Woman revels 'magical trick' to keeping your houseplants healthy on TikTok

woman helping water houseplants
Plant queen Reagan Kastner is here to help. Photo credit: TikTok/@Reagan Kastner.

As most plant parents know, the delicate balance of water, sun, air and general thoughts and prayers needed to keep your houseplants flourishing can be a tricky one. 

If you've ever overwatered your monstera, you'll know that just one wrong move can result in the sad sight of a dead plant the next day. 

Luckily, plant queen Reagan Kastner is here to help. The US woman works with plants for a living and documents many secret tips and tricks on her TikTok. 

In a now-viral video that's racked up almost 200,000 views, Kastner reveals you actually have a "magical power to know when your plants need to be watered". 

That power? Your finger. 

"Stick your finger about this deep in any plant if you take it out and you see dirt on it, don't water! Overwatering kills plants," Kastner reveals. 

"If you stick your finger in and it only a little dry dirt is dusting your finger, it's the time."

She goes on to explain that if you let the soil get "completely bone dry" your plant may get a little sad, but it will "bounce back".

"But if you overwater it, it will not bounce back." 

It will be a much-needed tip for those of us who have been watering perhaps a little too enthusiastically while stuck inside with our plants during lockdown.

When it is time to water, she says how much you put in "is a preference thing... but I like to water until it flows out the bottom". 

"Making sure the water reaches all the way to the bottom encourages the roots to go searching for that water. A bigger root system means a bigger plant."

Another key tip Kastner shared was one for keeping those plants fresh and healthy: potting soil. 

"Why? Because soil is all about controlling drainage," she explained. 

The correct mix, according to Kastner, is filling the pot with a third of organic potting mix, a third of orchid bark mix to "add air to your soil", a third of horticultural charcoal "to keep the nasty bacteria away", and a good handful of perlite.  

"And you've got the perfect soil mixture your plant is going to love you for," she revealed. 

If all the plant chat has got you craving some more greenery in your home, this Auckland plant instalment company is giving away hundreds of free plants that have built up over lockdown.