Video 2 of 16
House Plant Parenting Course

How much should I water my plant?

In this video

How much should I water my plant?

How much to water your houseplant is the most important thing to get right, but most books and blogs give unclear or conflicting advice.

We've read them all and summarised here - so you don't have to.

When you’re at home

All Patch plants have a care guide on their product page which will tell you about their watering needs. Again, it very much depends on their natural environment. Dry desert plants may be used to going for a while without water whereas tropical rainforest plants are used to regular showers and high humidity.

Over-watering is much more common and equally as harmful as under-watering, so always make sure that excess water can freely run out of your plant’s soil through the holes in the bottom of its nursery pot (the brown or black one that it comes in).

Letting your plant sit in water will be terrible for its health so, after watering, check the decorative pot for excess water and pour it away after half an hour or so. Similarly, don’t be tempted to repot your plant directly into pot without drainage holes; it usually ends badly!

When it comes to watering your plants be flexible, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Rather than scheduling in a certain day each week to blindly water your plants, regularly feel down into the soil an inch under the surface. Most houseplants like the top inch to dry out before watering, so if it’s dry to the touch, your plant needs a drink. But some dare to be different, so have a look at your plant’s product page if you’re not sure. Early morning is the best time and room temperature water is ideal.

You can judge whether your watering schedule is right for your plant by keeping an eye out for these signs:

  • If the leaves are yellowing or droopy you might be watering too much, or may not have proper drainage.
  • A plant with dry, curling leaves likely needs more water. Some plants are used to tropical conditions so try moving them to a room with higher humidity like the bathroom or kitchen. Use care though - you don’t want to overcompensate by drowning your plant. Curling leaves can also be caused by over-watering, so remember to check the compost first to see what you think the problem is!

When you’re on holiday.

If you’re popping away on holiday and are concerned about leaving your plant behind there are a few methods we recommend to keep it alive.

There are a couple of useful gadgets which promise to keep your plants happy while you can’t tend to them - check out our accessories to get started. Some products, such as water bulbs, slowly drip water into your plant’s soil to keep them hydrated. Others allow the plant itself to suck up water when it needs - check out hydrospikes for this. For a DIY cheap method for small plants, try putting one end of a damp piece of cloth in your the soil and the other in a glass of water - as the plant needs more moisture it will wick it up through the cloth. For large plants, place several layers of damp newspaper on top of the soil before you head to the airport.