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Watering Plants

Q.What Does It Mean To “water Lightly” (house Plant).

Zone Prince George, BC Canada | Anonymous added on March 20, 2022 | Answered

This is a variety of plants in a one-gallon pot with no drainage. Two of the plants flower and two don’t (no names provided). Please give me a ballpark amount of water/frequency, as I know nothing about plants. Thanks very much.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 21, 2022

Watering lightly refers to the force. You don't want a stream of water that would slosh soils and disturb the roots. Instead, opt for something that "sprinkles" water.

Because there are no drainage holes in your container, this will add several steps of precautions that you will need to take. Pots with no way to allow all extra water out will be a death sentence to a plant in the hands of an inexperienced gardener, due to water buildup in the container.

With this situation, it will be important to check every time that you water. This could be once per week, once per month, twice per day, or whatever the microclimate around your plant dictates. Because there are no drainage holes to allow all extra water out, it may sit in water for much longer than if it were allowed to leave freely.

Generally, you would water, slowly, until the water starts to drip from the drainage holes. Since there are none, this will be guesswork for the first few waterings.

You will need to water a little at a time, and turn the container over holding the soil in and check, occasionally, that no extra water drips out. Once there is no extra water dripping out, you have watered sufficiently.

If you do not have a moisture meter, then you will need to measure moisture with your finger. Since there are no drainage holes, you will want to wait until the soil is completely bone dry down to about halfway down into the container before watering again.

My solution is to choose a container, roughly, the same size or slightly larger, but with drainage holes or removable saucer. This will take all guesswork out of how MUCH to water. Frequency will be determined by microclimate.

The last thing to consider will be the exact cultivar of each plant. Watering habits will, often, be very plant specific.

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