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Moisture meter plants, this is how it works..

The moisture meter is a handy tool for determining whether or not you should water your plants. Measuring is knowing and this makes it much easier to take proper care of your houseplants. To this day, most houseplants still die from an overdose of water and there is no need for that. In this article, I will show you how a moisture meter works and how to prevent your plants from drowning. 

How does a plant moisture meter work?
We've made a video about the analogue moisture meter so you can see exactly how best to use it. I recommend you watch it and then you'll find some additional information and tips below the video.

Text continues below the video..

Which plants a moisture meter is suitable for
In principle, an analogue moisture meter is suitable for all indoor plants that simply stand in the open ground. The pot should be a maximum of 40 cm deep in order to take reliable measurements. Most analogue moisture meters are around 25 to 30 cm, but because the moisture absorbs into the root ball, it is not necessary for the moisture meter to reach the bottom. 

Less suitable for small plants
If you have small plants in your home, using an analogue moisture meter often offers little added value. Small houseplants are often placed loose with growing pot and all in a flower pot. Then it is better to just lift the plant out of the pot and you can immediately see (and often feel) whether the soil is wet or dry. If the soil is dry, it shrinks and the plant often falls straight out of the plastic pot. If the soil is wet, it expands and the plastic pot will stick to the plant.

Only 1 moisture meter for all your plants
The beauty of an analogue moisture meter is that you only need one for all your indoor plants. For a reliable measurement, stick it into the soil at 2 different spots near the plant. You now have an average and immediately know whether your plant needs water or not. With a dry cloth or kitchen paper, wipe off the moisture meter and you can immediately move on to the next plant. In this way, you go through all your plants and immediately know, within a few seconds, which plants all need water.

Fact: You take the moisture meter off to avoid transferring diseases or pests from plant to plant.

Why you should not leave the moisture meter in the soil
An analogue moisture meter should never be left in the soil. The metal pin will then be affected by the soil and may start to oxidise. This would make the measurement less accurate over time. So always remove the moisture meter from the soil after use, wipe it with a cloth and store it in a dry place in the house. 

Beware of the sharp tip
Moisture meters generally have a sharp tip, so they can easily be inserted into the soil. Very nice in itself, but some flower pots have a plastic insert or plastic bag to make them waterproof. So in those cases, be extra careful not to puncture these, otherwise the waterproofing of your flower pot will be lost.

Moisture meter without batteries
The big advantage of an analogue moisture meter is that it doesn't need batteries and therefore always works. There are also digital moisture meters, but the disadvantage is that you will have to change the batteries every now and then.
Alternative to the analogue moisture meter
There are several alternatives to find out how moist your houseplant's soil is. The most obvious one is to simply press your finger into the soil. Keep in mind that the top layer of the soil can feel very dry, while the bottom layer still holds water. Especially with larger houseplants, this method is not very reliable. 

There are also separate moisture meters that you can place permanently in the soil near your plant. The window turns colour, so you can see exactly when your plant needs water again. This system works reasonably well, but the meters often don't last more than a year. So in the long run, this is often useless and you have to realise in time that your moisture meter is no longer working properly and your plant could still be too wet or dry.  

Make it easy on yourself with a moisture meter
By using a moisture meter, you always know exactly when your plant needs water again. This way, you avoid giving too much or too little water and damaging your houseplant. Measuring is knowing and that way caring for your plants is a lot easier.

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