I bought some yellow African Daisies at Lowe's and they did well at first. However, I have heard so much about over-watering container plants that I held back on the water. All of the flowers faded and turned brown/died. I dead headed and watered them thoroughly this evening. They are in a well-drained container. So how much water is enough/too much?
I water my container plants once a day and make sure that they are soaked well. When the weather is warm (hot) I sometimes water a couple of times a day. It is easy to overwater indoor plants, but I've never heard of the problem for outdoor plants. Outdoor plants tend to be underwatered as opposed to overwatered.
First of all, thanks for the tip. Second, on the cards that come with the various plants it says semi-moist, moist, etc. I don't understand the differences and how to figure how often I should water. For example, Dianthus says low once established and Hydrangeas are semi-moist. I bought one of those electronic moisture meters but it's only helping a little. If I went by it to water my African Daisy I wouldn't water it enough. It always reads wet.
The best way to tell if a plant needs water is the plant itself. If it is growing well, putting out new growth and blooming appropriately, then it is happy with the moisture it gets. If it wilts, it needs additional water. Other not so obvious signs are slowed growth, smaller and fewer blooms, dried edges to leaves and terminal buds not developing. All of those are signs of too little moisture. Too much moisture are yellowing leaves (usually from the bottom up) waterlogged plants tend to wilt too, but they don't look dry, they simply flop over. That is caused by lack of oxygen getting to the roots.
Your location will also have a bearing on water needs. Gardeners in cooler parts of the country can get by with less water than those of us in hotter regions. I'm in KY and my conditions are similar to NC, which means that If I do not water often and deeply, my container plants would be toast (literally) in a day or two. I even water my succulents daily, but they don't get as much as my sweet potato vines. I just make sure that they aren't sitting in crispy dry soil. Since they are in a very sunny area, they dry out quickly.
Okay. That makes sense. I think that since I'm so new I'm not trusting my own instincts because I just don't have the experience yet. I'm so afraid that I'll over-water that I have held back. But, now that I am water more deeply and more often, the plants are looking better. The Daisy has some new growth and blooms. Now I turn to my rose bush that I transplanted a few weeks ago.
It looks ok. Coreopsis are pretty tough plants and it doesn't look water deprived. It looks like it is putting out new blooms and the leaves look good and lush.
They can get by with less water than something like coleus or ornamental sweet potatoes.
Just let your plant tell you if it needs more water. My sun coleus are little water junkies and I have them crowded in containers to boot...they look nice that way, but depend on very regular drinks to stay happy.