While I’ve always had somewhat of a green thumb when it comes to outdoor gardening, keeping my indoor plants alive has been a totally different story! I love having them around for their plethora of benefits, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of taking care of them.
While some err on the side of accidentally neglecting their plants for weeks at a time, I have the opposite problem. My main issue is over-watering, and as I’ve come to witness first-hand, over-watered plants just don’t thrive!
Like people, plants need both water and air to live. While a plant’s roots draw water out of the ground around them, they also depend on the oxygen that exists in the spaces between the particles of soil. This is the air they breathe, so too much water can effectively drown a plant!
After a prolonged period of constantly wondering whether I was over- or under-watering, I figured there had to be a better way! There was, as it turned out, in the form of a handy gadget called a soil meter.
How A Soil Meter Can Save Your Indoor Plants
There are different types of soil meters with different capabilities, but the one I’ll refer to in this section is the Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil Meter. It is designed to monitor the conditions of your soil (either in your indoor pots or out in the garden) in order to help you identify how to best take care of your plants.
Initially, I was mostly interested in using this meter to monitor the moisture of my plants’ soil. All I have to do is just stick the probes into the soil, let it do its thing for a few minutes, and in no time I know exactly whether the soil is too dry, too wet, or fine as is. No more guesswork, and best of all, no more sad, drowned plants!
But wait, there’s more—in addition to measuring moisture, this meter can monitor soil pH and lighting conditions too. Soil pH isn’t quite as significant a factor as water and light when it comes to the health of indoor plants, but I’m looking forward to using outside once it gets warmer to help fine tune the soil conditions in my flower beds and vegetable garden!
But even if you only have indoor plants, you’ll definitely find the sunlight exposure meter useful! If a particular plant doesn’t seem to be thriving, you can use the light meter to find a sunnier (or perhaps shadier) spot for it. Each type of plant likes a certain amount of light, so be sure to do your research on the requirements of the varieties you have in your home.
I like this particular soil meter because it uses two needles (the probes that you insert into the soil), making the moisture and pH readings super quick and accurate. It also doesn’t require any batteries (or any electricity, for that matter) — always a plus!
How To Use The Sonkir 3-in-1 Soil Meter
- Use the switch at the top of the meter to select what you’d like to measure: moisture, pH, or light.
- Gently insert the probes about 2-4 inches deep in the soil you want to test, avoiding things like super hard soil and rocks that could damage the probe.
- Leave the meter alone for about 10 minutes, then check the reading.
- Finally, remove the probes from the soil and wipe them clean using a damp cloth.
This soil meter couldn’t be easier to use, and I love not having to guess whether or not I’m meeting the needs of my plants. If you’ve been having similar struggles with your indoor plants, I would highly recommend looking into getting a soil meter of your own! :-)
Helpful Resources For Plant Lovers
- There are so many great resources for gardeners and plant lovers online, and there’s no shortage of friendly folks willing to answer questions and help out where they can. Here are a few of my favorite resources for learning more about plant care:
- Check out Happy Happy Houseplant (@happyhappyhouseplant) on Instagram for beginner-friendly tips and beautiful photos.
- The Garden Answer channel on YouTube has easy-to-follow video tutorials for maintaining happy, healthy plants.
- Plants and Lifestyle with Harli G is another great YouTube channel, featuring longer videos that will deepen your understanding of many plant-related topics.
- Talk to the experts at your local garden center! They can share valuable insight about growing plants in your specific area and climate.
- My houseplants series
Do you have any tips or tools to share that can make plant care easier?