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Have You Been Watering Your Plants Wrong?

Person is watering a houseplant from a pitcher.

Watering plants may seem like a straightforward task, but there’s actually a lot of debate when it comes to the perfect method. A common argument is whether top or bottom watering is better, but the truth is they can both be satisfactory watering methods.

The trick is watering correctly. (Hint: water the roots, don’t water the foliage.)

Top watering is when you pour water from the top of your plant and let it run through the soil. Bottom watering is when you place a potted plant in a container full of water and let the roots absorb what they need. The mistake a lot of plant parents make is watering their plant’s foliage more than the roots.

WhaleLife Indoor Watering Can

All top-waterers need a reliable watering can for their plant chore days.

The choice between top or bottom watering largely depends on the type of plants you’re nurturing, the type of soil, and the plant’s specific needs. For example, bottom watering is easy and well-suited for smaller potted plants, but often impractical for larger or outdoor plants.

Following the top watering method is a great way to mimic natural rainfall. With this method, it’s important to water with care. Avoid excessive watering, ensure proper soil drainage, and reduce the amount of water that gets on your plant’s foliage to prevent disease and fungal issues.

Ultimately, the right watering technique comes down to your plant’s needs and your plant care routine. Making sure the roots get the right amount of hydration will always be the best plant watering technique.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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