Fixing Hydrophobic Soil In Houseplants
Hydrophobic soil is when the soil in a pot does not absorb water. It has hardened so much that water runs off and the soil doesn't actually get wet.
This happens if the peat moss in the soil dries out. Or if you have packed down the soil a lot!
The top layer of soil will look wet from watering, but your plant will slowly wrinkle up as if it needs water no matter how much you water it!
Or leaves will yellow and begin to die even though you water it regularly and have been giving your plant proper care.
To see if you have hydrophobic soil, scratch away the top layer right after you water your plant.
If all the soil underneath is still dry, you have hydrophobic soil.
There are 2 ways to fix this. The first is to soak the soil from the bottom. Insert your pot into a larger pot filled with water for 30 mins to 1 hr.
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The second way is to submerge the whole root ball, soil and all in water for 30 minutes (small pot shown here) to 1 hour ( large pot).
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After, keep checking and emptying the bottom trays for water. You just submerged the plant in water but it will get root rot if left in water.
Continue to water your plants normally but depending on the plant, soil used, and watering conditions, you could have to do this process again.