How to take better care of flower plants in pots?

Learn to become a better home gardener and keep potted plants alive.

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Published on February 25, 2021

Are you having difficulties keeping your potted houseplants alive? Does it feel that flower plants need top-notch care to grow properly?

Whether you grow flowers or even small trees in pots, this post is for you. It gives you tips and tricks for better gardening. You also learn how to utilize data about the well-being of your plants. With Meazurem, you can take it to the next level.

Our office flower data
The well-being of our office flower in the Meazurem app

Containers and pots

Size

One of the first mistakes you can make is using a too-small container. To allow the plant to grow and flourish, you should have a large enough pot for your plant. On the other hand, if the container is way too big, proper watering becomes difficult. My advice is to pick the pot that feels about the right size and choose one size larger if in doubt.

Drainage

Your container should definitely have drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. The holes allow immoderate water to drain out of the soil. It is vital for the plant and the soil. A container without proper drainage is not suitable for growing plants and can cause the plant to rot or drown.

Image of Xiaomi Mi Flora Smart Pot
Xiaomi Mi Flora Smart Pot

Recommendation

I’m not covering the basic terra-cotta, ceramic, and metal containers here. I’m recommending a new Smart Pot from the Xiaomi Mi Flora series. This smart pot measures and reports moisture and soil nutrient levels. It is an excellent container for small indoor flowers. Read further to learn how to utilize the information this smart pot provides.

Constant everyday care

Water and moisture

It is said that watering a container garden is more art than science. It is easy to agree because there’s no formula for proper watering.

However, I’m still giving you a rule of thumb method to get you started. For most indoor plants, you can get away with watering about once a week. For outdoor plants, giving such a formula becomes impossible. Outdoor weather and temperature play such an important role. On a warm and sunny day, plants might even need daily watering.

Most plants prefer moist soil, but overwatering causes more damage than underwatering. If the roots stay wet always, they may start rotting. As a general guideline, it’s best to allow the soil to dry out between watering.

Moisture screenshot
Moisture level history during the last two weeks

You should water the plant until the water begins to come out of the drainage holes to ensure the soil is moist enough all over. It is better to water deeply seldom rather than lightly and frequently.

But how can you know when to water again? The traditional way to test soil moisture is to stick your finger into the soil and evaluate it. The problem with this method is that the top of the ground is not an accurate indicator.

Meazurem gives you the tools to do it better. Taking advantage of technology gives you a head start. Using a moisture meter is the way to go further.

With the help of Meazurem, you can see the moisture levels right with your smartphone. For example, in the related image, you can see how the moisture levels have decreased steadily after watering on Tuesday last week. It is easy to see that it will be time to water again in the coming days.

Nutrition levels

For indoor flowers, you should never use soil from the garden. Instead, buy soil designed for potting. It has the right lightweight texture and mixture of materials and nutrients.

Fertility screenshot
Nutrition level history during the last two months

Plants in containers might need extra fertilizing to keep the nutrients level up. To keep the plants healthy, you should feed them a diluted liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks or monthly. It would help if you did this, at least during the growing season, to keep your plants happy.

Keep in mind that too much fertilizer is worse than too little. Over-fertilizing can damage the roots and can end up killing your plant rather than helping it. Remember to read the product instructions for proper dilution!

There is no obvious way to tell when the plant needs fertilizing. The proper way is to measure it. Meazurem can help you with this too. Open the app on your phone, and the information is there for you. For example, in the related image, you can see how fertility just spiked during the watering, but the overall trend is declining. It is because the soil is running out of nutrients.

Sunlight

All plants require light to survive. Yet, it can be tricky to find a spot with the right amount of sunlight. A typical problem with indoor plants is that they don’t get enough sun but the requirement for light depends heavily on the type of plant. That’s why I cannot give general advice but only recommend checking out other sources for your specific plants' conditions.

Illuminance screenshot
Light level history during the last two days

You can see how our office flower has gotten light during the last two days in the image above. It’s winter here in Finland, so basically, all the light the flowers get is from artificial lighting. Outside the office hours, there’s not much light available. But don’t worry, we take good care of our green friends.

Take it to the next level

Image of Xiaomi Mi Flora Smart Sensor
Xiaomi Mi Flora Smart Sensor

In addition to the smart pot mentioned earlier, another smart plant sensor is even better. It measures temperature, sunlight (illuminance) in addition to moisture and nutrient levels (conductivity). And what’s even better, you can use it with any flower pot — just stick the sensor to the container.

To make it even more awesome, Meazurem has user-configurable alerts. It means that you don’t have to monitor the plants manually. The app will alert you when it’s time to add water or fertilizers. You define the alerts and the service alerts when it’s time to act. Alerts are a game-changer in keeping your plants alive!

Time to add more water
Phone alert - time to add more water

After I started using the smart sensors and alerts, my flowers have begun to flourish. I highly recommend that you give it a try!

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