Water is used a transport medium for nutrients which it absorbs through the soil, without it a plant would simply not be able to get the minerals it needs to maintain growth. Water also helps maintain a plants cell structure keeping it rigid and durable. That’s why an under-watered plant wilts.
Water plays a vital role in plant development and growth. Provide too much and you will literally drown the root system and kill your favorite green friend. Provide too little and it will starve.
The requirements for water vary for each type of plant ranging from drenched soil to nearly bone dry. Each plant you purchase should have a stick-in tag explaining the water requirements, if not research the plant online or at your local library or garden center.
Symptoms and Damage:
Too much water
- Rotted roots and stem
- New growth turns brown
- Plant looks wilted
- Lower leaves yellow
- No new growth at all
- Soil may turn green, indicating algae growth
- Plant dies
Too little water
- Leaves dry and fall
- Total plant wilt and collapse
- Dry soil
- No new growth
- Plant dies
First Aid for Watering Issues
- Over-watering - The most common cause of plant problems with no exception. If you have over-watered and the compost is not draining you can remove the plant from the pot and wrap the root ball in paper towels or an old towel to soak up excess moisture.
- Dry Soil - If the compost has become so dry it allows water to seep out without being absorbed you can use a chopstick, pencil or other garden tool to puncture the soil then place the entire pot into water that is level with the top of the compost. Allow to soak until the compost is moist.
- Salt accumulation - A build up of a white crusty substance on the pot and compost caused by salts in tap water and fertilizer which may damage plant roots over time. Place the plant in a sink or outside and gently pour water through the pot and let drip dry from the bottom of the pot.
- Water your plants together on a common day, that way you won't forget one.
- Using common tap water is fine but it recommend you let is sit for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine to dissapate and for it to reach room temperature.
- Most people tend to over water their plants leading to rot and drowning.
- A simple watering can is a great investment.
- Research the plant you are trying to grow, each plants requirements vary greatly.
More information on Watering:
Water Effect on Plants - http://www.ehow.com/about_5347337_effect-water-plants.html
Importance of Watering - http://www.gardenweb.com/sesbania/watering.html
Guidelines for Watering - http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Plants/guidline.htm