Industrial Luxury Home, located in the Stanley Marketplace, is a truly magical plant and garden shop that
carries a wide range and variety of both small and large houseplants, one-of-a-kind planters, tools, displays and stands, books, terrarium making supplies, hangers and just about everything you can imagine to create your very own urban jungle.
We want to encourage you to add greenery to your home or workspace by helping you choose plants that fit best with your lifestyle, environment, schedule, and budget. Please stop into our showroom, get to know us and the plants because we are here to help you select your plants and teach you how to keep your plants alive and make them thrive.
Plant Care Tips
Let's start with rule number 1: Put down the watering can. Especially over the winter, when light is low, if your plants aren’t ready to be watered, your helecopter parenting can lead to overwatering and root rot. Depending on the plant, it can be multiple weeks before the soil has dried the right amount and the plant needs more. That can be a long time to wait, unsure of whether it needs something. In that time, the plant could also be going through something that you would want to catch early, like a pest taking over its leaves or getting sunburn. Spending a little time checking out your new plant on a regular basis is something we encourage but keep in mind that this does not mean watering your plants everytime you walk by.
How to water a plant: Today, you can find all kinds of goofy, high-tech, "automatic watering" planters out there but here at Industrial Luxury, we use two methods of watering plants - top watering and bottom watering.
Top watering is more common: You pour water on the top of the soil. This can be done where the plant sits, if it sits in a saucer or decorative cachepot, over the sink (for smaller plants) or in the shower (for big plants). After the water has made its way through the soil, it will come running out of the bottom of the soil. If nothing comes out the bottom, keep watering.
If the soil has been given a good amount of water, but it’s taking forever to soak down or most of it has flowed out and the plant (or its soil) hasn’t gained weight from holding onto the water, then your soil may be compacted. You can aerate it by poking holes with a chopstick, skewer, pencil, fork, etc. When water does run out, you can leave it in the saucer/cachepot for a maximum of two hours to allow it to soak back up and fill any missed spots in the soil. After that, dump any excess and you’re golden.
Bottom watering is just as effective as top watering. Typically bottom watering is used for bonsai, plants that don’t like water on the leaves (examples: 'African Violets'; Echeveria species), and plants that may have fungus gnats in the soil.
In order to bottom water, you place the plant pot in a bowl or bucket of water and allow the soil to soak up the water. Depending on the soil, it can take its sweet time, so you can let it sit for a couple of hours.
It comes down to what works for you: top watering, bottom watering, or a combination of the two.
How to avoid overwatering
Most people worry about overwatering, whether they’ve heard the term or not. If you’ve ever put a measured amount of water into a plant, your intentions were valid, and we see that, but you’ve been misled.
Overwatering does not refer to the amount of water (as long as your plant has adequate drainage). Overwatering is about frequency, meaning the plant wasn’t allowed to dry out as much as it wanted to before it was watered again.
Every single potted plant wants its substrate/soil to be completely saturated — but then it wants to dry out a certain amount before you water it again. But, there is a difference between saturating the soil and flooding the plant, or waterlogging it. In order to saturate the soil safely but not have excess water, you’ve got to make sure there is proper drainage in the plant’s pot/container. Excess water can lead to root rot. All you really need is a hole at the bottom, but the more drainage, the better, for most plants.
How to find your plant’s water level
To truly understand the water level in the soil, you have to test it. You can use your finger, especially if it’s a small pot or a tropical plant that doesn’t want to dry out too much. But for larger pots and/or arid plants that want their soil to be bone dry before taking more water, you’ll want to consider something that can get all the way through the pot when testing.
You might already have bamboo/wood chopsticks or skewers in your kitchen drawer, which you can use as you would a toothpick in baking: Stick it down into the soil as close as you can to the base of your plant, keeping track of how far you stick it in. Wait a few seconds and pull it out. It will soak up any moisture in the soil and bring wet soil with it if water is present.
Another option is a product like a moisture meter or a soil probe. A moisture meter will act as a “thermometer” for moisture level rather than temperature, typically with a scale of 0-10 and a needle indicator that will react as you push the probe into the soil. However, it can be confusing to know what the numbers mean in terms of actual water in the soil, and it’s hard to know where to stop the meter to get the most accurate reading of the overall moisture level. So use it as more of a stud finder than a thermometer. As it makes its way through the soil, keep your eye on the needle, where it reacts, and how much it reacts. It will show you where the moisture level is and where it is most saturated (which, with proper drainage, won’t be the very bottom but probably closer to the root ball of the plant).
A soil probe has cutouts in the probe to take small soil samples at different levels in the soil. Stick it all the way down into the pot (again as close to the base of the plant as possible) and pull it out. You’ll be able to test the soil yourself and see where the moisture level is.