Plant Watering

Plant Watering- Guide for Gardening Beginners

When it comes to watering requirements, every plant has its specific needs and demands. For that reason, you have to be extra careful otherwise you risk killing your indoor plant.

I know that’s the last thing you want.

There are no universal rules and laws on how to water plants, which is why you should create a smart schedule for watering the plant. Or plants.

I have prepared a brief guide that will direct you through several important aspects of plant watering. Stay with me to hear more about how often should you water indoor plants!

How to Water Various Species?

To be able to tell which plant prefers more and which less frequent watering, you need to know its basic needs and requirements.

Even though there’s a number of species and subspecies, they can all be divided into three main groups, and those are:

  • Plants with foliage only
  • Flowering plants
  • Succulents and cacti

Now, let’s explain step by step how they work and what do they thrive on so that you know how often should you water house plants.

Plants with foliage only

What goes as some sort of general rule for plants with foliage only is that the water should be poured directly on the soil, so that the precious liquid could reach the roots.

During the growing season, when a plant develops actively (from spring to fall) you should water plants indoor more generously.

On the other hand, when the plant is in the passive stage, during winter, you should allow the uppermost layer of the soil to get dry before you water it again.

Flowering plants

If you choose plants that produce flowers so that you could admire their breathtaking blooms, then pay attention to the moisture level.

These plants prefer moist soil, rather than wet, so you should be extra careful and avoid frequent watering.

You mustn’t allow the soil to become waterlogged, as the roots could start rotting.

Watering Flowering Plants

Succulent and cacti

The great thing about these sorts of plants is that they are naturally adapted to living in areas where the climate is dryer.

But that doesn’t mean they can live without water, not at all.

Just like plants with foliage only, watering plants indoors should be done more frequently from spring to fall, but they DON’T require the same amount of water as plants from the mentioned group.

The best would be to keep the soil moist, or semi-dry.

And when the winter comes, you can water the plants occasionally, they can withstand long periods without additional liquid.

How’s that so?

That’s because of those juicy leaves they have, there serve as some sort of storage space for water.

They have the ability to store the liquid for months, which is why they have utterly different requirements than plants with foliage only and flowering plants.

Pro-Tip: Okay, I said there are no universal rules, but there’s one- the temperature of the water. All plants like lukewarm water, any of the extremes (too hot/ too cold) could shock them.

Most Common Methods of Watering Indoor Plants

Depending on the roots structure, each group of plants prefers water to be delivered from a different side. This can help a lot when brainstorming how to water indoor plants.

I know that it sounds a bit puzzling, but allow me to explain it further!

To start with, I shall say:

  • Top to bottom watering
  • Bottom watering plants
  • Immersion

One group is reserved for plants that like to receive the water from top to bottom. That’s right it’s how you usually water them- pour the water from the top and allow the soil to “drink” it and deliver it to roots.

The second group are plants which like to receive the precious liquid from the bottom.

Why’s that?

It’s quite simple- their roots grow closer to the bottom of the container, so you need to enable such plants to receive the needed amount of water from that direction.

For this setting, you need to place some tray or a saucer under the pot and allow your plant to take as much liquid as it needs.

Once it takes, make sure you remove the tray otherwise you can damage the plant.

Not all of them are tolerant of wet feet.

And finally, immersion is the method you use for plants that like having their entire home soaked in water.

So, what you do is take the pot, and let your plant spend about an hour in a sink full of water.

This method of watering is particularly important for plants that grow rapidly.

During the growth season, you should repeat this ritual more often, about once a month- your plant will be very thankful!

Just make sure the excessive amount of liquid is gone before you return the plant to its usual place.

Pro-Tip: When in doubt whether your green friend needs water, you can simply check the soil. What you should do is insert about an inch of the finger inside the soil. If the tip is dry, then your plants could use some precious liquid. However, this rule doesn’t work for cacti and succulents.

Different Types of Water

Before we get down to some useful tips, let’s discuss what types of water are out there. Let’s find out if all of them are beneficial for your plants.

Three main types include:

  • Tap water
  • Hard water
  • Rainwater and distilled water
Collecting Rainwater for Plant Watering

Even though watering with tap water seems like the simplest and fastest solution, do know that it’s not the smartest.

That’s because it’s full of harmful chemicals that can damage your plant if you water it using tap water over a longer period of time.

Knowing how harmful this ordinary tap water is, you can only assume how damaging hard water is. In some parts of the world, water contains too many chemicals.

Plants are much more delicate than us people, so you should pay attention when planning to water.

The last group- rain or distilled, this is definitely the best choice for your plants. However, do note that in some countries, it is forbidden to collect rainwater, so don’t become a criminal just to ensure your plants will be watered properly.

Pro-Tip: There’s one scenario in which it’s perfectly okay to use water from the tap when watering house plants. You pour it in a watering can or bottle, leave it overnight, and then you can water your plants the next morning.

Following the Signs of Under-Watering and Over-Watering

Your plant will tell you a lot if you observe them and follow the signals.

Just like with the temperature of the water, none of the extremes is good, both overwatering and underwatering can damage your dear green friends.

Some of the most common telltale signs include:

  • Soil dryness
  • The crispiness of the leaves
  • Changes in the coloration
  • Slower blooming and overall development

If the soil is too dry, then it’s a more than obvious signal that your plant needs more liquid, and you need to pour water more frequently.

Opposite of that, soggy soil is the most common sign of overwatering.

In case you spot dry, brown, and crispy leaves, then your plant is not getting enough water. On the other hand, if the leaves are brown but softy, then you need to reduce watering.

Also, sagging and drooping foliage tell that a plant is not receiving an adequate amount of water.

Moreover, when a plant refuses to bloom, and you know it should, it may be because you are not watering a plant properly.

Pro-Tip: Some symptoms are typical for both underwatering and overwatering, but if you have adjusted the watering schedule, and your plant still looks unhealthy, check it again. It could be some pests, inadequate lighting, draft, lower moisture, or something else.

Other Important Factors for Proper Plant Watering

Aside from the plant’s specific needs, some external factors play an equally important role when evaluating when to water plants.

Those key factors are:

  • Frequency
  • Environmental conditions
  • Time of year
  • Versatile species

Just like I already stressed out, how often to water house plants depends on a multitude of factors. The species itself is the most vital one.

Some plants can be watered once a week, while the others will require daily watering.

Of course, outdoor conditions and the season also play an important role when adjusting the watering schedule. This refers to temperature, climate, time of the year-everything.

Then, the location of the plant itself- is it exposed to the sun or it’s accommodated someplace shadier?

Plants that are in offices without windows will have different needs than those placed on sunny windows.

Moreover, you need to find some smart solutions for your plants when you are away from home- there are plenty of cool gadgets such as self-watering globes and similar.

All in all, you need to make a smart timetable, and check the soil, so that you know when should you water plants.

That’s the only way to keep your plant happy and healthy and avoid root rotting.


Now that you are aware of all the important facts about plant watering, and you can evaluate precisely how often to water indoor plants do your best to apply them, and keep your plant satisfied.

Once again, this is a general guide, but to make sure your plant progresses well, you need to know its specific needs and plant watering accordingly.

What type of water do you water plants with? Have you got any cool watering plant tip for me?

Hit the comment section below, I can’t wait to hear from you!

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