Watering Plants – Indoors, Outdoors and More

watering can outside

By Erin Marissa Russell

No matter what kind of plants you’re growing, we have an article about how to best water them. Watering is one of the most important ways to care for your plants, but not all plants should be watered the same exact way. It can be confusing, especially if you’re growing a type of plants you don’t have a lot of experience with. That’s why we’ve created the guides linked below—to help you learn all about the best ways to water every type of plant we can imagine so they’ll grow healthy and strong.

Watering Frequency

This article focuses on knowing exactly how often you should be watering your garden. First, you get an introduction to how plants use the water you give them and the way that water moves through the layers of soil. Then we review the symptoms of plants that need more water as well as the signs of overwatering. The tips include how to perform a soil moisture test, when plants need the most water, and how to use mulch to reduce how often you need to water your plants.

Watering Cactus and Succulents

People often say that cactus plants and succulents are easy to care for because they don’t require a lot of water, but it can be difficult to keep from overwatering them—and too much water can be just as damaging to a plant as too little. This guide covers how much water your cactus plants and succulents will need depending on the time of year and signs of overwatering and underwatering in these desert plants. You’ll also learn about how choosing the right container can make watering your cacti and succulents easier, what time of day you should water them, where to aim the water, and what types of water should be avoided because they can harm your plants.

Watering Ferns

This piece focuses on ferns, explaining how to know you’re giving them the right amount of water and listing varieties that are exceptions to the rule. We also cover how to add moisture to the air by misting to increase the humidity for your fern plants and how the temperature affects the amount of water ferns need. We’ll tell you how to know when your ferns are getting too much or too little water and describe a method using two containers to make it easier to keep your ferns hydrated. Finally, we’ll discuss the advice you may have heard about watering your ferns with Epsom salt.

Watering Herbs

This article on how to water your herb garden is split into sections that cover how to water herbs in general, how to water herbs that grow in containers, and how to water herbs that are planted directly in the ground. We’ll discuss grouping herb plants together according to their water and soil needs so they’re easier to take care of and what time of day is best for watering herbs. Whether herbs grow in containers or in the ground, we’ll explain how to know when it’s time to give your herbs another dose of water, along with where to aim the water for best results. For areas that don’t have proper drainage or water retention, we talk about how to use soil amendments and mulch to make the soil work better for your plants. We’ve even listed which herbs are known for needing more water than others and which prefer a drier environment.

Can You Overwater Herbs?

This is a quick question and answer article that focuses specifically on whether it’s possible for herb plants to get too much water. (Spoiler: Yes, it’s possible.) We talk about the signs that a plant has been getting too much water, how to know when it’s time to water your plants again, and how to keep from overwatering your herbs.

watering plants indoors

Watering Houseplants

This watering guide focuses on houseplants that are grown indoors. We talk about how to check the soil to determine whether it’s time to water your houseplants and other signals that plants need more water. We also go through the process of watering plants from the bottom, which is one way experts recommend to make sure you give plants just the right amount of hydration. We describe the factors that go into determining how much water a particular plant will need and what the terms specifying that plants have “heavy,” “medium,” “moderate,” or “light” watering needs mean as far as how much water they should get and how often they should get it. Finally, we discuss the potential factors that can affect water quality so you’ll know which types of water you should not give your plants, since some kinds of water can actually lead to damage.

Watering Orchids

This guide is for gardeners of orchids, and it explains how to determine how much water your orchids should get as well as how you can tell when it’s time to water an orchid again. We discuss certain varieties that need extra water and some that don’t need as much water as most orchids and how factors like the time of year or the medium your orchid is growing in affect their water needs. We’ll talk about whether tap water is appropriate for watering your orchids, and finally, we’ll address the advice you often hear about watering orchids with ice cubes.

Watering Seeds and Seedlings

Watering seeds and seedlings can be tricky because they need a light touch and also because plants are vulnerable during this important time. This article explains the two basic watering methods for seeds and seedlings: watering from above and watering from below. It tells you how to know when it’s time to water seeds and seedlings again by performing a soil moisture test and exactly what to do to rescue your baby plants if you accidentally give them too much water. We explain the rules of thumb for how much water seeds and seedlings should get and how often they should be given hydration, and we describe the symptoms of underwatering and overwatering in seeds and seedlings. We’ll also describe ways to make it simpler for you to give seeds and seedlings the water they need, as the frequency of watering and checking on young plants can be quite a time investment. 

Trees and Shrubs

This guide is split into two main sections, one focused on watering recently planted trees and shrubs and the other on watering more mature, established trees and shrubs. We talk about how to make sure you’re watering your trees and shrubs deeply enough and why it’s important to clear out competing weeds that can grow under trees. You’ll learn about how the time of year and growth of the tree impacts its watering needs. We also explain the different options you have for watering trees and shrubs: the garden hose, sprinkler systems, and watering bags—and how to use each one for best results. 

Even though there are so many different kinds of plants a gardener can grow, each with their own specific watering needs, with these guides, you’ll be ready to take on any gardening project with confidence. Overwatering and underwatering are some of the most common reasons for a plant not to flourish (or even to die), but there’s no reason for your plants to be counted among that number. Reading these guides will tell you everything you need to know to make sure all the different varieties of plants in your garden get exactly the right amount of water, resulting in lush, thriving plants.

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