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When to re-water?

linzijayne74linzijayne74 Droitwich, WorcestershirePosts: 197

Hello all.  I have a Centaurea plant that had been doing fairly well until its leaves started turning yellow and it was generally looking limp and sorry for itself...I've found out that my husband has been giving it too much water (he thought he was doing the right thing?!).

My local garden centre kindly informed me to put it in a batch of new compost and not to water it in as it's already wet to a degree (which it was) and to let it dry out somewhat.  This may sound a silly question but how long roughly should I now wait until re-watering?  Also what it the best way of removing the withered leaves?  Is it ok to snip with a pair of secateurs (peeling them off feels horrible but if that's the best way then of course I'll do that).  Sorry for all the silly questions (I'm a novice gardener) and thanks in advance.  :)


  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 34,815

    Hi linzijayne. Its fine to snip the leaves off with secateurs. Knowing when to water will become instinctual when you've been gardening for a while but the best thing to do is to poke your finger into the compost about 2 cm and if the compost is dry then water. Leave it for a while since you have just repotted it and the moisture from the wet compost will disperse into the new compost. Better to under water than over water. Keep that OH out of the way! image

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    My niece once had a calendar which said "boys are stupid, let's throw rocks at them". 

    Just sayin'. image

  • linzijayne74linzijayne74 Droitwich, WorcestershirePosts: 197

    Hee heeeee!  Thanks Ladybird and Plant Pauper; you could have a point there...I might manufacture a calendar saying 'My husband is daft; let him NOWHERE near the garden!'.  I think he's of the opinion that plants need watering twice a day, regardless.  I think he's learned his lesson now though and will keep out of the way. (otherwise I'll find *another * use for my secateurs! ;D)....

    Thanks for the 2cm tip about when to water; that's extremely useful.  I shall leave the plant in question for a good day or two, then dip my finger in.  I really hope it's not too late to save it; it has no flowers on at the moment which is disappointing because the bees liked it (and that's the reason I bought it in the first place) and some of the stems are rather yellow but some are green, so hopefully all is not lost.  Thanks again for your advice, folks.  :)  :) 

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 34,815

    I remember being told on a Gardener's World programme (aeons ago) to take the over watered plant out of the pot, upend the pot and sit the plant with its wet root ball on top of the upended pot until the outside of the root ball dried. I've only had to do it a few times and it does work - provided the root ball is a fairly stable one. Otherwise the fresh compost is a great suggestion from the Garden Centre.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • linzijayne74linzijayne74 Droitwich, WorcestershirePosts: 197

    That does sound like a good idea also from GW, least that way you can actually see/feel what is going on with the root ball.  Hopefully this won't happen again! - but if it does I shall remember that tip too, thank you.  I've now snipped off anything that looks very limp/yellow/dried out on my centaurea and it still feels moist under the top layer of soil; it looks a very sorry sight but hopefully given time it'll come back to its former glory. 

    Thank you to everyone who's been in touch about my problem.  :)  :) 

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