Ever wondered how to tell when you need to water your plants?
In Garden Gate issue 67, we talked about using the drooping leaves of some plants, like ligularia and New Guinea impatiens, as a sign it’s time to water. Many plants’ leaves will wilt in the heat of a summer day. But if the plant is still wilted in the morning after a night of cooler temperatures, it’s a definite sign of water stress. Here are a few more “indicator plants.”
|Astilbe Astilbe spp.||Drooping leaves|
|Astrantia Astrantia major||Drooping leaves|
|Birch Betula spp.||Drooping leaves|
|Coleus Solenostemon spp.||Drooping leaves|
|Dogwood Cornus spp.||Drooping leaves and stems|
|Impatiens Impatiens spp.||Drooping leaves and
|Ligularia Ligularia dentata||Whole plant droops dramatically|
|Plectranthus Plectranthus spp.||Drooping leaves|
|Plumeria Plumeria spp.||Drooping leaves|
|Primrose Primula spp.||Drooping leaves|
|Squash Cucurbita hybrids||Drooping leaves|
|Tomato Lycopersicon hybrids||Drooping leaves and stems|
Remember that the best way to water is early in the day and close to the soil with a watering wand, drip irrigation system or soaker hose. Much of the water from a sprinkler used on a sunny or windy summer day evaporates before it can do the plant any good.