How to water indoor/outdoor plants - A Complete Guide

1 comment / Posted on by Keerthi B S

How to water indoor/outdoor plants - A Complete Guide

                                       Water is just amazing, it is the basic reason for all the life forms on the earth. Watering your plants requires no technical skill, provided you keep in mind when and how much to water your plants. As light requirement varies with individual plants, and also the water requirement. Every individual plant requires different amount of water. To know this fact first you have to get information on the place of origin of plants or where they belonged to. It is some what like this tropical, temperate and arid regions. 

how to water plants

Once you know the brief information about the origin of plants. Then you are done with the half of the work of watering your plants in the right way. Here we will discuss right time and right way of watering your plants. 

8 Points to consider while watering your plants: 

1. Time of watering

2. Frequency of watering

3. Type of plants

4. Growth season & weather 

5. Size of the container

6. Watering cans 

7. Placing of plants

8. Type of soil/ potting mix 


1. Time of watering: 

Research has shown that watering plants early in the morning gives more time for your plants to absorb the water. And retain moisture in its potting media. And there will be very less loss of water through other physiological processes like evaporation and transpiration.

how to water plants

2. Frequency of watering: 

Frequency of watering varies with the different group of plants. Some high water required or tropical plants like ferns require water thrice in a week. Plants that belong to cactus and succulents require very less amount of water. Water those plants once in 10-14 days. So consider where the plants belonged to. 

3. Type of plants: 

Different group of plants require different type of watering e.g. tropical rain forest plants like ferns require more amount of water compared to drought tolerant plants like anthuriums and peace lily. Plants belonged to cactus and succulents need very less amount of water. hardly once in a month. 

water these plants sparingly

4. Growth season and weather:

You have to consider weather of a day  and season of plant growth before watering. If the weather is cloudy and drizzling you have to avoid watering plants in that time. As it favors the development of pest and diseases in your plants.

  • Summer days: Usually in summer you have to water your plants everyday or once in two days after checking the soil wetness. It also depends on whether you have kept your plant under direct sunlight or in shade. If it is under sun it requires frequent watering compared to plants that are kept under shade.
  • Rainy days: In  rainy days, most of the time your plants get water from rain. So approximately you have to water plants once in 5-6 days. Again you have to consider many factors before going for this fixed schedule. Because even in rainy season your plants may not receive good amount of water due to lack of rain. That's why you have to check the soil wetness before watering plants. Be in contact with plants, they tell everything to you. 
  • Winter days: In winter time, humidity and temperature will be very less. It makes your plant to lose more amount of water especially indoor plants. at homes humidity will be very less, it creates dry condition for plants and result in loss of water through transpiration. So frequently you have to mist your plants to maintain the microclimate around your plants.  
  • Thumb rule to apply water: Whatever may be the season, the very basic rule to apply water is only after checking the soil wetness. Check soil wetness up to 1.5 to 2 cm by running your index finger into the soil. If you feel the soil is wet you can postpone watering. If you feel the soil is dry you can go for watering your plants. 


check the soil moisture before watering plants check the soil moisture before watering plants


5. Size of container: 

 Size of the pot also matters while watering your plants. Soil stays wet in big sized pot compare to small pots. Plants which are present in small pots dry more quickly, that's why they require frequent watering. You have to water plants deeply, instead of shallow watering. Water them until water drains out from the pot(through drainage holes).

6. Watering containers: 

 If you consider the size of container while planting your plants it benefits your plants and their growth. It is not wise to use single type large or small container to water all the plants. For example to water a pomegranate shrub or areca plant you have to use big water can. But for leafy vegetables or small seedling you have to apply water in droplets. or water can with nozzle. When you apply water in force with big sized water cans it will physically damage the plant & its growth. So always choose containers according to plant height, size and growth stage. 

water plants water plants


7. Placing of plants: 

Amount of watering plants varies with the place you have kept them. Plant that is present completely outdoor or kept under sun requires more water compared to plants which are kept indoor and in shady places. Therefore considering place of pot or plant is a valid thing to do. 

watering plants depends on their placement watering plants depends on their placement


8. Type of soil/ potting mix:

 Soil/ potting mix that has good water holding capacity holds water for long period of time. In that case you have to water such soil or potting mix less frequently. Soil which drains more quickly needs more amount of water. For example red soil drains out water more quickly compared to soil mixed with good amount of organic manure and cocopeat 

water plants water plants


Top five questions related to watering of plants: 

1. How to water indoor plants? 

 Indoor plants usually require less amount of water compared to outdoor plants. And they need less frequent watering. Use adequate watering cans for watering your indoor plants mainly to avoid the fall of water on the foliage. Divide plants according to their water requirement like low water-loving, more water-loving plants. Apply water twice a week for low water-loving plants. and thrice in a week for high water-loving plants. The thumb rule to water is by checking the soil wetness. Check soil up to 1.5 to 2 inches. If soil is wet do not water them. If it is dry you can go for watering your plants. 

2. What are the methods of watering plants? 

There is N number of watering methods for plants. But importantly watering methods can be listed as,

a. Manual watering

b. Drip irrigation

c. Sprinkler irrigation

When you have only a few plants, a manual method of watering is the best to go for. Drip irrigation is best for both more number of plants and less number of plants. It saves water along with equal distribution of water for every plant. Sprinkler irrigation is good for lawn maintenance, and plantation purposes. 

3. How do you know when to water your plants? 

 It is very simple. Think about when did you water your plants last time. The next step is to check the soil wetness with your fingers up to 1.5- 2", if it is dry just water your plants. 

4. Is it bad to water plants at night?

We have to water plants either in the morning or evening. Because it gives more time for plants to absorb water when compared to any other time as the rate of water loss will be very less due to transpiration and evaporation in morning and evening times.. You have to water in the evening not at night because the night temperature will be very less and it may favor the development of diseases and pests in the plants.  

5. How do you know if you are over watering your plants? 

An important and basic sign of over-watering is the yellowing of leaves. Sometimes no growth of new leaves, wilting of leaves (due to root rot) also happens. If you observe these symptoms please stop over watering your plants. And give enough time to plant for recovering from damage caused by over watering of plants. 


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1 comment

  • Posted on by Erna Bose

    thank you Trust Basket for the useful advice you give for maintaining the different plants. Keep up the good work.

    Erna Bose

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