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Water and irrigation

Water and irrigation

Why does a plant need water?

All plants need water for normal growth and development.

It provides the elasticity of the plant tissues to keep it upright and participates in a variety of chemical processes.

Water is absorbed mainly by the roots of the plant, therefore the substrate (soil) must always contain a sufficient amount of moisture.

What are the watering methods?

There are two main ways to water plants:

  1. watering from above: from a watering can or a plastic bottle;
  2. watering from below: when water is poured into a pan and when a pot with a plant is placed in a bucket of water.

There is a combined method when the above two watering methods alternate.

There is also a way to spray the roots

Each method has its drawbacks:

When watering from above, the earthen lump is not completely saturated with water, therefore it is recommended to water it in 2-3 approaches until water appears in the pan of the pot. This water, or whatever remains of it, must be drained from the pan of the pot no later than an hour later.

The second disadvantage of the overhead irrigation method is that the water leaches mineral salts from the substrate, therefore it is important to feed the plants in a timely manner, especially during their growth.

When watering from below, into the pan of the pot, the water may not always reach the top of the coma due to high drainage. Due to capillary forces, water rises up the substrate, and a high drainage layer can prevent this.

Therefore, it is better to immerse such plants in a bucket of water. After the plant is saturated with water, drain off excess water and return the plant to its original place.

Another disadvantage of this method is that salts accumulate in an excessive amount in the pot. Nevertheless, even with such watering, the plants must be fed. Just before feeding, spill the earthen lump with watering from above.

The advantages of the bottom irrigation method are that there is no danger of flooding the growth point of plants whose leaves grow flush with the edges of the pot (violets for example) or they have easily rotting tubers or cones (cicas).

Watering with the immersion of the pot will also help a lot when the earthen lump in the pot is dry and the water passes into the gap between the lump and the wall of the pot.

Epiphytic plants fortified in hanging baskets, on palm felt and other substrates in which the roots protrude outward, can be watered with frequent spraying of the roots. Remember that most epiphytes require moist air.

What plants are best to water from below?

Such wonderful plants as saintpaulia (uzambara violet), gloxinia, cyclamen do not like getting water on the leaves. Therefore, bottom watering is recommended for them, a way of immersing the pot in water.

Also, this irrigation method can be applied to marsh plants that tolerate stagnant water in the pan: cyperus, zantedexia, monstera, philodendron.

What is the best water for plants?

Rainwater is best, but not with our urban ecology.

Tap water that has been kept for 12 to 14 hours is fine. During this time, chlorine will come out, some of the mineral salts will settle and the water temperature will return to room temperature.

It is better to pour the sediment from mineral salts at the bottom of the container to settle the water into the toilet.

Yucca is normal for lime, but azalea or bromeliads do not tolerate hard water.

There are such water softening methods:
- put a perforated bag of peat in 10 liters of water overnight. The package can be reused.
- boil the required amount of water.
- to defend water. Part of the lime will precipitate
- use drugs from specialized stores.

Remember that plants need a little lime to feed their cells, so if you keep watering softened water, sometimes water them with regular tap water.
How much watering should be?

Watering abundantly is recommended to completely wet the entire potting medium. Excess water in the pan should not be left and must be drained after half an hour - an hour.

Generous watering should be followed by reasonable drying of the soil.

Before watering, lightly pick the soil in the pot with your finger, if it is wet, the plant does not need watering yet.

Why is excessive watering harmful?

The drooping leaves of plants with wet soil in a pot signal that you are corny pouring the plant. With excessively frequent or abundant watering, the water fills the pores in the substrate (soil), the roots do not receive oxygen, putrefactive bacteria settle on them and the plant can bend. Flooded plants take a long time to heal.

Therefore, for a while, limit watering such a plant.

Also, do not forget that in winter, in the absence of central heating in a room with plants, watering should also be reduced so as not to overmoisten the soil.

Which plants can tolerate drought?

Not a single plant likes drought, including cacti.

It is normally tolerated only by succulents and some bulbous plants in the resting phase.
How wet should the potting soil be?

Light drying of the coma between waterings (but not overdrying) is suitable for pelargonium, reticulum, woody ficuses, as well as for bulbous plants during the growth period.

Do not allow the earthen coma to dry out in pots with anthurium, saintpaulia, azalea, passionflower, and some philodendrons.

A constant low water level in the sump is suitable for marsh plants: zantedechia, cyperus, calamus, caladium. But during dormancy, the tubers of zantedechia and caladium should be dry, and calamus and cyperus are transferred to watering without drying.

And most of all water is needed by aquatic plants: miniature water lilies, lotuses, water hyacinth (eichornia), floating krinum, etc.

What time of day is it recommended to water the plants?

In summer, it is better to water the plants in the evening, and in late autumn and winter, it is better to water it in the morning.

What determines the frequency of watering plants?

The general rules for watering frequency are as follows:

More often you need to water:
- plants during growth and vegetation;
- plants during flowering;
- in the hot season - 3-5 times a week, or even daily;
- certain species of plants, for example, marsh plants, cyperus.

Less often you need to water:
- plants during dormancy
- recently rooted cuttings; recently transplanted plants - the root has not yet developed;
- in the cold season - 1 - 2 times a week, or even once a month;
- plants with fleshy leaves, cacti

How do plants respond to lack of water?

  • The plant has stopped growing or is growing very slowly
  • The lower leaves curled up and turned yellow
  • Leaves have brown and dry edges

How do plants react to excess water?

  • Mold has appeared on the flowers
  • The plant has slow growth
  • The leaves have curled up and withered
  • Leaves have brown tips
  • Old and young leaves fall off at the same time
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