Question: How much to water plants in pots

Last Updated on March 16, 2020 by cmoarz

This is a extremely common question, especially for new container garden hobbyists who are scared to over water or underwater there potted plants.

Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule on what your plants should be expecting in water.

There are quiet a few variables that go into determining the exact amount of water you should be using, such as:

  • The type of plant
  • The type of growth medium
  • The style of container it is growing in
  • The temperature and humidity levels

In general you want to make sure the soil is damp at all times down to the root level.

Depending on the above factors, that could be once or twice a week, to 3 or more times a week.

If you find you are watering your plants more often than you think you should, it’s a wise idea to check the drainage on the pot, as too much water draining away could lead to a starving plant struggling for survival.

As a general rule of thumb, a container plant will need to be watered more often than a plant growing in the ground.

This is for 2 reasons, The amount of soil in a container usually isn’t very much, a square foot or so.

Due to it’s small size, It can be expected to dry out much quicker than the alternative.

The other reason is because rapid every day indoor temperature swings can effected a potted plant and cause it to dry faster, or slower in some cases, than its outside neighbors.

The comfortable temperatures which most humans will live are low humidity and slightly above body temperature, which effects indoor potted plants and may cause them to dry out faster.

A good idea to combat this is have a sealed room dedicated for your green friends with a humidifier running.

Plants love humidity and will thrive more because of this. Do be sure to use adequate ventilation though, as circulating air is vital to a flourishing garden ecosystem.

In summary, to answer the question how much to water plants in pots, Watering 2-3 times a week should be adequate. Check the soil 1 inch down, if that is not damp it’s time to water again. Research the specific type of plan’t you are growing for more in depth information on how much water it requires.

Here’s a few examples of how much you should water each plant type, assuming you are using standard garden containers with standard amounts of drainage:

Succulents – every 10 to 15 days

rubber plant – every 5 to 10 days

peace lily – every 5 to 10 days

parlor palm – every 5 to 10 days

fiddle leaf fig- every 5 to 10 days

peperomia – every 5 to 10 days

spider plant – every 5 to 10 days

calathea – every 5 to 10 days

snake plant – every 10 to 15 days

citrus tree – every 5 to 10 days

aloe – every 10 to 15 days

orchid – every 5 to 10 days

philodendron – every 5 to 10 days

african violet – every 5 to 10 days

ficus – every 5 to 10 days

Want to learn more? Check out our other articles about Companion Planting and Types of container for gardening.


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