Watering Plants

Probably the most important matter to be observed in growing

house-plants is that of watering them. The cultivator should know just

when to water, and to give it where it will do the most good. Amateur

florists often exhibit much poor judgment in watering. It is the habit

of some to keep the soil about their plants constantly soaked with

water, and they wonder why they are not thrifty or healthy. These

cultivators do not stop to consider that such treatment is unnatural,

and will have an effect contrary to what is desired. There are those who

resort to the opposite extreme, and keep their plants all the time in a

perishing condition of dryness, which is even worse than if they were

watered to death. If we will observe how judiciously Nature distributes

the sunshine and shadow, the periodical rains, and the refreshing dews,

we will learn an important lesson. A pot, or other receptacle in which

plants are grown, should be porous; glazed, or painted pots, ought never

to be used, where plain, unglazed pots can be obtained; all non-porous

pots of tin and similar material, should be discarded. Plants growing

in them can never compare in health with those that have the advantage

of plain porous pots. There should be a hole of sufficient size in the

bottom of each pot, to allow the water to drain off, and to pass away as

soon as possible. Placing a few pieces of broken crocks, or charcoal, in

the bottom of the pots will facilitate a rapid drainage, as good

drainage is essential to the growth of strong, and healthy plants. When

plants require water, it will be indicated by a light, dry appearance of

the top of the soil, and if watered when in this condition, it will do

the most good. Give water only when in this condition, and then

copiously, giving them all they will soak up at the time, then withhold

water until the same indication of their want of it again appears, then

apply it freely. Unless plants are in a very dry atmosphere, as in a

warm parlor in winter, they will seldom require watering. In summer they

should be closely watched, and if exposed to wind and sun, they will

require daily watering, to keep them in a flourishing state. When plants

are suffering from drouth, it will be indicated by the drooping of the

leaves, and they will frequently turn yellow, and drop off prematurely;

this can be avoided by timely attention each day.

In summer, watering in the cool of the evening will be followed by the

best results, for it will give the plants time to take up and assimilate

the moisture necessary to their life, and being completely charged with

water, they will be prepared for the hot sun and drying winds of the

following day.

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