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FAQ'S on plants and garden care

  1. What is the frequency of watering the plants?
  2. What is the quantity of water to be applied to the plants?
  3. At what time should watering be done?
  4. Should earthen pots or plastic pots be used for plants?
  5. What size of pots should I use for re-potting?

What is the frequency of watering the plants?

There is no definite answer to this question. How frequently a plant needs to be watered largely depends on the type of the plant and its way of life. The best way to determine that a plant needs watering is to bury the fingers in the soil to test for dampness. If the soil is damp - the plant does not need watering. In general - during the summer, because of quick evaporation, plants need to be watered twice a day. In the winter they can be watered every alternate day.

What is the quantity of water to be applied?

Again, there is no definite answer of applying a mug or two of water to the plant. When the soil in the pot is dry, water enough so that water comes out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. Too little watering will only wet the top surface, thus forcing the roots to grow up in search of water. If the roots come out on the surface, there is a danger of it being scorched by the sun resulting in the plant to die

At what time should watering be done?

Watering should preferably be done either in the morning or in the evening.

The hottest part of the day should be avoided. This is because, after watering is done, drops of water are left behind on the leaves. During the day, with the rays of the sun falling on the drops of water, they act as a magnifying glass and cause the leaves to burn.

Should earthen pots or plastic pots be used for plants?

Both the earthen pots and the plastic pots have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of earthen pots

  • Protects the plants from water logging because excess water is lost by evaporation from the sides
  • Cheaper in cost.
  • The weight counter balances the weight of the large plants.

Disadvantage of earthen pots

  • Difficult to handle on account of weight and its fragile nature when moist.
  • Formation of algae on the outer side of the pot making it look unattractive.
  • More frequent watering to be done resulting in the soil turning sour very soon.

Advantages of plastic pots

  • Aesthetically better in appearance
  • Does not break fast
  • Better water retention and provides uniform water saturation.
  • As water does not evaporate from the sides, the frequency of watering is less - thus saving on watering time and soil nutrients.

Disadvantages of plastic pots

  • Costlier than earthen pots
  • Since water does not evaporate from the sides, over watering could result in the rotting of the roots and the plant to die.
  • Not heavy enough to counter balance the weight of the plant

What size of pots should I use for re-potting?

Repotting should always be done in a pot of the next large size. For the convenience of not having to re-pot often, people generally use a very large pot. This however is harmful, as there is lot of excess soil in the pot. This could result in water collecting in the excess soil making the potting mixture sour and deprive the plant of nutrients - thus defeating the very purpose of repotting.