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The Proper Way To Water A Potted Plant

Jamesnns

New Member
Its still alive....its hanging on. Its was my forst plant, the first to sprout...and I killed it. :(
Hopefully, tlc will get it back, but I doubt it
 

Timmo

Well-Known Member
Two questions, one on watering and one on up-potting.

When watering, is there anything wrong with dunking the whole pot into a bigger container of water/solution for a minute or so, so the soil gets completely saturated--kind of taking Nivek's "water til it's almost overflowing" method a bit farther? Once the pot is taken out of the water, it should cause the same suction you referred to, pulling oxygen down into the soil. (I don't normally do this with my plants--I'm a slow waterer like you, but I've done it with potted veggie starts (yeah, I have one of those gardens, too) if they're really dry. Just wondering if it's a bad thing to do.)

For up-potting, would it be beneficial to start the plant in a short, wide pot (I'm thinking a height-width ratio like the 300-gal grow bags outdoor growers use, just much smaller), so the roots are forced outward to begin with, and then make the successive pots deeper?

Great info. Thanks!
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
the only problem I see with the dunk method is the entire root ball trying to float out of the container, but as long as it was left there long enough to totally saturate the entire root ball, it should work just fine, and the excess water will drain off as soon as you take it out of there just as if it were watered from the top. This method might be problematic in 10 gallon containers and a full sized flowering plant, but as long as you can physically do it, I dont see a reason why not to.

regarding containers, you are exactly right, wider is better than taller. It forces the roots to start growing laterally much sooner.
 

yankeetoker

Well-Known Member
I'm in the process of my 2nd grow attempt. My 1st grow attempt was full of blunders (including over watering ) and ended with 2 hermies that I tossed. At the beginning of this grow attempt, I was under watering a bit AND put my lights to close....Plants were bleached and I thought I had killed them. So in a last ditch attempt to save them, I moved the lights up and switched to a "swick" system....Plants are recovering nicely with very nice looking green new growth.

I am allowing swick containers to dry out before any top feeding (enzyme teas, compost teas, etc).
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
I'm in the process of my 2nd grow attempt. My 1st grow attempt was full of blunders (including over watering ) and ended with 2 hermies that I tossed. At the beginning of this grow attempt, I was under watering a bit AND put my lights to close....Plants were bleached and I thought I had killed them. So in a last ditch attempt to save them, I moved the lights up and switched to a "swick" system....Plants are recovering nicely with very nice looking green new growth.

I am allowing swick containers to dry out before any top feeding (enzyme teas, compost teas, etc).
I am glad that you found a method that works for you yankeetoker, but SWICK systems are not at all what I am describing in this thread. A passive system such as SWICK can not cause the soil exchange that happens with correct top down watering, and I am also not convinced that SWICK can saturate the top of the root ball. The method does work well for some people so I can't criticise success. It is probably the application of the teas from the top that allows this to work for you, but again, I can't really comment on a method that I have not tried.
 

yankeetoker

Well-Known Member
I am glad that you found a method that works for you yankeetoker, but SWICK systems are not at all what I am describing in this thread. A passive system such as SWICK can not cause the soil exchange that happens with correct top down watering, and I am also not convinced that SWICK can saturate the top of the root ball. The method does work well for some people so I can't criticise success. It is probably the application of the teas from the top that allows this to work for you, but again, I can't really comment on a method that I have not tried.
I understand....I was trying to follow your watering method, but I think out of fear from my first attempt I actually was underwatering them (coupling that with low humidity) and they were struggling. I will continue to follow this thread because I like what the method does for the plant...
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
I am glad that you found a method that works for you yankeetoker, but SWICK systems are not at all what I am describing in this thread. A passive system such as SWICK can not cause the soil exchange that happens with correct top down watering, and I am also not convinced that SWICK can saturate the top of the root ball. The method does work well for some people so I can't criticise success. It is probably the application of the teas from the top that allows this to work for you, but again, I can't really comment on a method that I have not tried.
For those who want to investigate a SWICK - there is a thread here SWICK Watering Systems - Letting the Plant Water Itself

With a soil containing enough perlite, pumice or similar it is possible for the water to wick all the way up to the soil surface, maintaining a high moisture level throughout the entire rootball, but (and yes, it is a big but) it does not follow that a constant high moisture level is the right way to water a plant.

I don't want to disturb the flow of this thread by saying more here - I'm already on (melted) thin ice for posting about watering from the bottom :19:
 

Timmo

Well-Known Member
5-10 minutes is a good time to soak a pot - but overnight is OK.
The water should go about 2/3 way up the side of the pot.
Interesting. According to Jorge Cervantes, roots start drowning after 20 minutes. If he's right, overnight wouldn't seem like a good idea.
 

Radogast

Grow Journal of the Month: April 2017
Interesting. According to Jorge Cervantes, roots start drowning after 20 minutes. If he's right, overnight wouldn't seem like a good idea.
According to Jorge Cervantes we should all grow sea of green - yet I hear he grows monster plants indoors.


Overnight might be a bad idea, but I have done it several times without noticing a problem. I have also done it for over 6 hours with the lights on.

In theory, the loss of oxygen to the roots is bad, but it isn't anything I personally worry about. My back yard gets waterlogged a few times a year. :)


Welcome to :420: Timmo. I hope you find your time here enjoyable and useful. :circle-of-love:
 

Timmo

Well-Known Member
It's been both enjoyable and useful thus far. I'm happy to be here.

I've done the same thing with veggies that got really cooked and it brought them back to life. Didn't know if maybe there's something special about cannabis. Cervantes is really adamant about never leaving them without air for more than 20 minutes. Glad I hedged my bet by saying, "If he's right..." :laugh:

Not to change the subject, but, even if sea of green were more productive.... I just like big plants.
 

arteekay

Member of the Month: Feb 2016
According to Jorge Cervantes we should all grow sea of green - yet I hear he grows monster plants indoors.
If Jorge won't listen to Jorge, what chance do the rest of us have!
 

94xjjohn

New Member
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Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
Hi Emmie, thanks for this thread. I water much the same way, slowly and in stages. My biggest point: PH the water right before EACH AND EVERY watering!!!!!!!!!

On pot (container) shape...

Seed plants have tap roots (deeper root ball).

Clones don't have tap roots (shallower root ball).

Use an appropriate container for the type of plant you are growing.

Even a 12 foot tall outdoor clone monster uses no more than about 18 top inches of container height (I used 65 gal smart pots last outdoor grow). I hope I'm right about this and not just a lousy root grower (just started growing....47 years ago....lots left to learn)!!! What say y'all?

:Namaste:
JohnnyOilseed
Going to have to disagree with you Johnny, sorry. With proper watering techniques, a clone can be made to root deeply too, and to fill out a rootball throughout a container. If this limitation held, no one would ever want to use clones, knowing that they could never develop as fully as a plant started from seed.
 
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