Between Christmas and Easter is the time that you are most likely to overwater your houseplants. The central heating is toasty, they may be showing signs of growth, you are stuck indoors with not much to do.

But be careful, they can’t cope with extra water at this time of year. The light is not strong enough enable them to use it up. The big risks are plants in pot covers that you just top up a little each time. I manage to make a mess of this with at least one plant per year. Try picking the plant out of the pot cover and having a look to see if there is left-over water in the bottom. 99% of houseplants hate sitting in water for more than a hour or so. A soaking plant can be dried out by taking it out of the pot and wrapping it in towels or kitchen tissue to absorb the water from the soil. Keep doing this till it is dry, then put it back in the pot and don’t water for a few weeks.

If you keep overwatering, don’t worry, just put your plants on plain saucers or drinks mats for the winter. You can water them in the sink, drain them and then put them back when they are done. Many people recommend immersing plants fully in water to allow a change of air in the compost: it bubbles out of the top when you hold the plant in the water, and then fresh air is sucked in as the water drains out (it does make a big mess though).

Published by mercyjm

Living in Kent, I am a qualified horticulturist, currently self-employed as a gardener Herne Bay & Whitstable areas; I sell houseplants and airplants at markets locally.

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