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Watering Your Gift Plants

The Horror Story Plants Tell Each Other

While all plants require water, their roots also require oxygen. When a plant stands in water, the soil becomes waterlogged, preventing air from reaching the roots. If the roots die as a result of being too wet, they can’t take up water for the rest of the plant, which means the rest of the plant will perish sooner or later. Worse, when the roots die back and the plant is unable to absorb more water, the plant frequently wilts, which many people interpret as the plant being too dry, so they add more water.

What to do right after you receive a gift plant

Check for all the following situations that would prevent the water to drain, and take immediate measures.

Remove the plastic wrapping

Florists frequently place plants in plastic-lined baskets or wrap the pot in colorful foil. The goal is to make the gift plant more appealing by concealing the plain plastic pot in which it is grown, as well as to catch any water that drains out of the plant when it is watered so that it does not wet carpet, tabletops, or other surfaces. However, this is extremely detrimental to the plant’s long-term health. Remove the foil from your plant and dispose of it. If you need to protect your carpet or furniture, plastic plant saucers are available, or you can use a plate, a plastic lid, or whatever you have on hand.

Throw away the decorative plastic basket

If your plant is in a plastic-lined basket, you can either remove the basket or place something (such as a flat stone) in the bottom of the basket to raise the pot up so that it doesn’t have to stand in the water that drains out when you water it. The latter is most likely a temporary solution: most plastic is flimsy and tears eventually, allowing water to leak out.

Watering Your Gift Plants

Switch to a pot with drainage holes

Gift plants may also be planted in beautiful pots but with no drainage holes. If you get such a plant, it must be repotted into a container with drainage holes. It is technically feasible to grow plants in pots without drainage holes, but it is much more difficult to tell how much water you’re adding and how much is already there, making it very simple to overwater and end up with a waterlogged plant.