q: what is leaching? a: not victorian bloodletting
Leaching is ridding your plant of excess salts. Why leach? Indoor houseplants receive salt through tap water. After years of living in the same soil, salt accumulates and burns our plant's roots. You may have seen salt building up on the rim of your pot as a white or yellowish crust or perhaps your plant's leaf tips have turned a dark brown. These are good indicators to "leach."
For outdoor plants, leaching occurs through rain which naturally drains salt out of the soil. For our indoor beauties, we should leach manually every three months.
Just as leeches drew out blood from their Victorian patients, you are drawing salt from the soil through flowing water as "leaching." And feel free to casually blurt out this term at your local greenhouse and impress anyone who might give a damn. #protip #nerdalert
Some plants are less tolerant to salt and would prefer leaching on a monthly basis (spider plant, azaleas, etc). So as always, know thy plant! Look up your plant species and check for leaching recommendations.
How to Leach:
- Place plant into sink or tub
- Water plant normally, ensure that soil is wet
- Wait five minutes
- Water plant normally again.
Yours in Houseplant Love,