Drawing moisture upward through capillary action. Potted plants that need to be watered often respond well to wicking.

Fill a dish under the plant's pot with marbles or small stones, and then with water just short of the top of the stones. Thread twine from the top of the plant's pot, through the root ball of the plant, and out the drainage hole. Trail the twine into the reservoir under the stones. The water in the dish will be drawn into the pot via the twine. About four lengths of twine for a six inch pot should be enough.

A deep dish filled with water will allow you to cut back on the number of times you water each week. Seedlings, some houseplants, and house-herbs love wicking as a means of watering. They never go dry and you don't resent having to give them all that attention. Just be sure to give wicked plants a bath in the sink every couple of months to get rid of accumulated salts in the soil.

This is a glossary entry that will help you understand some of my blogs better. Plants have a vocabulary; most specialized areas of learning do. Pick up one new term a day, and in no time you'll be a pro.

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