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How Do We Water Our Plants? Essential Techniques and Tips

Learn the best methods for watering your plants to ensure they receive the right amount of hydration and thrive!

Hi and welcome to the blog! This is the third part of our three-part series on watering plants. In the first two parts, we explored why watering is essential and when to water your plants. Now, we’ll dive into the practical aspect of plant care: how to water your plants effectively.

Watering might seem straightforward, but there are several key factors and techniques to consider to ensure your plants get the right amount of hydration.

From the temperature of the water to the mineral content and pH levels, each element plays a vital role in plant health.

Additionally, the method you choose to water your plants can significantly impact their growth and well-being.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about watering your plants, including preparation tips, different watering methods, and extra care tips to keep your plants thriving. 

Let’s get started and learn how to water your plants the right way!

Table of Contents

Preparing to Water Your Plants

Before you start watering your plants, it’s important to understand a few key factors that can affect how well your plants absorb water. 

These include the temperature of the water, the mineral content, and the pH levels. Let’s explore each of these elements in detail.


For indoor tropical plants, we recommend using water that is between 59 to 72°F (15 to 22°C)

This temperature range is ideal because it closely matches the natural environment of these plants. If you don’t want to measure the temperature, using room temperature water is a safe bet and will work perfectly for most indoor plants.

Minerals in the Water

The mineral content of your tap water can vary greatly depending on where you live. Common minerals found in tap water include chlorine and fluoride, which can be problematic for some plants.

Most indoor tropical plants can handle small amounts of these minerals, but if you notice issues like yellowing and browning of the leaf edges, it might be a sign that your water has too many minerals. If this happens, you may need to use filtered water or take steps to remove these minerals.

Understanding pH Levels

The pH level of your water can also impact plant health. Ideally, your water should be neutral, with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.

If the pH is too high or too low, it can affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. Symptoms of pH imbalance include weak growth, yellowing leaves, and stunted root development. If you suspect pH issues, testing your water and adjusting it if necessary can help ensure your plants thrive.

By paying attention to these factors before watering, you can create the optimal conditions for your plants to absorb water and nutrients effectively.

We’ll explore different methods for removing excess minerals from your water. Keep reading to ensure your plants get the purest water possible!

Related articles:

Find out why do we water our plants.
Dive into understanding when to water your plants.
Do you know what does mean Waterlogged Plant?
Find out Does Water Temperature Matter in Indoor Plant Care, and How?

Methods for Removing Minerals from Water

If you notice that your plants are suffering from mineral buildup, there are several methods you can use to improve the quality of your water

Removing excess minerals can prevent problems such as yellowing and browning of leaves, ensuring your plants stay healthy. Here are three effective methods for removing minerals from your water.

Open Air Gas Off

One of the simplest ways to reduce the chlorine and other volatile minerals in your water is to let it sit out in an open container for 24 to 48 hours. This process, known as “open air gas off,” allows the gases to evaporate, leaving you with water that is safer for your plants. 

Simply fill a bucket with tap water and let it sit uncovered. After a day or two, the water will be less harsh on your plants.

Using Filters

Another effective method is to use a water filter. An active charcoal filter is a cost-effective option that can remove many impurities from tap water. Charcoal filters work by adsorbing contaminants onto the surface of the charcoal, which has a large surface area due to being treated at high temperatures. This method is straightforward and provides cleaner water for your plants.

Reverse Osmosis

For the purest water, consider using a reverse osmosis system. This method forces water through a semi-permeable membrane, removing a wide range of impurities and minerals. 

While reverse osmosis systems can be more expensive, they are highly effective at providing clean water. This ensures that your plants receive the best possible hydration without the risk of mineral buildup.

By using one of these methods, you can improve the quality of the water you give to your plants, helping them thrive and grow more robustly.

Keep reading, we’ll explore different techniques for watering your plants.

Plant Care Tip:

Using rainwater or distilled water for your plants can help prevent the buildup of minerals and salts in the soil.

Techniques for Watering Plants

There are several methods for watering your plants, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding these techniques can help you choose the best approach for your plants’ needs and ensure they receive adequate hydration. Let’s explore three popular watering methods: watering on top of the soil, bottom watering, and using self-watering systems.

Watering on Top of the Soil

Watering on top of the soil is the most common method and works well for many types of plants. To do this effectively, use a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom. When watering, make sure to add enough water so that it flows through the drainage holes. This ensures that all the roots, including those at the bottom of the pot, receive water. Avoid adding small amounts of water, as it may not reach the lower roots, which can lead to uneven hydration.

Bottom Watering

Bottom watering involves placing the plant pot in a container filled with water and allowing it to absorb moisture from the bottom up

This method is particularly useful for plants that are sensitive to having wet foliage. To bottom water, fill a sink or tray with a few inches of water and place the pot in it for 30 minutes to an hour

This allows the soil to soak up water through the drainage holes.

 Afterward, remove the pot and let any excess water drain away.

Self-Watering Systems

Self-watering systems consist of a pot within a pot, where the outer pot holds water and the inner pot has drainage holes. 

These systems often include a wick or nylon rope that draws water from the outer pot to the soil in the inner pot. Self-watering pots can help maintain consistent moisture levels, making them ideal for busy plant owners. However, it’s important to ensure that the topsoil gets moist occasionally to monitor the overall water level and prevent root drying.

Each of these methods has its benefits and can be suited to different types of plants and lifestyles. By choosing the right watering technique, you can ensure your plants receive the optimal amount of water.

Next, we’ll provide detailed steps for each watering technique to help you implement them correctly. 

Watering Wisdom:

The best time to water plants is early in the morning. This helps reduce water loss due to evaporation and allows plants to absorb moisture throughout the day.

Detailed Steps for Each Watering Technique

Now that we’ve covered the different watering techniques, let’s dive into the detailed steps for each method to ensure you’re doing it correctly and efficiently. Proper implementation of these techniques will help keep your plants healthy and hydrated.

How to Water on Top of the Soil

Watering on top of the soil is straightforward but requires attention to ensure even hydration:

  1. Ensure your plant is in a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling.
  2. Place the pot on a tray to catch excess water.
  3. Water the soil evenly until water starts to flow out of the drainage holes.
  4. Allow the excess water to drain away completely to avoid root rot.
  5. Remove any standing water in the tray after watering.


How to Bottom Water

Bottom watering helps ensure that the roots absorb water efficiently:

  1. Fill a sink or tray with 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of water.
  2. Place the pot in the water, ensuring the water level reaches the drainage holes.
  3. Let the plant sit in the water for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. After the soil has absorbed sufficient water, remove the pot from the water.
  5. Allow any excess water to drain completely before returning the plant to its place.


Using a Self-Watering System

Self-watering systems can simplify your watering routine and provide consistent moisture:

  1. Ensure the self-watering pot setup includes both an inner pot with drainage holes and an outer pot for water storage.
  2. Place the nylon wick or rope through the drainage holes to draw water up from the outer pot to the inner pot.
  3. Initially water the soil from the top to ensure all roots receive moisture.
  4. Fill the outer pot with water, using the water meter to monitor levels.
  5. Allow the system to maintain consistent moisture, but occasionally check the topsoil to ensure even hydration.


By following these steps, you can effectively implement each watering technique and keep your plants well-hydrated and healthy.

Next, we’ll share some extra tips for plant care, including how to flush your plants to remove excess minerals and salts. 

Hydration Hint:

For plants that prefer high humidity, consider placing a shallow tray of water near them to increase the moisture in the air.

Extra Tips for Plant Care

In addition to regular watering, there are a few extra tips that can help ensure your plants remain healthy and vibrant. These tips will help you manage excess minerals and maintain optimal soil conditions for your plants.

Annual or Biennial Rinsing

No matter which watering method you use, it’s a good idea to rinse through your entire system once a year or every two years. This process helps remove excess minerals and salts that can accumulate in the soil over time.

  1. Take your plant to the sink or a suitable area where you can thoroughly water it.
  2. Start by slowly pouring a large amount of water into the soil.
  3. Continue to add water until it flows freely out of the drainage holes, carrying away salts and minerals.
  4. Allow the plant to drain completely before returning it to its usual spot.


Monitoring and Adjusting Watering Practices

Regularly monitor your plants for signs of overwatering or underwatering. Adjust your watering schedule based on the plant’s needs and environmental conditions. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Overwatering: Yellowing leaves, moldy soil, or a musty smell indicate you may be watering too much.
  • Underwatering: Drooping or wilting leaves, dry and brittle leaf edges, or soil pulling away from the sides of the pot suggest you need to water more frequently.


Seasonal Adjustments

Adjust your watering practices according to the seasons. During the active growing seasons of spring and summer, your plants will likely require more water. In the dormant periods of fall and winter, reduce the frequency of watering to match the plant’s slower growth rate.

By incorporating these extra tips into your plant care routine, you can help ensure your plants remain healthy and thrive year-round.

Environment Matters:

Plants in smaller pots dry out faster than those in larger pots, so they need more frequent watering.


By now, you should have a thorough understanding of how to water your plants effectively

We’ve covered the importance of water temperature, managing minerals, and understanding pH levels. 

You’ve also learned about various watering techniques, including watering on top of the soil, bottom watering, and using self-watering systems. 

Additionally, we provided extra tips for maintaining optimal plant health, such as annual rinsing and seasonal adjustments.

Each plant has unique needs, and observing your plants closely will help you adjust your watering practices to suit them best. Regularly check for signs of overwatering or underwatering and make necessary adjustments to keep your plants thriving.

For more detailed insights and practical tips on plant care, be sure to explore our Blog. Our articles cover a wide range of topics to help you become a better gardener.

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