Houseplants: ‘Increase watering schedule’ but use ‘pencil’ trick first to prevent root rot

Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

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Houseplants enter their active growth season in spring, meaning they need more water in order to survive. With overwatering being one of the most common reasons houseplants die, experts ave shared a “pencil” trick to check the soil before watering.

Baby Bio experts told Express.co.uk: “As the weather begins to warm up and plants enter active growth season, most will require increased watering, so it’s time to increase watering schedule.”

“Remember to always test the soil first.”

Testing the soil before watering can help to prevent both under and over watering.

To do this, houseplants owners can dip their finger into the soil to see if it is moist or dry.

The expert added: “Or use a pencil and dip it into the top two inches of the soil.

“If it is still moist, there is no need to water. If the soil is dry beyond the top layer, aerate the soil to allow for an even distribution of water, again using your finger or something like pencil.

“To ensure you’re not giving your houseplants water from the bottom if your pot has drainage holes.”

Too much water is often the main reason why houseplants die, with many showing signs of root rot.

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Another way to help combat this is to mist houseplants in the morning with tepid water.

This can help to increase the plant’s level of humidity.

According to the plant experts, it is also the perfect time to start fertilising houseplants.

This ensures the soil is enriched with all of the nutrients it needs to grow “stronger roots, brighter blooms and more luscious leaves”.

Baby Bio experts added: “As a general rule of thumb, most plants need a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for optimum growth, so invest in a plant food which can provide the perfect balance.

“We recommend using an all-purpose feed like Baby Bio Organic Houseplant Food or Baby Bio Houseplant Food original, every time you water.

“Simply add a few drops to water and pour at the base of your houseplant.”

Other brands of plant food are available, often readily available to purchase from garden centres.

One houseplant which gives clear signs on how it is being watered is the peace lily.

If the plant is wilting, it is asking to be watered more as this is a sign of dehydration.

If the plant is drooping and its leaves are yellow, it needs a break from watering.

The majority of houseplants will benefit from being watered with filtered or rain water.

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