from the top taking them all away. Just keep in mind that if you choose to go this route, it can also increase the number of pests and the likelihood you’ll attract bugs in the first place so be carful and keep an eye out for those little annoying things.
Convivence. There are times when I see a plant that needs watering urgently and I don’t have the time to really tend it it. I just give it a thorough soaking and leave it on the draining board so I can come back to it and give it some real lovin’ later. A lot of plants can hold out, but if you’re in growing season (spring & summer months) having a dried out plant can cause any new growth to dry out and thus killing the new leaf. No one means to be a plant serial killer but let’s just try to avoid it here people and opt for the quick top watering.
Diminish Mineral Deposits. Over time a lot of times especially if you have hard water, salts and mineral deposits will build up in your soil. If you have terracotta pots or clay pots, you are going to start to see the salts building up on the sides of the pots. I highly recommend using cached rain water or better yet, a cool tip. Grab some tap safe stuff used for fish tanks. Shit works wonders! Note: if you have a lot of brown leaves it is probably because you have a buildup of mineral deposits in the soil, use the fish stuff and give your plant a good soaking or change out the soil if it is really bad.
It’s all wet through and through. Provided you thoroughly and properly water your plant, you know that every inch of the soil will be wet thus making your plant happy and you not a killer.
Cons of Top Watering
Wet Leaves. A lot of plants have leaves that don’t want to get wet so make sure to do your research before you start watering.
Can cause the soil to become compacted. Water is heavy shit compared to your dry soil. If you find yourself regularly pour a lot of water on top of soil, it can cause it to become compacted, which is bad for a couple of reasons. Water always looks for a easy route through the soil, if you r soil is compacted it will just bypass your plant and head right to the bottom of the pot. This causes pooling and doesn’t evenly distribute through the soil. Compacted soil also causes issues for your roots and will cause root rote if you are not careful. If you find that your soil is a bit dense take a fork and lighting scrape and break apart the soil. You can also get a chop stick and create holes that will air rate the soil and allow even water flow.
A new method: Bottom watering
I mean it’s pretty self explanatory, but does take a bit more time than top watering. For this you need to make sure your pots have drainage hole or two and a plate or bowl under it to add the water to. This might be the hardest part yet, all you need to do is:
1.Fill the plate or bowl with water.
2.Wait for the saucer to empty. If the plant drinks it all within a few minutes, fill it up again. If you’re unsure if the plant’s had enough water, poke it with your trusty moisture probe. Or finger. Or just keep topping it up until the water’s no longer draining and there you have it. bottom watering made easy if you are in absolutely zero rush because this does take A LOT longer. Note: you can do this in a sink or better yet save some time and fill that tub of yours with your plants and do it that way. Your plants will only take in the water that you need so don’t worry about over watering this way. I mean don’t leave them in there over night though, keep an eye on them and the water level.
Pros to bottom watering
Doesn’t create unwanted pets. This way keeps the top layer of your soil dry and doesn’t allow pets to reproduce.
Encourages the roots to spread out and get stronger. YES it does and that means you plants will grow stronger and taller.
It doesn’t damage the leaves on those picky plants. Certain plants like African violets are extremely averse to getting their leaves wet and suffer water damage easily so if you have a few of these babies this is the way you should be watering them.
Cons to bottom watering
Just like top watering, mineral and salt deposits can build up. So, make sure to use cached rain water or use that fish water stuff I talked about.
It takes longer and can be hard with larger plants. It can take AGES for big plants to absorb enough water, especially if they’re in terracotta pots. So, I do recommend you consider the type of plant you are watering.
Just a general tip, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS ALIVE IN THIS WORLD MAKE SURE YOUR POTS HAVE DRANGE HOLES! You will 100% avoid the stress of over watering if your pots have holes that the excess water can drain from. If you pot does not have a drainage hole, add stones to the bottom of the pot before adding soil. this will give the water a place to pool and not allow the soil to be completely soiled in moisture.. haha get what I did there. No root rote for you!
So you wanna be a basic bitch plant parent because Covid has made house plants a big trend and honestly, I’m not even mad about it. If you do not know where to start or are scared to just kill all of the things, here are a few sure easy plants to start your new obsession with…
There are soo many different types of plants out there that are super easy to take care of. Sometimes you aren’t always able to find the more unique ones so for this blog, I am going to give you a jam-packed list of eight plants that you can find a your local flower shop, home improvement store or green house.
Get your fingers ready to screen shot now because damn, this list is lively Pun intended.
Let’s start this thing off with one plant that is forever forgiving. Snake plants thrive on neglect. They require little light and are extremely drought tolerant. All you have to do is water when the soil is dry, easy as that and if you kill this one maybe hit up the faux plants section in Michaels
The standard variety of aloe vera is dual purpose making it totally bad-ass. Being both decorative and producing skin-saving properties to help with burns and cuts it’s totally worth the little extra care it comes with. By this I don’t mean you need to watch it every day, it just prefers bright light and only likes to dry out a little bit between watering. So give it the TLC it needs because this is one of my favourties!
ZZ (Zamioculas Zamiifolia) plant is basically fake so yah can’t kill it! It can tolerate any lighting but loves low light. Also, again this lovely is extremely drought tolerant and only needs water when soil is dry as a bone. So yes, going away for the week is an option with this guy.
Dracaena Marginada is a perfect “tree” plant. This baby can grow up to 8′ tall and can survive in any light condition. Again, keeping it easy for you this lovely is also drought tolerant and only needs watering when the surface is dry. Your welcome!
PATHOS OR DEVIL’S IVY
Ah the queen of all hanging plants. This lovely is beyond easy to take care of so easy in fact, that you will find it in almost every room of my house. I mean when something only needs minimal lighting and can live in just water or just soil, you hold onto them. They also love to hang and grow in long strands making it easy and fun to pin up on the wall or hang over the curtain rod.
Rubber Tree Plant
This guy is bold. The big, heart leaves and overall shape of this one is a must! This plant is more of a light sucker and loves to be a bit moist at all times. I’m a fan of the little bit of change in colour this guy offers as well.
You’ll find this one in my bathroom because clearly the name says it all. I love the little red flowers it produces for a small pop of colour. This lovely doesn’t need direct sun light but loves a bright area. Like the rest, this one only needs watering when the top inch is dry.
This one is a bit harder but a lot of people love it, the Fiddle Leaf Fig.
Again, you will find one of these in basically every room of my house. I will say that this is a hit or miss with people. I’ve never had an issue with my plants (until I loved and they hated my life for three months until they got used to their new spots), I average about a full leaf a week on my smaller plants and about one leaf every week and a half on my larger plants. As long as you keep this guy in a bright indirect sunlit space you’ll be good. But keep in mind, they don’t like to be moved once you find a home for it LEAVE IT THERE. Once you start moving it around from room to room, he’s going to panic and that’s when you will start to see the leaves turn brown and fall off. So let it be! and keep the soil moist always and before you know it you’ll be best friends! Also fun fact! these guys are a lot stronger than you may think, if you find that your plant is leaning to one side shake it for a few minutes a day to strengthen its roots. this will cause it to stand straight and the truck to thicken.
Well loves, there you have it. In the name of all house-plants everywhere, I wish you luck. May the odds forever be in your favor and let’s all hope the plant serial killer list of names can shorten after this read.