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Recommended moisture meter

Hi all - I’ve have a few problem houseplants lately with larger pots that I’ve been using a moisture meter to get a better idea of moisture at the lower roots and it turns out what I’ve got a grossly inaccurate. It’s the second I’ve had and is the cheap made in China product that seems to be everywhere. Does anyone have any recommendations of a better more trustworthy model? Preferably with ph too. Thanks so much!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,979
    edited April 2022
    I use my fore-finger … stick it into the compost up to the first joint … if it’s dry at that level most houseplants need watering. 
    Much cheaper and always reliably within reach 😉 

    In large pots the only way to ensure that the lower roots are moist is to stand the pot in a container of water and let it soak up into the compost. Then remove and let the pot drain thoroughly by raising it slightly on little ‘feet’, pieces of tile or similar. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,319
    I stick my index finger about 1" into the compost - if it's damp it doesn't need watering, if it's dry it does - it's easy as that.
    What leads you to think you need a pH reading?

    Houseplants especially those in bigger pots can build-up unused salts from water and/or fertilizer which will affect growth. Especially if you use tap water.
    It's a good idea about every 6-8 weeks to give the compost a good flush through to wash away salts build up.
    If you have a 3L pot, use about 3x the amount of water (so 9L) to flush the compost.
    If you have access to rainwater always use that for houseplants.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,199
    I've never used one. They seem to be pretty useless if the previous threads about them are anything to go by.
    Lifting small pots and judging their weight is ideal, and a finger in bigger ones works well, as the others have said   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 941
    I too just use the finger test on most plants.
    I also use a wooden chopstick on certain pots. Push it down to the bottom of the pot, and leave for 10 minutes. If there is moisture in the pot, it will leave a 'tide mark' on the chopstick when you take it out.
    Sunny Dundee
  • dilbydilby Posts: 73
    Thanks everyone - well that seems a pretty conclusive response!
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