Welcome to the smart gardening era. Hanging plants is a beautiful addition to almost any room. Watering indoor hanging plants is easily done with many options available.
It makes you free to choose beautiful plants as there are so many options for displaying hanging plants around your home. Usually, people don’t opt for hanging due to a lack of knowledge or fear of messing up the home environment.
Keeping water from dripping controls the slippery and potentially damaging standing water off your floors.
I am here to give you all the options to water indoor hanging plants and keep the water from dripping.
Devote a day in the week ( depending on your plant requirements and the season) to watering only hanging plants. This will make it easier to manage.
When is the right time to water a hanging plant
Feel the potting soil before watering. If the soil allows your finger to go in about an inch or two easily and soil sticks to your fingers, do not water the hanging plant.
If the soil is so dry that your finger does not go in, water the plant. If the finger goes in but no soil sticks to the fingers, water the plant. If the edges of soil around pot walls shrink so that there is a gap between soil and pot, water the plant. The soil shrinks as it dehydrates.
You can also use a moisture meter to find out the watering requirements of the plants.
Hydrate the plant less often in winters. The area high above is warmer and drier in the room than the area below. So hanging planters may need water more frequently than those in pots on the floor.
Some plants like to live in moist soil while some prefer dry soil conditions. Learn about your plant’s preferred condition
and then water accordingly.
Water your plants in the morning. Watering at night can cause your plant to develop diseases more easily because the plant does not have time to dry before the temperature cools.
How to water hanging plants + keep it from dripping
There are many methodologies for watering hanging plants. You could go with
- Traditional saucer method
- Downward or bottom watering method
- Keeping bowls underneath the hanging plant
- Double potting method
- Self-watering method
- Sink method
Traditional saucer method
Most of us use macrame for hanging planters as they look cute and classy. Before hanging, plants make sure to put a saucer underneath the pot. This will make it easier to add water on top of the plant without having to worry about the mess.
Let the plant drink little by giving it small sips at a time. This way there is no overfilling and no excess water comes out. Even if it does, just take the plant out from the hanging and remove saucer out after about thirty minutes and remove excess water by tilting the saucer. Dry the saucer with a towel. Hang the plant with the attached saucer back in position. Do not keep the plant in standing water as its not healthy.
Secondly, the saucer or tray might overflow the next time you water.
A step ladder and a long neck watering will take care of your plants watering needs in this method.
Bottom watering method
This method can be done outdoors if the season is warm. It can also be done in a bathtub indoors when it gets a bit cold. Remove the pot from hangings. Fill a tub with a few inches of water. Plants love rainwater.
If it is raining, collect rainwater in a plastic tub and use it to water the plants. Otherwise, normal tap water is fine. Just let it sit out in the open for 24 hours. This is done to evaporate the chlorine.
Now add some liquid fertilizer like fish fertilizer or any fertilizer suitable for your plant. Mix it up according to instructions. Now gently lower your hanging plants and let them sit in water. This should be done according to the plant and from March till September. Do not fertilizer in winter dormant season.
Leave them for 20-30 minutes in there. This will ensure they have soaked up the adequate required amount. This is especially in the warm months where they dry out very soon.
An additional tip here is that if you do not see the soil get adequately wet, break the soil up a little with any sharp garden tool or kitchen tool like chopsticks. Whatever comes handy and breaks the soil. Experiment a bit.
What happens is that sometimes soil gets clumped up and is unable to absorb. So breaking it up a bit will help in the absorption process. This frequently happens with plants that don’t need water very frequently.
After the top layer of the soil is darker than it was before and is a little bit damp, then they are done the watering and are ready to dry.
Take them out from the tub and let them sit out in the open to dry and to let the excess water runs out. They can be left like this for a few hours
If you are in a hurry and do not want to leave them out for a few hours, layout a dry towel and put your plants on them to help absorb excess water. Put the towel on a concrete slab of the balcony or somewhere where there is no carpet. It helps the excess water to drain out more quickly.
If you are bottom watering in a bathtub indoors, drain out the water from the bathtub and let them sit for a few hours until the plant is no longer dripping water.
It also helps if you bounce the plant a little bit. It helps to drain excess water from the bottom of the pot.
Bottom watering gives you a good chance to spray down your plants with a good sprayer. Spraying down keep spider mites away from them. This is because spider mites prefer a dry climate.
Keeping bowls underneath the hanging plants
This is another easy method for those who do not want to move around the hanging plants and bringing them down and then watering, drying them seems like a big task.
Just put a bowl or any other container exactly beneath the hanging plant. The excess water drains into the bowl. This method is not at all suitable for hanging plants in macramas. This is because the water dripping can cause molds in the macramas.
Make sure the bowl or container or bucket is exactly beneath so that dripping on the floor or furniture is avoided.
Double potting system
This versatile double potting system is an easy option that allows you to switch the hanging plants quickly. The outer decorative pot has no drainage holes. The inner bottom of this outer pot is lined with pebbles. About 2-3 inches.
The inner pot is kept above this layer of pebbles and has drainage holes. The excess water goes down to the layer pebbles and as the inner pot is at a height, it does not stay in the water. This way water is not reabsorbed by the plants. This technique also improves humidity around the plants.
A disadvantage of this system is that the hanging pot gets heavier. Make sure your wall or ceiling can hold that weight. It might be difficult to reach over to the inner pot when watering from the top.
These are new and improvised techniques to make the plant self-sufficient. It is a method by which the plant will take care of its watering needs.
It is especially a boon for hanging pots and for vacation trips. It consists of self-watering reservoirs inserted in the soil at one end. They come in beautiful shapes and sizes and different forms.
With self-watering tools, there is no fear of over or underwatering. It is also called as automatic drip irrigation equipment. They also add a bit of flair to your pots.
Water spikes are one of the self-watering tools in which you can make your own reservoir by using any type of bottle- even a plastic soda bottle! There are watering globes, water birds and many more options to choose from an online or local garden shop.
The water in the reservoir is pulled by the soil into the tube and into the soil as it dries. This keeps the water contained with no spillage.
Remember to check the reservoir water level and refill as needed.
Take hanging baskets down. Set the basket in the sink and water thoroughly. Allow the water to drain from the basket for 30 minutes to an hour before hanging it back up. Dry the bottom with a towel if needed.
Another option is to fill the sink with 2-3 inches of water. Now set the hanging pot in the standing water. The soil will absorb moisture through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.
Once the soil looks moist and changes color, drain the sink and let the hanging plants sit for half an hour. Rehang your plant.
This is a good method to leech any salts from the soil due to fertilizer applications.
Some additional tips for hanging plants
- Clay-based pots dry out fast and are ideal for plants that are sensitive to overwatering
- Ceramic pots hold water well and work best for plants that like humid climates.
- Wide containers allow leaves to rest on the pot and spread horizontally
- Tall and skinny containers let leaves tightly dangle and create a more vertical look
- Hang long plants higher to keep vines and leaves from dangling on the floor
- Suspend shorter plants lower to give guests a closer look and add to your decor
- Use a jute macrame hanger to give your container a rustic twist
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