Basic rules for watering houseplants
For decades I killed almost every houseplant I owned, either by kindness (overwatering) or neglect (no water at all). After all of that wilting, withering and eventually succumbing to the lack of proper hydration, I’m happy to say that I now know how to be a responsible houseplant parent.
I reached out to expert Mary Vargo, an urban horticulture agent and master gardener coordinator, to help put together a houseplant watering resource that’s simple to use.
Whether you’re a new homeowner or have kept houseplants for years, the guide is chock-full of practical information to keep your indoor greenery properly irrigated.
Water only when needed
Overwatering is something Vargo recommends you avoid at all costs because it’s the number one cause of most houseplant failure. “Underwatering isn’t as severe an issue because houseplants can generally bounce back from it,” she says.
Not all plants are created equal
Watering requirements depend on the individual type of plant you’re caring for. Obviously, cactus and succulents need less watering than, say, pothos.
Some varieties prefer a bottom-up watering approach, while others like to be soaked from the top down (see below). Knowing your particular plant’s preference is critical.