Where did the practice of using ice cubes to water plants come from? Who’s doing this, putting a few ice cubes in a pot of poinsettias and calling that watering? I’m not even going to do an online search for this because if I find that someone is recommending this, it might send me over the edge.
Today at work I walked into a front office area, I saw a wilted poinsettia plant, crying out for help.
Co-worker: “Carol, what’s wrong with this plant?” (They know I’m a gardener and I wouldn’t turn my back on a plant in need.)
Me: “It needs water.” (I would have known that even without a degree in horticulture.)
Co-worker: “No it doesn’t. Feel the soil, it’s damp.” (They would question me?)
I felt the top of the soil and it was indeed slightly damp. Then I pulled the plant, rootball and all, out of the pot, quite dramatically and confidentally. As I suspected, the bottom three-fourths was as dry as dust.
Co-worker: “I don’t understand, ‘so-and-so’ puts ice cubes on it every day.”
Ice cubes? To water indoor plants? Think about it, how much water is in a cube of ice? Not very much. This plant was simply not getting enough water.
I proceeded to pick off all the dead leaves and bracts and told my co-worker to go water the poinsettia in a sink until the water came out the bottom of the pot.
That’s how plants should be watered. Thoroughly.
Ice cubes… sheesh…
(The poinsettia above is from Garfield Park Conservatory. It isn’t really sitting in water. It’s on a pedestal that’s in the water. I know they water these plants properly!)