Washing indoor plants

How to Bottom Water Your Container Plants

Figuring out the best way to water your plants can mean the difference between a happy green plant and a droopy brown plant. 

While timing is of course crucial, the way you water can have a pivotal effect on overall drainage and how water is evenly distributed throughout the container. 

Enter the world of bottom watering. Perhaps you’ve heard of this trendy way to water plants with confidence. It’s a different take on the classic watering can over-the-top method, but it effectively keeps plants watered just enough without having to guess.

It’s also a nice alternative if you have container plants with ornaments, landscaping pebbles, or Fire Glass adorning the soil. Your extras won’t get moved around or splattered with soil.

In this post, we explain exactly how it’s done.

Step One: Find the Right Space

Bottom watering requires the use of a large basin or bathtub, which makes this great for any type of space whether you live in an apartment or house.

You’ll place your container plants inside the basin/tub. No stacking containers, of course!

Step Two: Fill ‘er Up

Next on the agenda is the actual watering part. If you’re using a bathtub, set the water temperature to lukewarm and begin to fill the tub slowly. Stop when the water level reaches almost the top of the containers, but not so that it overflows into the soil.

If you are using a basin, fill it up the same way, except you’ll have to use a garden hose or pitcher.

Step Three: Let it Sit

Your plants are fine to sit inside their water bath for 10 minutes up to an hour but never exceed more than six hours to avoid overwatering. 

After the time is up, replace the container plants on their saucers and all soil thirst is properly quenched for the time being.

Extra Tips…

  • This only works if your containers have drainage holes on the bottom. If they’re not available (which all containers should have holes) then drill them in or poke holes with a knife.
  • Beware that bottom watering only works for certain plant varieties with dense root balls that soak up water effectively. This includes pothos, ferns, and philodendrons.
  • If you see air bubbles when bottom watering, this is normal!

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