A better way for rosemary that needs daily water

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Talk about watering this rosemary, we describe it for any indoor plant. 

I have read your notes about keeping rosemary indoors during winter so I have tried to keep my plant sunnier, cooler and more evenly moist. But it seems like every time I feel it, it's dry which means I'd be watering it every day. Would that be too much? I usually water it by putting the pot into the sink and running water into it. - D.T. -


It's possible a plant can need water every day if it's in great light for long days, in warm, moving air, and it's a very large plant in a small pot. That plant would simply be using up all the soil moisture quickly, drawing it up into leaves that are photosynthesizing and releasing any excess as vapor through its leaf pores.

However, you may be mis-reading the signs. Do you figure it's dry if it's wilted? Wilt can mean too wet or too dry. Do you water because the soil surface is dry? It's possible for the surface to dry out while the region of most roots -- the interior and bottom of the pot -- is still moist.

Another possibility when a plant seems to need very frequent water is that at some point the root ball became so dry it's now shrunken. Overly dry peat based soilless mix can actually repel water. Pour water on the surface and before it can be absorbed the liquid slips away through cracks or gaps made when the soil mix pulled away from the sides of the pot. Then, the gardener sees water coming out the drain, and figures the plant has enough -- even while the root zone is still dry. Immersion or much patience with slow drizzling can re-wet such a root ball.

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