How to Leach From Potted Plants


Leaching potted plants prevents excessive buildup of fertilizer and impurities in the potting soil medium. The presence of a white, crusty substance on top of the soil indicates soil fertilizer buildup, cautions N.C. State University. The University recommends leaching houseplants every four to six months. The process for leaching potted plants should take approximately two hours to complete. Potted plants grow healthier and faster after leaching.

Step 1

Turn on the water faucet and adjust the water to room temperature. Cold or hot water extremes shock the potted plant's root system.

Step 2

Tilt the potted plant at a 45-degree angle and place the base of plant under the running water. The objective is to water the potting soil and not drench the leaves and blooms of the plant.

Step 3

Remove the potted plant from the water source when a stream of water flows out of the drainage holes. Turn off the water source.

Step 4

Sit the potted plant in the base of the sink. Set a timer for one hour. The plant needs sufficient time to drain and leach. One hour is the time recommended by the N.C. State University Extension.

Step 5

Remove the potted plant from the sink. Repeat steps 1 through 4. Return the plant to its original location.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use extreme water temperatures when leaching potted plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep sink
  • Tap water
  • Potted plants
  • Sink strainer


  • N.C. State University Extension: Fertilizing Houseplants
Keywords: leaching potted plants, potted plant care, potted plants

About this Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.