How to Water an Indoor Garden


Whether you are growing ornamental flowers or foliage plants, vegetables or herbs, proper watering of an indoor garden is vital if you want it to thrive. Plants growing outdoors can often survive improper watering because rainfall and natural soil moisture makes up for lack of irrigation, but plants grown inside depend upon your for all their water needs. Homes often have dry air, so providing the right amount of moisture without over-watering the plants is required.

Step 1

Remove any decorative plastic or foil that is wrapped around the pot, if applicable. These covers hold excess moisture, which can damage the plant.

Step 2

Place a 1-inch layer of pebbles in the drip tray. Fill the tray with water until the water level sits just beneath the top of the pebbles. Set the plant on top the pebbles. Moisture evaporating from the drip tray provides humidity, which most plants require.

Step 3

Stick your finger into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to check the moisture. Check ornamental plants once weekly, and vegetables and herbs every other day. Most plants need water when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry, but verify a plant's exact water needs by referring to its label, or another guide to its needs, to be sure.

Step 4

Water the plants from the top until the excess moisture begins to drain from the bottom of the pot and into the drip tray. Hold the watering can's spout near the soil so that water and soil does not splash up onto the plant's leaves, as this can lead to disease.

Tips and Warnings

  • Over-watered plants tend to develop mold, and the leaves may develop brown patches. Never provide more water than what is recommended for a plant variety, as this is as damaging as under-watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Pebbles
  • Drip tray


  • Colorado State Extension: Guidelines for Watering Indoor Plants
  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Vegetable Gardening in Containers
Keywords: watering indoor gardens, houseplant irrigation, indoor 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.