Plants make me happy. I half-jokingly refer to them as my love language. My introduction to macramé came about as a need to bring green goodness to areas without shelf space. (Well that and fond childhood memories of groovy plant hangers.) But seriously, I love plants.
However I wasn't always so great at keeping plants alive. They came to our first apartment to brown and yellow and wilt and wither away. Plant care seemed like a foreign language and I didn't have a 101 class in which to enroll. I was overwhelmed.
Thankfully I remembered something key. Something that can change they way you approach any new hobby-skill-subject. You can learn anything if you start with the basics. So I did just that. One plant. Lots of research. And slowly but surely, I began a journey to crazy plant lady status.
For the start of our Green Thumb Learned series, we are going to cover the basics. Let's talk about watering this week. The number one cause of death for those lovely houseplants is.... OVERWATERING! Don't drown them! Plants with wet feet will be unhappy and unhealthy.
Let your soil dry out between waterings. I poke my finger a knuckle or so deep to check. For larger pots, I also use a bamboo skewer. If it comes out of the soil after a few minutes with any moisture (or even feeling cold), I wait a day or two before checking again.
It's usually a case of killing them with a sip of kindness, when all they really want is a nice long drink. When watering, give enough so you can see the water drain out the bottom of the pot and don't let it sit in that water too long. Make sure to water earlier in the day to prevent disease. Use room temperature water to prevent shock.
I follow a loose watering schedule around my casita, paired with regular checking. It has become part of my daily routine to keep an eye on the health of my plants. I find it very soothing! My schedule takes into consideration plant type and size and type of pot. I streamline that by only using unglazed clay pots. One less factor to consider helps. Plus I like the way they look grouped together. And because some of you will want numbers, I water my succulents/cacti 1/week and my other houseplants/trees about 2/week. I live in the southwest high desert (low humidity and lots of sun). You will likely need to adjust your schedule with the seasons.
Yes, you can turn a black thumb green. It just requires some knowledge. Do your own research. Know your plants' watering needs. And then practice some trial and error to figure out what works. Happy Growing!