Plant care basics

How to water your plants

Water seems like the easiest thing you need to provide for your plant to thrive – but how you choose to water is quite important.

Here are my top tips:

Terracotta pots: sit and soak

No matter your method, with most plants it’s best that you fully soak the soil through, and then let the excess drain away. No pouring in the dregs of that cup of tea you didn’t quite finish earlier!

For succulent type plants, or others that have fully dried out since your last watering, I will often stick the whole pot, often terracotta, in a bowl of water to soak for an hour or two, before returning back to its location.

Cache pots: water, sit, and drain away

For plants in a plastic pot sitting inside an outer pot, I usually ‘bottom water’ in the gap between the two pots. This seems to help reduce the risk of fungus gnats, which breed in damp topsoil.

After a few hours when the soil has soaked up what it needs, check the cache pot and pour away anything that’s still left in there.

Pouring through

If you can take the pot to a sink or bathtub, you can pour water through the pot until it runs through the bottom. Watering cans, taps or shower heads are great for this (though some plants aren’t too happy about the hard tap water we have in the south of England, so I tend to only do this with our more resilient.

When you’re sure it’s fully soaked and flushed through, put it to one side to drain, then return it to it’s normal home.


Sometimes soil can become compact, especially where a plant hasn’t been watered for a while, or where soil has compacted around the roots. This means that when you add water, it might not be reaching the plant’s roots.

Every now and again, get an old chopstick and have a gentle poke into the soil to help air and water get to the roots

Happy watering! 🚿

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