By Agnes Kyotalengerire
The rainy season is here and if you have a garden in your living room, patio or backyard, florists and gardeners recommend that you utilise the rainwater to re-energise and refresh your plants.
Lilian Katiso, the proprietor of Maua and More notes that rainwater makes indoor plants happy because they love it more than tap water.
Rainwater has natural nutrients like nitrate, which is the most bio-available form of nitrogen.
Katiso further notes that nitrogen is one of the three macro-nutrients that plants need to thrive. It aids healthy foliage.
“Unlike tap water, rainwater does not contain salts, minerals or treatment chemicals. It is pure hydration,” Katiso notes.
Indoor plants cannot get rain, so to enable them to access natural water, Katiso suggests harvesting rainwater and storing it to be used when the plants require it. Alternatively, if the plants are not so many or too heavy, you take them out in the rain.
If you live near a spring, then take advantage and draw water from it and use it to water your plants. Spring water is natural, chemical-free and contains nutrients that aid proper plant growth.
In the event that you cannot access spring water, Ruth Banoba who is the chairperson of the Uganda Tropical Plants Association (UTPA) says tap water can still be used, but must be fetched and kept in open containers for two to three days to allow the effects of chlorine to reduce.
Water the plants according to their needs
Katiso notes that you do not have to water your indoor plants daily. Those that need a lot of water should be watered once a week. Some plants, like the cactus and sansevieria can be watered once a month or a fortnight.
If you have chosen peace lilies for your indoor plants, watering them once a week will do them well.
The Z Z plants can also be watered once in two weeks, Katosi notes. Avoid watering your succulents every week because too much water will result in root rot.
The best thing to do is before watering, you should check the moisture of the water. If the soil is still moist, please do not water, Katiso cautions.
She further explains that some plants thrive better in soil without too much moisture.
Katiso also says most people kill indoor plants because of watering them daily, consequently drowning them.