I have several potted plants. But my question is relate to general fact rather than about specific plant.

Do I have to water my plant when the top layer gets dry? I mean, I wake up in the morning and water my plant, which has dried soil by then. By noon the top soil again becomes dry. Do I water them again or the next day?

My pots vary in size from very small to medium an few big. I fill every pot 1-2 inch with water. Conditions are neither too hot, nor too cold.

Some of my plants are Ponytail Palm, Bamboo Palm, Norfolk Pine, Dracaena, Snake, Lime Plant, Sago Palm, Weeping Fig.

  • Each plant has different requirements and this also depends on the amount of light and type of soil for each plant. I am voting to close this as too broad unless you want to edit your question so it addresses one plant – kevinsky Jun 29 '16 at 14:19
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    To further kevinsky's comment, get to know the watering requirements of each type and use the weight of each pot (if possible) to determine its dryness, not the surface appearance. If still unsure, invest in a moisture probe. – Brenn Jun 29 '16 at 15:21
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    When you water, the water should be seen coming from the drainage hole. Check the heft of your plant, pot and soil before watering, when very very dry and again after watering. This is the best way in my experience in nurseries to tell if a plant needs watering. If it is heavy, nada. If it is light SOAK the plant and do not water again until it is light. This takes experimenting if you don't have me right there to tell you what is light and what is full of water. And yes, you have to know your plants and their particular needs. Less water is better than too much...pretty general...but.. – stormy Jun 30 '16 at 22:44

What matters is moisture and oxygen (from the air) where the roots are. Too much water = no oxygen --> roots die. Too little moisture and the youngest growth will lose tugidity; i.e., they will droop/sag. It is best to water just before turgidity is lost.

In bonsai, people often poke a bamboo chopstick into the soil and they judge when it is time to water by pulling it out and feeling how damp/dry it is to the touch. Just choose a weekend or another time when you will be with your plants all day for a few days. Put a chopstick in the pot among the roots of each plant. Purposely don't water until you notice the plant getting droopy. Since you were checking the chopsticks occasionally, note how the chopstick now feels --> you are now calibrated. From then onward, you just need to check your chopsticks to water just before turgidity is lost.

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