Everything you need to know about watering indoor plants
Why do plants need water?
Water is an essential component of the photosynthesis process (how plants make food). Water combined with CO2 and energy from light is converted into glucose. But it is critical to get the amount right when watering indoor plants. With a range of different plants available, all needing different levels of plant care it can become tricky to know how to look after your plant straight away. One question that we get asked regularly is "how do I watering indoor plants, and when is too much?" With that in mind, here is a full guide to understanding watering your indoor plants.
How to get it right when watering indoor plants
With too little water, your plant won’t be able to make enough energy, and with too much, it could drown. If you follow this guide you will become a pro at watering your plants in no time. In addition all of our product pages tell you how much water your specific plant likes so that you can understand how often to water your indoor plants from the get-go!
The Finger Dip Test:
The best way to check when your need to water your indoor plants is to use the finger dip test as above. Push your finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If the soil is moist it will stick to your finger and your plant is okay on the water front. If the soil is dry your finger will come out clean and it is time to water your indoor plants.
Three methods to water your indoor plants
Now we have understood when to water your indoor plants, it is important to cover how to water them. There are three main methods for this, which have been described and illustrated below:
1. Watering from below
If your plant is kept in a decorative pot with a hole at the bottom, you can keep the decorative pot inside a dish or slightly larger pot. When watering your plant you can apply water into the outside container, allowing your plant to absorb the water from the hole in its pot.
2. Watering from above
Place your plant in a sink or a spot you don't mind getting wet. Fill up a container or watering can with filtered water and carefully apply the water to the topsoil of your plant, being careful not to waterlog it.
3. Watering using dip and drain
Find a container slightly larger than your plant's nursery pot and fill it with filtered water. Place your plant in its nursery pot into the container and leave for up to an hour.
What type of water to use when watering your indoor plants
If possible it is best to give your plants rainwater, filtered water or distilled/demineralised water.
Water from our taps contains chemicals such as pesticides, chlorine and fluoride, which can be harmful to plants.
Additionally, hard water from the tap can damage roots and can also cause a white crust that you can see on leaves, soil and pots. Therefore rainwater when watering your indoor plants is best!
A round-up: 6 golden rules to follow when watering your indoor plants.
1. Understand the watering schedule for your indoor plant
Don’t religiously stick to a schedule - the majority of indoor plants prefer the top few inches of soil to be dry in between watering. So, if you don’t mind getting a little bit of dirt on your finger, just put your finger into the soil and check how moist it is. If it is dry, then it is probably time to water, and if it is still damp, you can check again in the next few days. Over time, as you get to know your plant, the schedule may become a little more predictable, but it will depend on the season and many other factors, so we always advise you to check first.
2. Be cautious, don't overwater!
Less is more - always err on the cautious side if you are not quite sure how much water to use when watering indoor plants. Overwatering your plant can be much riskier, as it can lead to things like root rot, effectively plants can drown from too much water.
3. Let the soil guide you when to water
After you have watered the soil and once the water has dissipated, the soil should feel damp, and not soggy. If the soil is soaking wet, there is a risk that you have overwatered
4. Drain your plants after watering
All our plants are sold in plastic nursery pots with drainage holes so that any excess water can drain away. We recommend leaving your plant out of any decorative pot for about an hour after watering. This will ensure that any excess water has drained and will reduce the risk of overwatering or drowning your plant.
5. You will need to water your indoor plants less in winter
Plants need less water in winter as they grow less and conserve energy. As a general rule, reduce watering in the winter, and be very alert about overwatering.
6. Some plants are fussy with water type
Some plants can be a bit fussy with the water they are given. In general, try to make sure you give plants lukewarm and not cold water. Also, if possible, try and give them filtered water or rainwater (particularly in places with hard water).
Over to you!
We hope this guide has helped you and answered most of your questions about watering your indoor plants. If you would like to know any more information, please get in touch with us here - our team are always happy to help!