Water wisely and your plants will thrive

Some indoor plants need a lot of water, some need a little, and at certain times of the year some need none at all.

If that's too much information, here's a general rule that works most of the time: Water thoroughly, then don’t water again until the top few centimetres of potting mix is dry.

If you don't want to bother with a moisture meter the best way to check the "soil" is simply to stick your finger into it. If that doesn't appeal, use a stick instead. If the stick comes out clean, the potting mix is dry.

Avoiding soggy potting soil is particularly important with drought-tolerant plants such as succulents. If you continue to pour water on to plants growing in sodden potting mix there's a good chance your succulent will rot and eventually die.

The same applies to many indoor plants in winter when days are shorter and growth slows. They don't need fertiliser at this time of year and they certainly don't need to be over-watered. 

Tap water can be quite cold In the colder months, so it pays to add a little warm water before watering your plants.

Giving a plant a good watering means pouring on the H2O until it drains freely from all the holes at the bottom of the pot. This is better than dribbling on small amounts of water because it ensures adequate moisture is distributed evenly through the potting mix.

A thorough watering also helps flush away harmful chemicals, which can build up over time.