You know the rule about watering potted plants—water until the water runs through. I watered the plant that LaVille is holding just last night. Well, water did run through, but look at the dry section she is pointing out. I was surprised at how quickly the passion vines had been wilting. It is obvious the water was just channeling through without soaking the soil. We thought the rapid wilting was due to the pot being too small, so LaVille started repotting into 2 gallon pots. As soon as the first gallon pot was emptied, it was obvious what the problem was. She decided to go ahead and repot all 12 passion vines anyway. We then soaked the new pots into the tubs shown in the second photo.
So, I guess the lesson for you is this: If you let a potted plant get really dry, watering so that the water passes through may not insure thorough soil dampening. You might try lifting the pot after watering so see if the weight indicates water retention. I suppose you could insert a moisture probe deeply into the pot to check moisture at different levels. And, of course, if you choose soaking the pot, don’t forget to remove it. A drip pan would be another solution.
Incidentally, we found over a dozen caterpillars on these plants. We transferred them over to the huge mother plant. We will soon have a yard full of gulf fritillary butterflies. You could experience that same joy.
Stan, The Soaker Man