Plants have become an integral part of our home and work place, more so our lives, and it is important to take care of our green friends. One of the major problems encountered in houseplants is accumulation of salts due to watering. There are several minerals dissolved in tap water which get deposited in the soil overtime. Salt or mineral deposition can also occur due to application of fertilizers. This problem is usually resolved by changing the potting mix but sometimes it can get worse. The plants can show symptoms like browning of leaves from edges and margins, browning or rotting of roots, slow or stunted growth etc.
So what exactly is flushing?
Basically, it is providing plant with excess water for a short duration of time, which dissolves the excess salts and then flushing it. By removing the salts, you will improve the quality of soil and provide better conditions to the roots for growing and flourishing.
Why do potted plants need flushing?
Usually the plants growing in your garden (on the ground) are regularly flushed with rain water. They have a natural drainage system of soil on land which reduces the accumulation of salt and minerals. This facility is not available for potted plants which is why they need flushing.
Procedure for flushing:
- Take your plant somewhere near a water drainer or sink to avoid creating a mess.
- Start pouring water into the soil and saturate it until the water starts to flow freely from the pot.
- Repeat this process 4-5 times
- Let the plant sit for 24-48 hours in order to drain all the excess water
- Wipe out the crystals formed with the help of tissue or a clean cloth.
Pro tip: Using rain water or filtered water for flushing will give out better results.
How often should we flush the plants?
You can follow up with flushing once in every 6 to 8 months. You can also flush the plants before fertilization as it will help in removal of excess salts. Incorporate flushing in your care and maintenance schedule of your plants and it will help them flourish and accelerate their growth quickly.