Ask a Question forum: plant watering schedule

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Name: Harriet
Baltimore Maryland
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Harriets
Mar 7, 2015 8:15 AM CST
Is there an app to help track when I last watered each houseplant? I try to test by sticking my finger in the soil about 2 inches but I tend to be an "over waterer"
I'd like to have a barcode assigned to each plant and to scan each time I water/groom/repot etc.
suggestions?
Harriet
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Mar 7, 2015 8:25 AM CST
Welcome! to ATP, Harriet.

I wish I could help you when it comes to keeping up with dates you did certain (plant) chores, but I am pretty computer/technology-illiterate. I am sure there are lots of folks on ATP that are not only savvy about such things but may even know of some software or app. that could be used. Good luck, Harriet.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 7, 2015 9:44 AM CST
The finger sticking method is much preferred to a schedule, in my opinion Harriet. There are too many variables.Temperature (yes, even in your house), humidity and light levels dictate that one cool, dull rainy week you might water only once, but the next sunny, warm dry week you would need to water twice. House plants are subject to the weather, even though they are indoors especially in the spring and fall when you might have your windows open to the outdoors.

Different plants need different amounts of water, too. Some might thrive on watering every day but it would kill others.

Location in your home might also dictate that the same type of plant in a north or east facing window would need a lot less water than one in a west or south-facing window. Size and type of pot, age and health of the plant, all are variables that contribute to the 'right' amount of water and frequency of watering. A clay pot dries much faster than a plastic one, for example.

How about taking a roll of masking tape and a pen around with you when you water, write the date on a little piece of tape and stick it on the back side of the pot (or on a leaf?) to help you remember when you watered last? A simple list stuck on the fridge (or wherever you will see it) with notes about each plant for reference might help you to remember which plants to water more and which less.
Elaine

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 7, 2015 10:06 AM CST
I agree Elaine but I essentially water houseplants by 'weight'. I pick up the pot .. if it feels light it gets water.
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Unknown

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 7, 2015 1:54 PM CST
For Android? Try Waterbot: Plant Watering. It has reminders and gauges how much water you have used to help prevent over watering.
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Mar 7, 2015 8:02 PM CST
Intresting I'll look that up. Could you post a link.


I know some plants are very tricky, deiffenbochias for example hate being wet. they like to dry out but they are not succulents either and when tthey are watered like a drenching. same thing with dracenas.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 7, 2015 8:44 PM CST
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.kosev.wate...
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Harriet
Baltimore Maryland
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Harriets
Mar 7, 2015 9:25 PM CST
Thanks everyone for all the great ideas.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
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Xeramtheum
Mar 7, 2015 9:29 PM CST
Welcome to the ATP Family Harriet! There is a wealth of information to be had here and we all love to share the wealth. I'm sure you'll teach us a thing or two!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 8, 2015 7:10 AM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 8, 2015 11:07 AM CST
Welcome, Harriet. You could also get a moisture meter, something like this:
http://www.leevalley.com/US/garden/page.aspx?p=69344&cat=2,4...

As Elaine and Anne said, schedules don't work too well. I also go by the weight of the pot (if plastic).
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
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Ecscuba
Mar 9, 2015 12:33 AM CST
@sooby I just ordered it from Amazon. Looks like a promising little tool.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Mar 9, 2015 6:31 AM CST
I hope you find it useful, Carol. Supposedly the majority of indoor plant problems are caused by over-watering.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Mar 9, 2015 7:16 AM CST
If your plants are lightweight enough to pick up, that should be a good indicator. When it's still as heavy as when you watered = doesn't need a drink yet. I do water most plants on a schedule, though I don't take time to water those that don't yet seem thirsty. About once a week while inside for winter, every 2-4 days while outside, depending on the weather.

The concern about "overwatering" is really about rotting roots. Few people have time to water plants that don't yet need more water, but worrying that it's not yet "ready" for more water to be added is unnecessarily stressful and mysterious. Unless plants are cacti or some of the succulent types, most house plants are from moist, tropical places and would prefer to not become too dry.

This concern over rotting roots/overwatering has also given rise to myths such as, "This plant likes to be rootbound." No plant likes to be rootbound. What they like is for their roots to NOT rot, which can happen so easily in a pot with dense soils, like ground dirt, or bagged mixes of predominantly tiny particles of peat. Having very little soil around the roots makes it difficult for even the most dedicated plant-overwaterers to rot the roots of their plants. This is not ideal, just a way of coping with inappropriate "ingredients" in a pot.

A more porous, chunky soil (like cactus/palm, if one is buying bagged) can have air in it even when it is moist. Roots need oxygen and moisture at the same time to function. When there are tiny particles of any kind in a pot, such as peat, sand, silt, clay, they filter into all of the tiny spaces in a pot, eliminating the air. "Overwatering" is the label and manifestation when roots have suffocated and/or rotted, combo of both. There is no one thing folks can put in to make soil better, but removing tiny particles of any type will definitely help. Over time, organic bits decompose into smaller bits, so even the "best" soil, if it has organic components, will need to be replaced when this happens. The speed at which this happens depends on many variables, but on average, about 1-3 years.

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