Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Are You Drowning Your Houseplants with Love?

(ARA) - Whether you have rooms filled with houseplants or a choice few displayed throughout your home, growing houseplants is a great way to decorate and is good for both body and soul.

But did you know that the No. 1 reason indoor plants die is people drown them with love? That’s right. They overwater them. If your pretty peace lily is changing its color and losing its leaves, you may be pouring on the “love” a bit too much.

Uh-Oh: Signs of Trouble
We all know the signs ... wilted, yellow, droopy leaves, mushy stems and blossoms that are leaning over and falling off. And then we try to bring the plants back to life by overwatering them, thinking they need a really big drink.

“Overwatering your plants can lead to root rot damage while underwatering can cause sudden wilting,” says Luke Miller, editor of Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living magazine.

Miller recommends not watering all your houseplants automatically on the same schedule because indoor plants have different watering needs. Rather than empty an entire can of water into your plant’s container until you see water dripping over the sides or sticking your finger in the soil to “guesstimate” when it’s time to water, there really is an easier solution.

Moisture meters take the guesswork out of watering. These meters are easy to use and accurately measure the soil’s water content.

Fertile Earth has taken this technology to the next level with an inexpensive moisture probe. The new WaterStik is a simple device that monitors the water content in any type of soil and gives an automatic signal of your plant’s water status that’s quick, easy and accurate.

“The WaterStik is a no-brainer watering system even a 5-year-old can use,” says Dan O’Very of Fertile Earth. “You simply press the Insta-Read button and it instantly shows your plant’s water needs.”

The WaterStik blinks four warning colors. Blue means, “Stop! I’m drowning!” Yellow means, “Water me soon.” Red is “Water me now!”, and green is “Ah, just right!”
Quick Watering Tips to Grow Healthy Houseplants

* Give your plants a healthy start by choosing containers with proper drainage holes and avoid letting your plant sit in water in the catch basin.

* Use a light potting soil instead of garden soil, which tends to be heavy and doesn't allow water to drain through. Potting soil must be porous enough to allow drainage of excess water and provide oxygen needed by the roots.

* Pour enough water until it drains out the bottom. Pour off any excess water since plants don’t like to have their “feet” wet.

* Most indoor plants prefer room temperature water and need to be watered more frequently in spring and summer, when they’re actively growing, than in winter.

* Follow the watering directions on your plant’s tag. Some plants like succulents and cacti require less watering than moist-soil plants such as ferns and African violets. These fleshy-leaved plants need the opportunity to dry out between watering.

From pothos and spider plants to Chinese evergreen and jade plants, moisture meters such as WaterStik make it easy to water each of your indoor plants just like a pro. For more information or to find a retailer near you visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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