Indoor plant expert shares ‘pencil’ tips that can prevent your houseplants from dying

Houseplant expert Kate Lindley says we’ve all been watering our houseplants the wrong way – and a simple pencil trick could save our indoor flowers from dying prematurely

Young woman taking care of succulent houseplants
Kate Lindley said over-watering or watering plants can be detrimental (stock image)

Add one tree house or two coming to your home is an easy way to bring life and color into your home, but as any plant parent knows, it can be tricky to juggle how much water and sunlight it needs. necessary to keep them from wilting and eventually dying.

But thanks indoor plant expert Kate Lindley – Product Manager at Baby Bio, the iconic British forage and care products brand – we can now keep our leafy friends alive even longer, because she shared tips to ensure that we provide plants with the right amount of water.

Talking to says the “key” is to always “test the soil” before watering to prevent over- or under-watering, and shares a simple “pencil” trick that makes soil testing easy.

“When it comes to winter watering, it’s always important to test the soil first to prevent over-watering or under-watering,” she says.

Experts recommend pencils for soil testing (stock photo)


Getty/EyeEm Image)

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Kate recommends sticking a pencil in the top two inches of soil to check if the area is still moist from the last time you watered the plant – and if so, you should avoid watering until the area is dry. .

You can also use your fingers to do this, but the pencil makes sure you don’t get dirt under your nails!

Instead of sticking to a rigid watering regimen once or twice a week, instead stick your finger or pencil in the top two inches of the soil, the expert adds.

“If the place is still wet, there is no need to water.

“If the soil dries out beyond the top layer, aerate the soil to distribute the water evenly, using your finger or something like a pencil again.”

Over-watering a plant in any way can lead to rotting and this problem is much more common during the winter months when the plant needs less water in the summer.

How often plants need water will also depend on the size of the pot, as well as the soil, light conditions, humidity and warmth of the house.

Kate also advises gardeners to avoid using cold water when watering plants, as this can shock plants from sudden temperature changes. Instead, use room temperature warm water.

“Don’t use water from a cold tap, as it can get too cold during the winter months and shock the roots,” she says. Instead, use warm water by letting the water come to room temperature before watering the plant. “

And finally, Kate emphasizes that all houseplants are different, and it’s important to know your plant’s needs before you begin your watering routine.

“Remember that every houseplant is different,” she explains.

“Some plants, such as cacti and cacti, are particularly sensitive to over-watering, while species like ferns don’t like drying out.”

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