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Keep these points in mind before watering any plant :

1. What kind of plant is it?

Foliage plants, cacti and succulents differ in their needs for water, but do not make the mistake of giving cacti too little water. Although they tolerate periods of time without water, they will grow much better if given ample water during periods of active growth.

2. Test the soil for dryness by inserting a finger at 1/2 inch into the soil.

If the soil is dry, water is needed. For many plants, one thorough watering which completely moistens the soil will suffice until the soil is almost dry and then is watered again. It is much safer to water by the wet-to-almost-dry method than to water every day or on a set schedule.

3. Environment is important.
Drafts, light and humidity all affect watering. A plant that does not receive much light will use less water than one in full light.

4. What time of day is best for watering?
These are varying opinions. Some plantmen say watering should be done in the morning because the plant can use the water while it is active during the day and therefore will not stand in water. Others recommend watering in the evening on the supposition that in nature plants receive water in the evening and early morning from dew.

Watering can be done from either top or bottom, whichever is preferred. The advantage of watering from the top is that you can see excess water that drips from the pot, so you know how much water the plant has received. The advantage of watering from the bottom is that you donít have to worry about getting water on the leaves of plants that will spot if water touches them, such as African Violets and other hairy leaved plants.

Never water at high noon! Plants are Ďtranspiringí at this time, which is their way of perspiring and dealing with the sun, temperature, wind and relative humidity. Most of the water you give the plant, at this time, will evaporate before the plant can use it.

Water Properly, or Donít Water at all You must water deeply to encourage the plant roots to dig deeply. Donít sprinkle a little water here and there, or the plantís roots will only grow close to the surface, where the soil is the hottest. The deeper the roots penetrate the soil, where it is cool, the better able the plant will be to withstand heat and drought.

A young plant needs more water than an older one, so treat your young plants well: Water them and check on them regularly to get them off to a healthy start. Potted plants are easy to overwater. In fact, drowning is the #1 cause of death among container plants! The soil should be dry between each watering. Having a drip pan or saucer is good idea, but it could cause problems if left unattended. If you leave an inch of water in a saucer for a week, it could damage the root system. Check your plants every other day to see if they need water or not, and check to see if the drip pan needs to be emptied.
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There is no general rule that will tell you when to water plants except this: give water when it is needed, using water that has been allowed to stand at room temperature 24 hours or longer. Since different plants need different amounts of water, the problem of which one needs water at what time arises.
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