How to Tell When Your Plants Need Watering Using a Pencil

Sherin Woods is a California-based DIY enthusiast and garden design aficionado. With a background in Environmental Science, she combines creativity and sustainability in all her projects. A Pinterest favorite, Sherin is committed to eco-friendly solutions and has contributed to various home and garden publications. Her areas of expertise include DIY project planning, sustainable garden design, and content creation.
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Wondering How to Tell When Your Plants Need Watering Using a Pencil? Well, this simple pencil hack is really helpful!


There are many quick tips and tricks you can use to ensure your plants stay healthy and green. Learn How to Tell When Your Plants Need Watering Using a Pencil in this article!

Here are some quick hacks to save a dying plant

Overwatering and Underwatering

Overwatering and underwatering are two of the most notorious reasons why plants die. It is important to know that underwatering is less damaging than overwatering. Plants revive themselves after long dry spells, but it becomes tough for them to come back after root rot.

For this, you have to understand the signs of overwatering, and we have a great article on that here.

How to Tell When Your Plants Need Watering Using a Pencil?

The process is quite simple–insert the pencil halfway into the pot, and keep it that way. Before you water your plants, take out the pencil and see the level of moisture on it.

How does this work?

  1. The damp soil in the over-watered plant pot will adhere to the pencil, and you’ll be able to find out that you’re watering a lot, and this is not the right time to water it.
  2. If there is slight moisture below 2 inches of the topsoil and the soil covering the inserted part of the pencil is not damp, then it is time to water your plants!
  3. For succulents, cacti, and other plants that prefer dry soil, wait until the dirt clung to the pencil is slightly dried up to the top once you take it out.

However, here are some quick points to consider:

  • Always take a wood-colored pencil. The light shade will help to easily identify the moisture level as the outer layer will get dark with more water.
  • The pencil method works best for plants in small to medium size pots. Avoid using it for large containers.
  • Sharpen the pencil at one end. It will make the poking easier.

We Have Some Informative Articles on Watering Rules and Mistakes That You Can Check Out!

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