Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

There are many reasons why houseplants can suffer including the wrong temperature, unsuitable surroundings and not enough light. Overwatering is also a common problem when it comes to houseplant care. The main symptom of an overwatered indoor plant is wilting and yellowing of the leaves.

Plants that are continually overwatered will drop their leaves, have scorched leaves and will eventually die.

While a watering schedule can ensure plants are correctly watered, plant owners can still find themselves over-watering if they’re unsure of their plant’s needs.

To avoid overwatering houseplants, indoor plant owners can instead use ice cubes.

Ice cubes placed in the plant pot melt, gradually nourishing and hydrating the plant.

Ice experts at The Ice Co have shared five reasons why using ice cubes is the best way to water houseplants.

1. Avoids overwatering

To combat overwatering, houseplant owners can put a few ice cubes in the soil of the plant to provide hydration as they gradually melt.

This will give the soil enough time to absorb just enough water for the plant’s needs.

2. It’s easy

Using a jug can provide too much water and can be messy when it comes to leakage from the pot.

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Taking a couple of cubes out of the freezer to put in a plant pot “doesn’t get any easier” – plus it’s easier to clean up.

3. Enhances blooming

The experts said: “The change of temperature from the ice actively promotes blooming – especially in plants such as orchids.

“Orchids require a change in temperature between night and day in order for them to bloom properly, so using ice does this efficiently.”

4. No leaks

Pouring water from a jug or a watering-can can leave puddles of water on tables, chairs and on the floor.

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Using an ice cube eliminates this problem as the ice melts gradually and nourishes the plant.

The experts said: “Whether your plant lives in a pot, or a hanging basket, it will always be prone to leaking when watered.

“The water doesn’t sink down through to the soil as quickly, and if you’re worried about struggling to reach your hanging baskets to water them, ice cubes eliminate the possibility of creating a mess. Plus, gone are the days of water pooling at the bottom of the plant pot.”

5. Anyone can do it

This is useful for people who are amateur plant owners or for those neighbours looking after plants while you’re away on holiday.

The experts said: “If they’re not so into the plant life, embedding a few ice cubes into the soil couldn’t be a simpler task.

“There’s no measuring, temperature checks, or real skill involved.”

One plant that benefits from being watered using ice cubes is orchids as they can be especially tricky to water.

Once a week, place three ice cubes on top of the soil. As the ice cubes melt, they will give the orchids the perfect amount of water.

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