, Newburyport, MA


January 11, 2012

Tim's Tips: Caring for houseplants

At this time of the year, many gardeners' thoughts turn to houseplants.

For those who have owned houseplants for many years, the winter gives gardeners time to catch up on transplanting and maintenance of the plants. Many people who want to get into gardening will try their hand at growing houseplants. Once the selection has been made, the age-old question comes up: "How many times a week do I water these plants?"

This is where the potential for trouble begins.

First, winter is the time when most houseplants need the least amount of water. They are in a semi-dormant time of the year. During this period, they may need more humidity to keep the foliage healthy, but the roots are not taking up much water. If the soil is always kept wet, the roots can actually die from too much water. As a matter of fact, the most common cause of death for houseplants is over-watering. So, the question remains, how often should you water your houseplants?

There are many factors that will influence how much water your houseplants will need.

As the days get longer and the plants begin to get more light, they will begin to grow again and need more water. The amount of water that is necessary will vary depending on type, but if you remember that now is a time when the plants need less water, and from roughly March to October, they will need more, you have a basis for how often to water.

The amount of humidity in the air will also determine how often you need to give your plants a drink. Dry air will pull moisture out of the leaves.

Humidity levels can vary from home to home. Temperature also causes plants to require more water. The warmer the temperatures, the more water that plants will need.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Special Features
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Special Features