How to Water Plants in Containers


Container gardens offer interest to landscaping, patio areas and places where a traditional gardening bed isn't possible. Both ornamental plants and edible plants thrive in containers if properly cared for. Containers consist of small flower pots, hanging baskets, large planters and everything in between. Lack of water is one of the main issues affecting container plants, so proper irrigation is vital to ensure plants thrive.

Step 1

Check the bottoms of containers prior to planting for drainage holes. Most containers need between one and four drainage holes. Drill ½-inch holes in the bottom of the container if no drainage holes are present.

Step 2

Insert your finger into the soil each morning to check moisture levels. Most plants need watering when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry. Alternately, purchase a moisture meter from a garden center, insert into the soil and assess moisture levels in the container.

Step 3

Water the containers from the top until excess moisture begins draining from the bottom. This ensures a moist root zone near the bottom of the pot. Water the plants in the morning so the foliage has time to dry before nightfall.

Step 4

Empty drip trays after watering, as the water sitting in the trays may breed insects, disease or provide too much moisture to the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Soil moisture meter


  • Washington State University Extension: Watering Plant Containers
Keywords: watering plant container, irrigating flower pots, Container plant care

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.