someone watering houseplants and pencils

Indoor plant expert shares a 'pencil' trick to save your houseplants from dying

Must See 28/02/2022

Every plant parent knows how it can be tricky to juggle the amount of water and sunlight to keep the plants from wilting.

Indoor plant expert Kate Lindley has shared her pencil trick that makes sure we are giving our houseplants the correct amount of water. 

Kate said testing the soil is always the key before watering so as to prevent either over or underwatering. The expert advises sticking a pencil into the top two inches of the soil to check if the soil is moist from the last time you watered the plant. If it is moist, then you should avoid watering until the area is dry. 

Although you can use your finger to do this, using a pencil means no soil under your fingernails!

Kate added,  "Instead of sticking to a rigid water regime of once or twice a week, instead insert your finger or a pencil into the top two inches of the soil."

'If this is still moist, there is no need to water"

"If the soil is dry beyond the top layer, aerate the soil to allow for an even distribution of water, again using your finger or something like a pencil"

Kate also advises houseplant owners to avoid using cold water to water their plants.  "Don’t use water from the cold tap, as it can become too cold during winter months and shock the root system. Instead, use tepid water by allowing it to reach room temperature before watering your plants" said Kate.

Ultimately, Kate said that all houseplants are different and it's important to know the needs of the plant before setting a watering routine.