Watering Houseplants

Watering Houseplants: Find the best methods of knowing when and how much to water your indoor plants.

Unless it is the middle of summer and there has not been enough rain, watering your outdoor plants is usually not done very often. But indoor plants rely on you as a source of water...and extra nutrients in the form of fertilizer.


*It's important to know the individual water and nutrient needs of each plant to keep them healthy.

As mentioned, individual plants will require different amounts of water to keep them growing optimally. But what most plants do like is moist soil.

Self Watering Pots

Photo Credit: Robin L. Ansell

Worried about not watering enough, being home to do it, or just plain old forgetting about your plants? A nice solution is to get a self watering container that will automatically water your plants at just the right intervals. No more realizing you need to water after it's too late!

If you are worried about over watering houseplants, make sure that the pot you choose has a good drainage system with holes in the bottom of the pot or gravel inside the pot. The soil and plant will soak up the necessary water, and the excess will run out through the bottom into the saucer or tray.

Indoor Plant Watering

So here's how I do my watering houseplants!!

First the test . Use your thumb or finger to stick into the top layer of the potting soil. Try to push your finger about 1-2" into the dirt. If you fill moist soil, don't water the plant.

However, if the soil is dry, here's what I do!!

I pour water into the saucer...not the top of the container. Pour it into the saucer until water reaches the top. Over the course of the next hour or so, the plant's roots will draw up the water from the tray.

Then, after the initial hour, pour enough water into the tray to get it half full. Again, over the course of the next hour or so, the plant's roots will draw up the water into the soil as it needs it.

Watch it for the next day or so, and do the old "stick your thumb in the soil trick" again, and repeat the same watering procedure.

Depending upon what variety of plant you have, you may need to water every day, or every couple of days.

Here's how I would do the normal watering method:

Take your water container and SLOWLY pour water into the top of the container. As the soil soaks up the water, SLOWLY add some more until water is draining out the bottom into the pot's saucer. The plant's roots will later draw up the remaining water from the saucer.

Again, repeat every day or two.....depending on what result you get from the "very scientific test" you conduct with your thumb!!

That's it.....pretty simple!!

Sick House Plant??

If your watering houseplants and they're not thriving no matter what you do, there are two things to look into.

1: If you're using tap water for watering house plant varieties of any kind, there may be too much chlorine or salt present. A solution to this is to use distilled or filtered water. An even better solution, is to leave a container outside to collect rainwater.

Either option is acceptable and may be the change you need to make to have healthier plants.

2: Choosing to fertilize your plants is another way to give them a boost. Fertilizer contains nutrients and elements that plants need to grow. Indoor plants do not need as much fertilizer as their outdoor counterparts do. To find out more on feeding indoor house plants, go here.

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