This Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum) houseplant is being killed with kindness by the family waterer. Too much water kills quicker than too little.This plant likes humidity from a mister or being stood on a damp gravel base but doesn’t want to be flooded.
- Plants that transpire lots of water from large fleshy or soft leaves need more watering.
- Plants with frail, rubbery or sticky leaves are generally conditioned to survive with less water. Look at the leaves to learn what works best.
- Most cacti & succulents with juicy leaves are often able to survive dry spells.
- Plants that are actively growing need more water and the converse is true in winter when growth is slow they need little or no water.
- Try aim for evenly moist soil from top to bottom after watering
- Good drainage in needed for the majority of houseplants so if in doubt err on the side of an open compost
- Stagnant water is a no-no causing chills, decay and harbouring potential pests.
- The tepid water with no chemicals is OK or try rain water.
- Ailing plants should be given only little water and no fertilizer.
- Gloxinia like other hairy leaved plants dislike water on the leaves as the sun’s heat can be magnified and damage the leaf.
- Consider each plant as an individual and treat it according to need.
- Plants from desert regions generally need less water than jungle plants
- The same variety near a heater or in a smaller pot will dry out faster than its twin.
- Clay pots dry faster than plastic pots. Pots in urns dry slower.
- Large roots can fill a pot leaving no room for moist compost so soak these plants well or consider re-potting. I have just put an Azalea pot inside a wet & larger pot.
- Moisture meters are available to check the moisture content of soils.
- Drip watering is popular in greenhouses and can be used for houseplants combined with capilliary matting if desired.
- Do not be too regimented as to time tables and quantities but do what seems to suit the plant
- Watch the plants to see how they react and adjust your actions in the future.
- If all else fails read the instructions on the label.