House Plant Care: Water Temperatures For House Plants

What do you need to know about irrigating your houseplants? Plenty---especially if you've a variety of indoor plants; such as African violets, cacti, and tropical plants. All plants have specific watering needs, and it's important to know how to care for those needs.

What water temperature should you have when watering your houseplants? Generally speaking, water temperatures for houseplants should be maintained at a lukewarm temperature. You can easily test this by allowing the water to run on your wrist before filling up your watering can to irrigate your plants. If the water feels comfortable, and is not at any temperature extremes, you can rest assured that the temperature is just right for your houseplants.

What other techniques does the indoor gardener need to know when it comes to watering houseplants? You need to be aware of some "plant rules," before watering your plants. Some plants, such as the tropical variety, like humid climates, whereas desert plants such as cacti prefer dry soil.

The following watering tips will help you maintain your indoor garden green thumb.

1. Make sure the water temperature is lukewarm. That means the water flowing from the faucet will be comfortable running on the inside part of your wrist.

2. Always use fresh water. Dump any water that has been sitting in a watering can. Rinse out the watering can, and fill it up with fresh water before irrigating your plants.

3. During irrigation, it's a good time to feed your plants, since many plant foods require dissolving in water.

4. Use the knuckle test before watering your plants. The soil should be dry up to your second knuckle, which is about an inch and a half to two inches.

5. Many plants don't like "wet feet"---meaning that they don't want to sit in a container of water. Thereby, make sure that any leftover water in your drainage pot is dumped out after watering your plants. Also, make sure that you have proper drainage for your potted plants so the roots won't rot. For example, all potted plants should have holes in the bottom of the holding container for excess water to drain out and to be collected in an outer container. You can be creative with outer containers. Some examples include crocks, fish bowls, and extra-large coffee mugs.

6. Add pebbles to the bottoms of drainage containers to absorb excess water and increase room humidity. You can buy these pebbles at craft stores, plant stores, or pet stores.

7. Mist plants that enjoy extra humidity. Tropical plants are an example of plants that thrive in humid air. However, know every one of your plants' watering needs. For example, African violets and other plants with fuzz on their leaves will wilt if they're misted.

8. Most plants like to be watered at the roots. However, some plant varieties want to be watered in a drainage pot and be allowed to absorb water from the pot up into the roots.

9. Using distilled water helps to avoid the pitfalls of using hard or soft water in plant soil. It can be convenient to keep a gallon jug of distilled water by your indoor garden so that it will stay at the same room temperature as your houseplants.

10. Finally, put similar plants together. For example, group your tropical plants together with water lying in pebbles. That way the plants share the humidity from the standing water. Likewise, keep your cacti together to remind you to keep their soil dry.

A little plant know-how will enable you to grow a wonderful indoor garden. Water temperatures as well as the amount of watering done to your houseplants will ensure their long life and root health.

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