Though plants can’t talk like us and ask for food and water, they have their ways of showing what they need. Like humans and animals, even plants need water for survival, and the lack thereof can kill them.
As responsible plant parents, it is our responsibility to see their hints and provide them with whatever they need. But, how can you tell when a plant needs water or not? Read on to find out how plants show their thirst for water. 1.
How To Tell If A Plant Needs Water?
Plants show sure signs when they are in dire need of water. They would start wilting, fall apart, or do other dramatic acts to grab your attention.
If you don’t want to be a cold-blooded plant murderer, look for the below signs to know if your plant needs water.
Checking For Soil Dryness
The first sign that plants will show a lack of water is dry soil. It would help if you kept a constant eye on the soil conditions to know whether your plant is getting enough water or not.
How can you check if the soil is dry? Put your finger 2 to 3 inches deep in the soil and check whether it has enough moisture or not. If the soil doesn’t have any wetness, you need to water your plant immediately.
You should check for soil dryness once every few days. It would help you to keep proper track of the water requirements of the plant. However, soil usually starts drying from downwards, and the time till the soil in the whole pot dries out, it might be too late.
Catering to the water requirements of plants is a complete trial and error method. You need to check and water the plants.
However, if you have succulents and cacti, it won’t be much of a problem as they can survive for weeks with little water. But for plants like Peace Lily and Pothos, you need to water them regularly.
Check For Soil Moisture With Stick
Most of the time, just by touching, you can’t tell if the soil has enough moisture or not. In such cases, you need to use a stick or skewer to test for soil moisture.
You have to insert the stick into the pot up to a certain point and bring it out. If the soil is moist enough, then the stick would have bits of wet soil all over it. But, if the soil is dry, it would be difficult to insert the stick, and no soil bits would be there on it.
It is one of the most efficient methods to check for soil moisture, as it helps you to know whether the bottom portion of the pot, where the roots are, is getting enough water or not.
Besides, it also shows you the color of the inner soil clearly. You can even check for soil moisture by looking at its color. If the color of the soil components in the pot is dark, then it has enough water, but if it’s light, then your plant needs water to survive.
Wilting & Drooping Leaves
Your plants will start being more dramatic if you don’t give them enough water, and one of the major signs is wilting leaves. Some plants, like Peace Lilies, can’t bear one day without water and would start drooping, showing that they can’t even hold their weight anymore.
If you missed your regular soil checking and watering, then get ready to see some wilted leaves the next day. Wilting is the sign that plants are using their stomata to retain moisture, which interferes with the process of transpiration and results in drooping leaves.
However, wilting doesn’t mean that there’s no more chance of saving your beloved plant. You can still save your houseplant by watering them immediately and taking good care of them for the next few days.
Once the leaves start to regain their posture, you can switch to your regular watering and soil checking routine.
Discoloration Of Leaves
Another sign of plants being thirsty is the discoloration of leaves. If you do not water your plant regularly, its leaves will slowly start turning yellow or brown.
It indicates that they are not getting an adequate amount of water. Yellow leaves are a sign that the plant is dying due to improper care. Even if you water your plant regularly, the yellow leaves won’t turn green again. That doesn’t mean you should let those plants die.
Water them regularly, and new leaves will start to appear within a few days. However, in most cases, yellow or brown leaves do not indicate that the plant is thirsty. It could also state that your houseplant is suffering from some diseases. Inspect properly and then take proper steps to save your plant.
Plants that do not get proper water have stunted growth and take months for new leaves to appear. If you have bought a plant and have not seen any proper growth within the first week itself, then take it as a hint that your plant is not getting enough water.
Due to insufficient water, plants do not use up all of it in one go. They save water and use it slowly to remain alive for a few days. Due to this, they cannot let the plant get any new leaves or show any growth progress.
Measure your houseplant’s height and check for new leaves every week. If there is no visible progress, then change your watering routine completely.
One of the most effective methods of checking whether a plant has enough water is by checking the weight of the pot. A pot that has water in it will weigh more than a dry spot.
If you are unsure about the moisture level of your potted plant, then pick it up and check whether it’s heavy or not. A lightweight pot indicates that you need to water the plant immediately. When water evaporates, the weight of the pot changes, and it becomes easier to carry it.
Dry Leaves & Leaf Drop
Leaves falling from any plant are pretty natural, but when the number of fallen leaves increases suddenly, it is an alarm stating that your plant is about to die. Why?
That’s because your plant doesn’t have enough H2O to continue the process of photosynthesis and is killing itself slowly. However, you can save your dead plant by providing enough water and taking extra care for the next two to three weeks.
Healthy plants drop off old leaves, but when new leaves start falling, you need to improve your water and fertilizer amount. When a plant is under-watered, new leaves will start to wilt.
What Do Plants Look Like When They Need Water?
As stated earlier, plants cannot speak or ask for water or food when they are thirsty. Instead of talking, they show us various signs that they need water. But, how to spot a thirsty plant?
Plants are over-dramatic creatures that start wilting if you do not adequately feed them. Instead of crying like babies, plants decide to grab your attention by killing themselves slowly. Dramatic much? You bet!
An under-watered plant has most of its leaves drooping or wilting, which clearly states that it cannot bear the weight of the entire plant.
How Do You Know If A Plant Needs Water Or Sun?
There are cases when you water your plant regularly, but it still shows certain misleading signs. So, how to know if your houseplant needs sunlight?
It could happen if they are not getting enough sunlight. Here are some essential points that you should keep in mind to understand your plant’s need for water and sunlight.
- If your house plant is located in a shady area and cannot receive enough sunlight, it would start leaning towards the direction of the sun’s rays. There are cases where you might see your houseplant leaning more towards the window or door where the sun rays fall gracefully. Make sure to shift the plant in that particular direction.
- Lack of sunlight can cause plants to become leggy or stretchy. In search of sunlight, stems stretch themselves and become more lean day by day. If you see your plant becoming stretchy or skinny, then it’s time to change its location.
- The color of leaves changes due to a lack of enough sunlight. Most variegated plants have color splashes all over the leaves, but the colors disappear and start becoming more yellow or brown due to the lack of enough sun rays.
- Lack of sunlight can also affect the size of leaves. While some leaves are large, others might be small. Moreover, large leaves can also shrink and start looking pale due to inadequate sunlight.
- Sunlight is one of the significant catalysts that enhances the birth of flowers. If there is not enough sunlight, then flowering plants might not produce flowers whatsoever. If your peace lily or hibiscus is not giving any flower, then start keeping it under sunlight for some hours every day.
- If the soil doesn’t dry out even after weeks of watering, then it is time to take your potted plant outside in the sun. Wet soil for weeks can lead to several fungal infections, root rot, and more. To avoid that, make sure to keep your plant under sunlight for a specific period every day. 2.
Plants need perfect fertilizer, sunlight, temperature, and water to live correctly. If you provide any one of the stated items less or more, it can lead to disastrous results.
Though some plants can live for weeks without water, most plants require water every day, especially indoor plants.
Houseplants do not have the facility to dig deep into the soil and get natural underwater for survival. They depend entirely on us for their thirst for water, and it is our responsibility to provide it to them.
If you forget to water your houseplants, they would immediately start dying as H2O is a crucial component to carrying out the entire process of photosynthesis. So, make sure to water your plants regularly. 4. 5