How to Water House Plants


Plants need water to grow, and without it, not enough or too much, your house plants can die. Watering house plants is an art, and when you get it right, your house plants will thrive. No rule of thumb applies to all house plants; however, you can apply some general guidelines to most house plants.

Step 1

Decide how often you should water your plants. This varies from plant to plant. In general, large plants in small pots need more water, as do plants in sunny and dry locations. Plants that have thin leaves and shallow roots also need to be watered more often. If you have a cacti or succulent plant (plants with thick leaves that retain water), you do not need to water them as much.

Step 2

Water your plants before they dry up and wilt. Allowing your plants to reach this point damages them and hinders their growth.

Step 3

Check the soil. Most house plants have feeding roots in the bottom two-thirds of the soil, so even if the topsoil is dry the plant may not need watering. The best way to check is to stick your finger about an inch into the soil and feel whether it is dry. If it is, you probably need to water it.

Step 4

Fill a watering can with water and allow it to sit for an hour. Plants, especially tropical plants, prefer water that is room temperature.

Step 5

Water each house plant all around its base, and pour only as fast as the soil can absorb the water. Add enough water that some comes out of the bottom and into a dish. This allows some soluble salts that have been accumulating in your soil from your water to be expelled. Throw out the water in the dish so that the plants don't reabsorb it.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering can
  • Water


  • NC State University: Watering Houseplants
Keywords: water house plants, salt house plants, how much water house plants

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.