‘Can cause limescale’: ‘Avoid’ watering your houseplant’s foliage, warns gardening expert

Homebase share tips on watering indoor house plants

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From Capel Manor College in Greater London, head of horticulture and landscaping Tom Cole showed Homebase how to water indoor plants. It may sound simple to water indoor plants but if you water your houseplants incorrectly, they could end up with root rot or limescale on their leaves, depending on the variety. But how do you know when your houseplants need watering?

The houseplant expert shared two techniques you can use in a 2012 video for Homebase.

He said: “Insert your finger into the soil at the pots edge.

“If the soil feels dry, then water the plant, if it is damp, wait a little longer.

“This is only a general rule. The need for watering can vary greatly from plant to plant.

“You can also tap the pot. If you hear a hollow sound it may well need watering.”

The indoor plant pro also explained how your houseplant’s needs might change in the winter months.

Many houseplants go dormant in the winter as the weather gets cooler so they will require less water.

“Plants can sense the natural shortening of daylight hours and may go dormant, so water less in the winter months,” he added.

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When you’re watering your houseplants, it may be tempting to get a pint of water from the tap and pour it straight onto your plant.

However, not only can the temperature impact your plant, but where you pour the water can too.

The plant expert said you should allow your water to reach “room temperature” before watering your houseplants.

You can do this by leaving it to stand for a few hours.

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“This avoids shocking the plants,” he said.

He continued: “Houseplants with tough foliage and strong stems require watering from above.

“Use a watering can without a rose attachment and apply directly to the soil surface.

“Leave for a few minutes and water again until the water drains out the bottom of the pot.

“Avoid watering on the plants’ foliage as this can cause limescale.”

Plants like succulents or begins which are soft and sappy need to be treated differently.

They need watering from below which means the water needs to be poured into the dish that the pot is sitting on.

If the water is absorbed really quickly then top it back up by half.

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