You often hear, read gardeners talking of plants hating having WET FEET, but what does it actually mean? Well, it doesn't mean they have been playing in puddles without their shoes on! It means that their roots are TOO WET. And most plants hate that! Wouldn't you??!!
WHAT DOES MY PLANT LIKE?
Most plants like to have moist soil where they can absorb the moisture and nutrients they need. They also like to be able to control the amount of moisture around their roots.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY HAVE WET FEET?
When plants are sitting in water, ie from a water logged pot, or a saucer full of water under the pot, they get over loaded with water. This will often cause a plant to simply die. Or in the case of many succulents and cacti, to rot off at the stem.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Well, firstly make sure you have a free draining potting mix. It is better to water more often than to have a plant sitting in wet soil for too long.
If your plant is already too wet then leave it in a warm place, not out in the hot sun, for a few hours to dry off a bit. Then re pot into a better quality, free draining potting mix. If you do this when the plant is still water logged you may find you damage the roots and end up killing your plant. So allow it to dry out a little first.
WHAT IF MY PLANT IS A CACTUS OR SUCCULENT?
If you have succulents and cacti that have rotted off because of too much water then you need to first remove the pieces that have rotted off, or are rotting on the plant, and place them to one side - DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY. Allow the pot to dry out for a while, and then remove the plant and root carefully and re pot into fresh, free draining soil or potting mix.
ALL IS NOT LOST - YOU MAY GET NEW PLANTS FROM THIS!
The pieces that you removed from the plant can now be cleaned up by trimming off all the rotten plant material. Be careful doing this as the plant can easily be damaged at this point. Leave the cuttings in a warm spot, not in the hot sun, for a few days to allow them to dry out a bit. Then simply place them into a pot with fresh, free draining soil or potting mix, and allow them to grow fresh roots. In a few weeks you will have fresh, new plants.
Remember - you hate wet feet for hours, so do your plants.
PLANTS WITH WET FEET - WHAT DOES THIS MEAN???
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25 April 2012
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