The rubber plant, scientifically known as Ficus elastica, is a popular houseplant renowned for its attractive foliage and easy care requirements. Understanding how to properly water a rubber plant is crucial for its overall health and well-being. Before diving into watering techniques and tips, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of this versatile plant.
Watering the rubber plant correctly is vital for maintaining its health and ensuring proper growth. By understanding the basics of watering this plant, you can help create the perfect environment for it to thrive.
Several factors can influence the watering frequency of a rubber plant. Understanding these factors will help you adjust your watering routine to meet the specific needs of your plant.
Knowing the signs of overwatering and underwatering is crucial in preventing any moisture-related issues and keeping your rubber plant in optimal condition.
To ensure the best watering practices for your rubber plant, there are several techniques and tips that you can follow.
By understanding the specific watering needs of your rubber plant and implementing appropriate techniques, you can promote its growth and maintain its vibrancy.
Understanding the Rubber Plant
Understanding the rubber plant:
- The rubber plant, scientifically known as Ficus elastica, is a popular houseplant that can grow up to 10 feet tall.
- It is native to tropical regions in Southeast Asia and thrives in bright, indirect light.
- Watering: Rubber plants should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to droop.
- Humidity: Rubber plants prefer moderate to high humidity levels. Placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier can help increase humidity.
- Fertilizing: These plants should be fertilized every two to four weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Pruning: Rubber plants may need occasional pruning to maintain their desired shape and remove any dead or unhealthy leaves.
- Pests and diseases: Common pests include mealybugs and spider mites. Regularly inspect the plant for signs of infestation and treat accordingly.
- Propagation: Rubber plants can be propagated through stem cuttings. Allow the cuttings to dry out before planting them in well-draining soil.
- Toxicity: Rubber plants are toxic to pets and humans if ingested. Keep them out of reach of children and animals.
By understanding the needs and characteristics of the rubber plant, you can successfully care for and enjoy this beautiful indoor greenery.
What are the Characteristics of the Rubber Plant?
The rubber plant possesses several distinct characteristics:
- Large, glossy leaves: The rubber plant showcases its striking leaves, which are typically sizable and lustrous. These leaves have a leathery texture and are colored dark green.
- Tree or shrub-like appearance: Rubber plants have the potential to grow tall, with some even reaching heights of up to 50 feet. However, they can also be pruned and maintained as smaller shrubs.
- Air-purifying qualities: Rubber plants are recognized for their ability to purify the air by filtering out toxins, thus improving the overall air quality indoors.
- Easy to care for: Rubber plants are relatively low-maintenance and can flourish in various indoor environments. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight and require moderate watering.
- Ability to grow in containers: Rubber plants can be cultivated in pots or containers, making them a favored option for indoor gardening.
Pro-tip: To ensure the health of your rubber plant, position it in a well-lit area away from direct sunlight and avoid excessive watering. Allowing the soil to slightly dry out between waterings is crucial, as excess moisture can lead to root rot.
Where is the Rubber Plant Native to?
The Rubber Plant is native to the regions of Southeast Asia, specifically countries such as India, Nepal, Myanmar, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
It thrives in warm and humid climates, which mimic its natural habitat. How long do you soak Aloe Vera in water?
These regions provide ideal conditions for the Rubber Plant to grow and flourish.
The tropical climate of Southeast Asia, with its high temperatures and abundant rainfall, allows the Rubber Plant to thrive in its native environment.
The combination of warmth and moisture promotes the growth of the plant’s large, glossy leaves and helps it produce the latex sap used in rubber production.
The Rubber Plant’s native regions also offer the necessary rich and well-draining soil that allows the plant to absorb nutrients and water efficiently.
The fertile soils in these areas are often rich in organic matter, providing the plant with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.
When considering the native habitat of the Rubber Plant, it is important to replicate these conditions as closely as possible when caring for the plant.
Providing it with a warm and humid environment, well-draining soil, and regular watering will help ensure its optimal growth and health.
What are the Different Varieties of Rubber Plant?
When it comes to the rubber plant, there are several different varieties that you can choose from:
- The Ficus elastica, also known as the Indian rubber tree, is one of the most common varieties. It has large, glossy leaves that are usually dark green in color.
- The Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ is a variegated variety with leaves that feature a mix of dark green, light green, and creamy-white colors.
- The Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ has unique leaves that are a deep, rich burgundy color.
- The Ficus elastica ‘Ruby’ is another variegated variety, with leaves that are predominantly green but have pinkish-red veins running through them.
- The Ficus elastica ‘Decora’ is a variety with larger leaves and a more bushy growth habit.
Each variety of rubber plant has its own unique characteristics and can add a touch of greenery and elegance to any space.
Fun Fact: The rubber plant got its name from the white sap that oozes out when it is cut or damaged. This sap was once used to make natural rubber.
Watering the Rubber Plant: Basics
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Watering the rubber plant is crucial for its overall health and growth. Here are some basic guidelines to follow for watering the rubber plant.
1. Frequency: It is important to water the rubber plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Generally, this happens every 7-10 days.
2. Amount: Give the plant a thorough watering, making sure that the water penetrates the soil and reaches the roots. Avoid overwatering as it can cause root rot.
3. Drainage: It is vital to have drainage holes in the pot to allow excess water to escape. This helps prevent waterlogging and maintains proper soil moisture levels. For tips on how often to water Calathea, check out this guide.
4. Water quality: To avoid any damage to the plant, it is recommended to use room temperature, filtered water that does not contain chlorine or chemicals. Soft water should be avoided as it may have high levels of salt.
5. Environmental factors: Take into consideration factors like temperature, humidity, and light levels when determining how often to water the rubber plant. Adjust the watering schedule accordingly, especially in warmer and drier conditions.
6. Signs of underwatering: If the leaves of the rubber plant start wilting, turning yellow, or becoming crispy, it may indicate that the plant is not getting enough water. In such cases, increase the frequency of watering.
7. Signs of overwatering: If the leaves of the rubber plant appear yellow, droopy, or have dark brown patches, it may indicate overwatering. Adjust the watering schedule and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
Proper watering is essential for the overall well-being of the rubber plant. By following these basic watering guidelines, you can ensure that the plant thrives and remains healthy.
What is the General Watering Frequency for a Rubber Plant?
The general watering frequency for a rubber plant depends on several factors:
- Environmental conditions: The watering frequency of a rubber plant is influenced by the temperature, humidity, and light levels in its environment. In warmer and drier conditions, the plant may require more frequent watering.
- Pot size and drainage: The size of the pot and the presence of adequate drainage holes affect the watering needs of a rubber plant. Plants in smaller pots or pots without proper drainage may require more frequent watering.
- Growth stage: Young rubber plants may require more frequent watering compared to mature plants. As the plant grows, its water requirements may change.
- Soil moisture: Prior to watering, it is essential to check the moisture level of the soil. Inserting a finger into the soil about an inch deep can help determine if watering is necessary. If the soil feels dry at that depth, it’s time to water the plant.
Remember, it is better to underwater a rubber plant than to overwater it. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. Stick to a watering schedule that suits the specific needs of your rubber plant and adjust it as necessary based on the factors mentioned above.
True story: Once, I had a rubber plant that I watered too frequently because I believed it needed a lot of water. However, I soon noticed that the leaves were turning yellow and wilting. After researching the proper watering frequency, I adjusted my watering schedule and allowed the plant to dry out between waterings. The plant quickly recovered, and its leaves became green and healthy again. It taught me the importance of understanding the general watering frequency for a rubber plant and tailoring it to the plant’s needs.
How Much Water Does a Rubber Plant Need?
To properly care for a rubber plant, it is important to understand how much water it needs. How much water does a rubber plant need? The water needs of a rubber plant can vary depending on various factors.
Firstly, consider the size of the rubber plant. A small rubber plant may only need about 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of water per week, while a larger plant may require up to 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) of water per week.
Another factor to consider is the environment in which the rubber plant is placed. If the plant is in a warmer environment or near a heating source, it may require more water to prevent it from drying out. On the other hand, if the plant is in a cooler environment or near an air conditioning unit, it may require less water.
It is also important to check the moisture level of the soil before watering. Rubber plants prefer their soil to be slightly moist but not overly saturated. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil, and if it feels dry, it is time to water the plant.
When watering, ensure that the water drains out of the bottom of the pot to avoid waterlogging the plant’s roots. It is generally better to underwater a rubber plant than to overwater it, as overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues.
Remember to keep these factors in mind and adjust the amount of water accordingly to meet the specific needs of your rubber plant. By properly managing the watering needs, you can help your rubber plant thrive and grow.
What is the Best Watering Schedule for a Rubber Plant?
In order to ensure the proper growth and health of a rubber plant, it is crucial to establish the best watering schedule.
- To begin, assess the moisture level of the soil by inserting your finger about an inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it is time to water.
- When watering, make sure that the entire root ball is thoroughly saturated with water. Be sure to continue watering until water starts to flow out of the drainage holes.
- After watering, be sure to drain any excess water that accumulates in the saucer or tray. It is important to prevent standing water, as it can lead to root rot.
- Keep an eye on the rubber plant’s leaves and soil moisture level over the next few days. If the leaves appear droopy and the soil is dry, it may require additional water.
- Adjust the watering frequency according to factors such as temperature and humidity. As a general guideline, water the rubber plant every 7-10 days or when the soil feels slightly dry.
- Avoid overwatering the rubber plant. It is better to underwater than to overwater, as excessive moisture can result in root rot and other problems.
- Always use room temperature water, preferably filtered, when watering the rubber plant. This helps prevent temperature shock and exposure to chlorine.
After watering, be sure to drain any excess water that accumulates in the saucer or tray. It is important to prevent standing water, as it can lead to root rot.
By following these steps and maintaining a consistent watering schedule, your rubber plant will thrive and remain healthy.
Factors Affecting Watering Frequency
Factors Affecting Watering Frequency for a Rubber Plant
There are several factors that influence the frequency at which you need to water a rubber plant. These factors include environmental conditions, plant size, pot size, and soil moisture levels.
- Environmental conditions: The temperature and humidity levels in your home play a crucial role in how quickly your rubber plant’s soil dries out. Higher temperatures and lower humidity can lead to faster evaporation, which may necessitate more frequent watering.
- Plant size: The size of your rubber plant will also impact its watering needs. Smaller plants have smaller root systems, so they generally require less water compared to larger, more established plants.
- Pot size: The size of the pot in which your rubber plant is planted can affect watering frequency as well. Plants in larger pots retain more moisture, so they may need less frequent watering compared to plants in smaller pots.
- Soil moisture levels: Before watering your rubber plant, it’s important to check the moisture level of the soil. You can do this by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist, wait a few more days before watering.
Pro-tip: If you want to ensure optimal watering for your rubber plant, consider investing in a moisture meter. This handy tool can accurately measure the moisture level in the soil and help you determine the perfect time to water.
How Does Temperature Impact the Watering Needs of a Rubber Plant?
Temperature has a significant impact on the watering needs of a rubber plant. Hot temperatures cause the soil to dry out faster due to increased evaporation. As a result, rubber plants in warmer climates or during the summer months may require more frequent watering. On the other hand, colder temperatures slow down evaporation and reduce water loss from the soil. This means that rubber plants in cooler environments or during the winter may need less frequent watering.
It is also important to consider extreme temperature fluctuations, as they can affect watering requirements. Rapid fluctuations between hot and cold can cause the soil to dry out quickly, necessitating more frequent watering to maintain proper moisture levels.
To ensure the health and vitality of the rubber plant, it is crucial to regularly monitor the soil’s moisture level and adjust watering frequency based on the temperature and environmental conditions. The goal is to keep the soil evenly moist without overwatering.
The rubber plant, scientifically known as Ficus elastica, is a popular houseplant originating from Southeast Asia. It was first discovered by Sir Henry Nicholas Ridley, a British botanist and explorer, during the late 19th century. Ridley introduced the plant to Kew Gardens in London after bringing back its seeds. The name “rubber plant” stems from the milky latex it produces, which was historically utilized for rubber production. While nowadays it is primarily grown for decorative purposes, the rubber plant still carries the legacy of its rubber-producing past.
How Does Humidity Affect the Watering of a Rubber Plant?
“How Does Humidity Affect the Watering of a Rubber Plant?
Humidity plays a crucial role in the watering of a rubber plant. Higher humidity levels reduce the evaporation rate of water from the soil. This means that the soil will take longer to dry out, so you may need to adjust your watering frequency accordingly. If the surrounding environment is already humid, the moisture in the soil will not evaporate easily. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other fungal problems.
In dry and arid conditions, the moisture in the soil can evaporate quickly. This means that you may need to water your rubber plant more frequently to prevent the soil from drying out completely. It’s important to regularly check the moisture level in the soil by using your finger or a moisture meter. This will help you determine whether your rubber plant needs watering or not, taking into account the humidity levels.
If you live in a humid environment, reduce the frequency of watering to avoid overwatering. On the other hand, if you live in a dry environment, you may need to water your rubber plant more often to compensate for the low humidity. Remember, each rubber plant is unique, so it’s important to observe your plant and adjust your watering routine accordingly. Monitoring the humidity levels and the moisture in the soil will help ensure the optimal watering schedule for your rubber plant’s health.”
What Role Does the Potting Soil Play in Watering a Rubber Plant?
The role the potting soil plays in watering a rubber plant is crucial. It helps regulate the water supply by retaining moisture and allowing for proper drainage. This is important because rubber plants prefer moist but well-draining soil. The potting soil also provides essential nutrients to the plant, including organic matter, minerals, and other elements that nourish it and support its growth. Additionally, the quality of the potting soil affects its water-holding capacity, which can help prevent overwatering or underwatering. Moreover, the potting soil serves as a medium for roots to anchor and absorb water and nutrients. It should be loose enough for root penetration yet firm enough to provide stability. Choosing the right potting soil is important, ensuring it is well-draining, lightweight, and nutrient-rich. Regularly checking the moisture level of the potting soil is necessary to determine the watering needs of the rubber plant. It should be slightly damp but not overly wet or dry. By understanding the role of potting soil and using the appropriate type, the optimal watering conditions can be achieved for a healthy and thriving rubber plant.
Signs of Overwatering and Underwatering
Signs of overwatering and underwatering in a rubber plant can be identified through visual cues and the plant’s overall health.
- Signs of Overwatering: Leaves turning yellow and mushy can indicate overwatering. The soil may also be consistently damp, and there might be a foul smell coming from the pot. Overwatering can lead to root rot and the growth of mold or fungus.
- Signs of Underwatering: When the leaves become dry, crispy, or wilted, it suggests that the rubber plant is not receiving enough water. The soil will feel dry and parched, and the plant might exhibit stunted growth. Underwatering can cause leaves to drop prematurely.
- Factors to consider: Check the drainage of the pot to ensure excess water can escape. Monitor the plant’s water needs in different seasons and adjust watering accordingly. Use a moisture meter or stick your finger into the soil to gauge its moisture levels.
- Prevention and remedy: Adjust the watering frequency and quantity based on the plant’s needs. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes and use high-quality well-draining soil. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again. Consider the plant’s environment and adjust humidity levels if necessary.
What are the Symptoms of Overwatering a Rubber Plant?
Overwatering a rubber plant can result in a variety of symptoms that indicate excessive water intake. Initially, the leaves may turn yellow and begin to sag. This occurs because an abundance of water saturates the roots, preventing them from properly absorbing oxygen. Furthermore, overwatering can lead to the development of root rot, which is characterized by soft, brown roots. The leaves may also exhibit brown spots or edges, as prolonged moisture creates an ideal environment for fungal and bacterial growth. Lastly, overwatered rubber plants may experience stunted growth and an overall decline in health.
This reminds me of a real-life anecdote. A close friend of mine was an enthusiastic plant lover, but unfortunately, she had a tendency to overwater her rubber plants. She diligently watered them every day, thinking she was providing sufficient hydration. However, over time, the plants began displaying distress signals. The leaves turned yellow, drooped, and eventually withered away. Witnessing this was incredibly disheartening for her. After conducting extensive research and seeking guidance from experts, she came to realize that overwatering was the root cause of the issue. She adjusted her watering routine, allowing the plants to dry out between watering sessions. Gradually, the rubber plants rebounded, and their overall well-being improved. This taught her a valuable lesson on recognizing the symptoms of overwatering and adapting her plant care practices accordingly.
What are the Signs of Underwatering a Rubber Plant?
The signs of underwatering a rubber plant can be easily identified by observing its physical characteristics.
Leaves: The leaves of an underwatered rubber plant may become dry, crispy, and brittle. They may also start to curl or droop.
Color: The leaves may lose their vibrant green color and appear dull or faded.
Growth: Underwatering can severely stunt the growth of a rubber plant, so if you notice that your plant is not growing or new leaves are not emerging, it could be a sign of underwatering.
Soil: When you touch the soil, it will feel extremely dry and may even pull away from the edges of the pot.
Texture: The leaves and stems may feel dry to the touch and lack elasticity.
To determine if your rubber plant is underwatered, it is essential to regularly check the soil’s moisture level and adjust your watering routine accordingly. If you observe any of these signs, make sure to increase your watering frequency. However, it is equally important not to overwater the rubber plant as it can lead to root rot and other issues. Monitor the plant closely and find the right balance of watering to keep your rubber plant healthy and thriving.
Watering Techniques and Tips
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When it comes to watering your rubber plant, employing proper watering techniques and tips is crucial. Here are some guidelines to bear in mind:
- Consistent watering: It is essential to ensure that your rubber plant receives a consistent amount of water. It is important to avoid overwatering or allowing the soil to dry out completely.
- Check soil moisture: Before watering, assess the moisture level of the soil. Insert your finger about an inch into the soil if it feels dry, it is time to water.
- Watering frequency: The frequency of watering depends on various factors such as humidity levels, temperature, and the size of the pot. Generally, watering every 7-10 days is recommended.
- Proper drainage: It is crucial to ensure that the pot has drainage holes to facilitate the escape of excess water. This measure helps prevent root rot and other water-related issues.
- Watering technique: When watering, aim to adequately moisten the soil. Continue watering until you observe water coming out of the drainage holes. This ensures that the entire root system receives sufficient moisture.
- Use room temperature water: Using cold water can shock the plant, while hot water can damage the roots. For optimal results, employ room temperature water.
- Observe plant’s response: Pay close attention to your rubber plant’s reaction to watering. If it exhibits signs of health, such as vibrant leaves and sturdy stems, you are on the right track.
By implementing these watering techniques and tips, you can ensure the health and vitality of your rubber plant.
Should I Use Tap Water or Filtered Water for the Rubber Plant?
When watering a rubber plant, it is recommended to use filtered water instead of tap water. Tap water often contains chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride, which can be harmful to the plant.
Filtered water provides a safer option as it removes impurities and reduces the concentration of minerals that could potentially harm the rubber plant. This helps to maintain the overall health and well-being of the plant.
Using filtered water also prevents the accumulation of mineral deposits in the soil or on the leaves of the rubber plant. These deposits can affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and may lead to issues such as leaf burn or stunted growth.
It is important to note that using filtered water does not guarantee perfect conditions for the rubber plant. Other factors, such as proper watering frequency and appropriate potting soil, also play significant roles in the plant’s overall health.
By using filtered water, you can provide the rubber plant with the best possible growing conditions, helping it thrive and flourish in your home or office space.
What is the Best Time of Day to Water a Rubber Plant?
The best time of day to water a rubber plant is in the morning.
Watering in the early morning allows the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients throughout the day, promoting healthy growth.
It is recommended to water the rubber plant in the morning to prevent waterlogged soil and reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Watering in the morning also allows any excess water on the leaves to dry off during the day, minimizing the chances of leaf rot or mildew.
By watering in the morning, the rubber plant can make the most efficient use of sunlight and maintain proper hydration levels.
Additionally, watering in the morning ensures that the plant is not subjected to extremely hot temperatures during the watering process, which can cause stress to the plant.
It is important to note that individual environmental factors and the specific needs of the rubber plant may vary, so it’s essential to monitor the moisture level of the soil and adjust the watering schedule for African Violets accordingly.
Should I Mist the Leaves of a Rubber Plant?
Misting the leaves of a Rubber Plant is not necessary for its well-being. Should I Mist the Leaves of a Rubber Plant? Rubber Plants are native to humid regions and have naturally thick, glossy leaves that help them retain moisture. Misting may provide a temporary boost in humidity, but it is not essential for the plant’s overall health.
Instead of misting, focus on providing proper watering to the Rubber Plant. It is important to water the plant thoroughly, allowing the water to fully penetrate the soil. This helps to promote root growth and prevents waterlogging.
If you are concerned about the humidity levels around your Rubber Plant, you can use alternative methods to increase moisture. Placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier in the room can help create a more suitable environment.
Remember, when caring for your Rubber Plant, it is essential to consider its native habitat and mimic those conditions as closely as possible. Providing adequate watering and avoiding overwatering or underwatering are key factors in maintaining a healthy Rubber Plant. Should I Mist the Leaves of a Rubber Plant? So, skip the misting and focus on proper watering practices for optimal growth.
What are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Watering a Rubber Plant?
What are Some Common Mistakes to Avoid When Watering a Rubber Plant?
- Overwatering: One common mistake to avoid when watering a rubber plant is overwatering. Giving the plant too much water can lead to root rot and other water-related issues. It is important to allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering.
- Underwatering: On the other hand, underwatering is another mistake to avoid. Neglecting to water the rubber plant regularly can cause the leaves to wilt and the plant to become stressed. It is essential to provide adequate water to keep the plant healthy.
- Inadequate drainage: Using pots without proper drainage holes can also be a mistake when watering a rubber plant. Without proper drainage, excess water can accumulate in the soil, leading to root rot. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to allow water to flow out.
- Ignoring humidity levels: Rubber plants prefer high humidity levels. Not considering the humidity in the environment can affect the watering needs of the plant. It is beneficial to provide extra moisture to the plant by misting the leaves or placing a tray of water nearby.
- Improper watering technique: Another mistake to avoid is watering the leaves instead of the soil. Watering the leaves can increase the risk of fungal diseases. Direct the water towards the soil to ensure proper absorption.
- Using cold water: Using cold water directly from the tap can shock the rubber plant’s roots and hinder its growth. It is recommended to use room temperature water or let tap water sit for a day before watering the plant.
- Inconsistent watering schedule: Having an inconsistent watering schedule can be detrimental to the rubber plant. It is crucial to establish a regular watering routine to ensure the plant receives consistent moisture.
- Overfertilization: Overfertilizing the rubber plant can lead to excess salt buildup in the soil, affecting the plant’s ability to absorb water properly. Follow the recommended dosage and frequency when fertilizing the plant.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I water my rubber plant?
Rubber plants should be watered every five to seven days if they are placed in a location with bright indirect light. The potting soil should be consistently moist but not soggy.
What should I do if the leaves of my rubber plant turn yellow?
Yellow leaves on a rubber plant may indicate overwatering. To help resolve this issue, decrease the frequency of watering slightly and ensure that the soil is not overly wet.
What is the ideal humidity level for a rubber plant?
Rubber plants thrive in areas with high humidity. In low humidity areas, using humidifiers or regularly misting the plant’s leaves with water can help increase humidity levels.
How does temperature affect the watering frequency for rubber plants?
In temperatures above 65 F, rubber plants should be watered every 3-5 days as water evaporates quickly in warmer weather. In temperatures below 65 F, watering every 7-14 days is sufficient.
What is the best pot type for a rubber plant?
Pots with drainage holes are important to prevent waterlogging. Porous pots like terracotta absorb moisture faster than ceramic, plastic, and metal pots.
How does the size of the plant affect watering needs?
Juvenile rubber plants require more water than their adult counterparts. Plants that are 1′-4′ feet high should be watered every five to seven days, while plants that are 5′-10′ feet tall can be watered every 7-14 days.