Saucer Watering

Question:  I saw another grower soak his violet in a saucer full of water.  The violets seem to grow well.  I do the same, but rot my violets.  Why?

Answer:  What works for one won’t necessarily work well for another.  Unless every aspect of each grower’s environment is identical, the results may not be.  In this case, we suspect that your soil is different from that used by the other grower.  If the soil is light and porous enough, containing plenty of perlite or coarse vemiculite, it can be kept wetter than a soil containing little of these materials.  To give an example, a violet could be grown “hydroponically” in nothing but drainage material (like clay pebbles) without risk of rotting.

Your friend might also be more careful in how much water is poured into the saucer.  In addition, it is a good practice to check on the plants after having given them enough time to absorb the water, emptying the saucers of any unused water.  From experience, most growers who saucer-water have a sense for just how much water the plant can use, so that very little excess water will be left in the saucers.

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