Those who know me know that watering my plants is my greatest weakness. I’m a chronic over-waterer, and have paid the price in the past. I felt like I had found a simple solution a while back when I discovered bottom watering; a no-fail technique that allowed my plants to absorb as much--or as little--water as they wanted. However, it’s come to my attention over the past few months that some of the plants in my collection have gotten far too large to benefit from bottom watering. It would take hours for them to absorb enough water slowly through their tiny drainage holes; time I just don’t have.
So I began looking for alternative solutions for my tendency to overwater. And after hearing enough about moisture meters, I figured it was time to give one a try. Over the last month, I’ve been trialing the Plant Vitamins Moisture Meter, and I thought I’d share three things that surprised me about the product here on the blog.
#1: Getting Specific with Moisture Level Requirements
First of all, we all know that some plants can be finicky. On top of that, each plant has its own specific needs. Sometimes you are supposed to let the soil dry out between watering, or never let the soil dry out, or let only the top inch of the soil dry out…and it’s hard to keep track.
The moisture meter came with a handy list of moisture requirements for different kinds of plants--the plants you likely have in your own home. I’ve kept that list so that I can refer to it in a pinch, to remind myself not to water my aloe until the meter indicates that it’s in the Red Zone, and to remind myself to keep my ferns in the Green Zone.
#2: Helping Your House Sitter
I recently spent a couple of weeks away from home, and realized what a perfect tool the moisture meter is for my husband while I’m away! I showed him how to insert the moisture meter probe to the root level of my houseplants, and now he feels way more confident when it comes to looking after my collection.
The next time we travel, I’ll simply leave the moisture meter out for whomever is looking after my plants. It can give confidence to even the most novice plant caretakers.
#3: Helping with Routine Adjustments
It’s easy to get into a plant care routine that fits into your life (rather than one that suits the needs of your plants). Sometimes the seasons change and I find myself watering my plants on the same schedule as I did during much different climate conditions. This is a rookie mistake.
Now that I have the moisture meter, I use it to recalibrate when seasons change. As the humidity or temperature adjusts, our watering routines need to adjust, too. And just how much you increase (or decrease) your watering can be tricky to figure out, unless you have a tool like a moisture meter. I’m happy it can help guide me through these transitions without having to give too much thought to the process.
I have held off for well over a year on this purchase. I’ve heard of moisture meters, but was skeptical that I really needed one. But once my plants became big enough, I realized that I’m not a (plant) mind reader. Sometimes it can be hard to know just what they need without a little help. And while I love intuitive plant care, I don’t see this as an admission of weakness, I see it as having the right tool for the job.