If it's very hot, try watering your plants gently, a sip at a time


Don't underestimate your plants' water needs on hot days. Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa

In extremely hot weather, it can help if you water your plants gradually, a sip at a time, almost.

The more gradual approach gives plants a chance to absorb the water at their own pace, according to Pelargonium for Europe, a group specialising in growing geraniums.

Dry soil cannot take in all the water at once but can only take it gradually, storing it so the roots can then absorb it.

Otherwise, giving the plants a lot of water all at once means some of the much-needed fluid may just run straight through the soil.

The water may not be lost but if it's not able to drain away and accumulates at the bottom of the pot, the roots of the plant may rot.

So whenever you see excess water, let it run off or drain it.

Don't underestimate how much water your plants require. Geranium growers recommend providing a glass of water per geranium in a normal-sized pot, or about 10% of the pot's volume in water.

That means an 80cm window box will take about 2.5l.

You can always tell if you have given your plant enough water as the soil will be thoroughly moist.

However, your plants need even more water if there's a greater rate of evaporation, when the weather is hot.

Growers advise you to only water in the morning or evening, and twice a day if it's very hot.

Also, bear in mind that it is best to water directly on the soil next to the plants.

Interestingly, while people tend to prefer cooler water on hot days, plants prefer stale, slightly warmer water. – dpa

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