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How Often Should Indoor Plants be Watered?

Written by
Amy Earley

How Often Should Indoor Plants be Watered?

We hear this question a lot and people really worry about “how OFTEN should I water my indoor plant?” But the question should really be more focused on “how” should we water our indoor plants? So, we thought we would put together some tips on indoor plant watering:

Our Guide to Watering Indoor Plants


Drainage is THE most important factor when it comes to indoor plant care. The pot or planter that your indoor plant is in must have drainage holes to allow excess water to flow away from the roots. This will avoid water logging and root rot, giving your indoor plant just the right amount of water to keep it in good health. It is a good idea to leave your plant in the plastic nursery container and insert this into an ornamental planter that doesn’t have holes to catch any drips.


Many indoor plants prefer to be watered from below. To do this stand your indoor plant pot in a saucer or bucket filled to a few centimetres high and leave the indoor plant to soak up the water for several hours. This ensures the roots are thoroughly hydrated and prevents any nutrients leaching out from over watering.  Indoor plants that prefer to be moist and humid all the time like ferns can sit permanently over a shallow water source (stand the pot on some pebbles just above the water to give the plant contact access to the water but not actually sitting deeply in the water).


Many indoor plants like Philodendrons for example originate from rainforests and for many having a damp humid environment around their foliage is actually more important than being watered all the time. Dry air can cause leaves to brown around the edges so avoid positioning your indoor plant near any kind of air conditioning, heating vents or cold draughts. Misting the leaves and air around your indoor plant regularly will keep the humidity up and keep them looking lush and healthy.


Regular tap water is fine for your houseplants, however if is artificially softened or chlorinated it will have higher levels of salt and chemicals which can eventually build up in the soil around your indoor plants. So where possible if you have access to rainwater this is the best type of water to use (you can simply pop your plants outside in the rain from time to time), alternatively you can leave a bucket of tap water standing for 24 hours to allow the chemicals to evaporate before using it for watering your indoor plants. They also prefer room temperature to slightly warm water…no one like freezing watering being poured over them, especially those who originate from tropical climates!


Remember you don’t want your indoor plant to be too wet and soggy or too dry, so the potting mix that it is planted in is an important factor, we find a mix of premium potting mix and coconut fibre coir provides the right moisture holding balance. 


If in doubt leave your indoor plant alone! You may love your houseplants and want to tend to them daily but please wait until they have dried out before you water them again. Plants such as Monsteras and Devil’s Ivy HATE too much water, they can go a surprising amount of time with out water. If you are unsure, place your finger into the soil and feel under the surface for moisture, when its fully dry you can water again.


Every plant is different and some indoor plants rarely need watering at all such as Cactus, ZZ Plants or Mother in Law’s Tongue and some are a little more thirsty for regular watering such as Ctetanthes, Calatheas or Peace Lilies, but there are some tell tail signs you can look out for which are the plants way of saying “water me please”! The leaves will lose their gloss and go limp and the plant will generally look rather lack lustre…this is the time for a good soak!

But overall, learn not to worry too much about how often to water indoor plants, just enjoy your indoor plants, and water them in ways that suit you…. if this means chucking them in the shower (with or without you joining them) then do whatever makes you and your plants happy!

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