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We all know that plants love water, and in order to keep a plant alive, you need to water it. But watering your plants is not always that simple, and you may have some questions about the right way to do it. For example, you might want to ask, is cold water good for plants?
When watering outdoor plants, either those in containers or those that are planted in the ground, in beds, you probably use an outside tap. The result is that certainly in winter, the water will be very cold. Is it okay to water your plants with such cold water?
Outdoor plants are usually sufficiently hardy to be able to withstand the temperature of the outdoor tap water without enduring any damage. They are used to the cold climate, and they need to be watered regularly. So it is fine to water them with cold tap water.
Is Cold Water Good For Indoor Plants?
Indoor plants are a lot more delicate and vulnerable than outdoor plants. They are used to being in a more controlled environment, and will not do well if exposed to sudden changes in temperature.
When it comes to watering your indoor plants, they need water that is neither too hot nor too cold. The plant’s roots are the most important part of the plant, and if they are watered with water that is either too hot or too cold, it could shock the roots and damage the plant.
The ideal temperature for watering your indoor house plants is room temperature. This will help to keep the overall temperature of the entire plant, roots and all, stable and constant.
One should never use fridge water to water house plants. It will be too cold and will traumatize the plant. The roots will not be able to absorb all the water. They will be left in wet soil for too long.
Lying in constantly wet soil may cause the roots to develop fungus or mold. If you water your houseplants regularly with water from the fridge, they will eventually die. It is too cold for them.
If you live in a cold climate, where the tap water gets extremely cold during the winter months, I always recommend filling your watering can and leaving it to stand for an hour or two, allowing the water to warm to room temperature, before actually watering your indoor plants.
In this way, your plants will not be exposed to extreme temperatures and they will continue to thrive through the winter.
How Can You Tell When Your Plants Need Water?
If you are not sure how often to water your plants, I always advise doing the finger-tip test. Insert your index fingertip or middle fingertip into the soil, as far as the first joint. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it is time to water.
Do this every day for a week or two, and you will soon learn how many days you can go between watering. The same guide would apply to both indoor and outdoor plants.
What Is The Best Time Of Day To Water Outdoor Plants?
When watering outdoor plants, either in containers or in flower beds in your garden, it is important to water at the right time of day.
It is not advisable to water during the midday hours, for example between 11:00-15:00, especially during the summer months. The air will be too hot, and the water will dry and evaporate before it has a chance to reach the roots. The plant will start to wilt because the roots will not get enough water.
The best time to water outdoor plants is in the morning. This will allow the roots to absorb as much water as they need, and it will allow the leaves to dry off gently in the sun.
It is also okay to water in the early evening, but only in warmer weather. If it is already getting cold, watering in the evening may cause harm to outdoor plants.
As the nighttime temperature drops, the water will not have enough time to dry or to be absorbed, and it could damage the plant. The roots will get too cold and the leaves may develop mold or fungus.
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What Is The Best Time Of Day To Water Indoor Plants?
Indoor plants will be fine if you water at any time during the day, but if your plants are in a very sunny spot, it is a good idea to water in the morning.
Can You Water Plants With Water Left Over From Cooking?
This is a great question. Many people do not think of this, but the water that has been used to boil your vegetables, or for boiling eggs, is excellent for watering your plants. This water will be full of minerals from the eggs or veggies that have been cooked in it. These minerals are fantastic nutrients for plants.
When using cooking water to water your plants, be sure to allow the water to cool to room temperature first. Using very hot water will be too much of a shock to your delicate plants, and will damage them while using water that has just boiled will actually kill them instantly.
Can You Water Plants With Water From Pasta Or Rice?
When you cook pasta or rice, much of the starch is removed and remains in the water. This starch is good for plants and will help to feed and nourish the roots.
A word of caution; when watering plants with any water that has been used for cooking, it is important to remember not to use water that has been salted. The salt contains sodium, which can be harmful to plants if added to the water.
Are There Any Plants That Can Tolerate Cold Water?
One exception to the above is orchids. If you place two or three ice cubes in the soil of your orchids, they will do very well. Not only is cold water good for these plants, but it will also help them to thrive.
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.