Water tips help home workers grow plant know-how

30 December 2020

Be water-smart

Photography by Anna Laska

“Being mindful about our water usage and saving it where we can will go a long way in helping us become more water efficient and environmentally-friendly.”

Brian Lironi
Director of Corporate Affairs, Scottish Water
Scotland’s new community of house plant-loving home workers are being urged to be water–smart to allow their desktop greenery to flourish during the winter months – and potentially save thousands of gallons of water from being wasted. 

With sales of plants up 500% during lockdown, fuelled by home-workers looking to bring colour into home-based offices, a lack of plant care know-how could mean people are unwittingly over-watering their ferns and foliates. 

GREEN.MEADOWS, a sustainable Scottish plant shop which is rewilding the country’s highlands, is asking people to play their part in understanding more about their house plants water needs. 

And in the process, they could help further protect the environment by reducing water waste. 

The Edinburgh-based 100% renewably powered business is the latest to join the wave in support of Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign, which aims to showcase different ways the nation can appreciate its tap water. 

Owner Andrew Forbes says there are plenty of ways plant enthusiasts can keep their plants green and healthy throughout winter while being mindful of water usage. 

He said: “One of the most common questions we get from customers and followers on social media is how much water to use and how often they should be watering their plants – especially during colder months. 

“The number one problem people have is over watering. We often try too hard to care for our plants and end up drowning them. If you over water your plant, it’ll likely get root rot, and unfortunately that’s almost impossible to come back from. 

“Take the Monstera Deliciosa for example, you should water it when the top 50-75% of the soil is dry, and water until the liquid flows through the drainage hole – which is a lot less than we might think. 

“We all know Scotland’s tap water tastes great – and so do our plants. But only give them what they need. We’re always happy to do what we can to help people understand about better caring for their plants, which means thinking really closely about water usage and so taking better care of the environment.” 

GREEN.MEADOWS, located on Buccleuch Street, has put together the short video above with helpful tips on plant care, including using a water globe and collecting drainage water for watering larger houseplants. 

As well as the desire for home-workers to brighten up their property, the surge in interest in house plants is being attributed to people wanting to bring a bit of nature into their lives but don’t have a garden or are not comfortable visiting parks. The trend has also been matched by the ever-growing craze of people posting images of their elaborate and beautiful house plants on social media. 

Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said: “Earlier in the year we released our routemap to net zero emissions, part of which focused on protecting our water resources and reducing waste.

“Gardening and caring for plants both inside and out has played a big role in many of our lives during the various stages of lockdown this year as a positive outlet for us to channel energy. This advice not only shows us how to care for our plants correctly, it also reminds us that we don’t need as much water as we might think.

“If even just 100,000 households in Scotland started over-watering their plants by say one litre a month; over a six month period that could lead to 130,000 gallons of water being wasted. That’s the same as a large swimming pool being filled more than eight times over.

“Being mindful about our water usage and saving it where we can will go a long way in helping us become more water efficient and environmentally-friendly.”

Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign aims to encourage people to top up from the tap to benefit the planet, their health and their pocket and celebrate the country’s precious, natural resource.