Thriving Botanicals Watering Tips

One of the quickest ways to kill a plant is overwatering, this is the age old battle when it comes to plants in the home, when and how to water.

I struggled with this when I first started getting into this hobby, and I sadly killed my fair share. First, what is over watering and why does it happen? Overwatering is when the soil is damp for too long, it is not about how much you water your plant at one time. The key is to let the soil drain and dry out before watering again. Knowing when to water is tricky, but with the tips below I hope to save you the trouble and heartache. 

Tip 1) It is all about pot size

Pot size is huge when it comes to watering plants. The more soil in a pot the longer it will stay wet. For example, if you have a 4” pot that will need to be watered more frequently than an 8” pot, and that 8” pot will need to be watered more than the 16” pot, and so on. Letting the pot dry out 50% or even 75% is important when the pot is big. 

Tip 2) Bigger is not always better

Small plants do not grow faster or bigger in a bigger pot, they are more likely to develop root rot and die in a bigger pot though. The plant will focus all of its energy on growing roots to fill the pot instead of leaves. Another problem is that the plant will not be able to soak up all of the water from the soil around it making it more likely to develop root rot, even if you do not water it that often. 

Tip 3) The type of plant matters? 

When getting into the house plant hobby, I noticed that there were a bunch of types of plants. You have the cacti and succulents, then there are the tropicals but even that is broken up into different types of plants! You have the ficus, alocasia, monstera, sansevieria, philodendron, hoya, and the list goes on. It was so confusing to know the different needs of each type of plant in the beginning, that was until I started to see my plants. Plants communicate when they need to be watered, they will start to wilt. While I do not encourage you to under water your plants at all, doing this in the beginning and then taking note of how long they go before they wilt can help you know when it’s time to water. 

Tip 4) Lighting is key 

Water helps the plant moves energy from the leaves down to the roots, plants get their energy from the sun, so watering is tied to how much light a plant gets. If you have a plant right next to a south window, that plant will need to get watered more frequently than if it was on the other side of the room where it’s darker. Look where you have your plants, and see how close they are to light when wondering how often to water. Lighting is not the same throughout the year though, during the summer you will have to water more frequently than during the winter. 

Tip 5) Check the soil 

One of the most effective and easiest tip on this list is to check the soil of the plant. Use your finger, a chopstick, or a moisture meter, or just pick the pot up if you can. Most plants are happiest when you let the pot dry about 25 or 50% of the way. Stick your finger down into the soil and see if you can feel any damp soil, or if you do not want to get your hands dirty put the chopstick down about halfway and then pull it back up. Damp soil will hang onto the wood, if it comes out clean you then can water it (as long as all of the other tips are taken into consideration). 

There is not one easy and clear way to water, you more than likely will lose a plant or two when you first get started. But learning your plants, seeing when they tell you when they need water, and taking these tips into consideration will help! If you have any other questions or want us to look at your plant to give advice DM us and we will be happy to help as best as we can. 

Hey I’m Andrew!

I am the Brand Manager here at Thriving Botanicals. I got into house plants back in 2020, and have never looked back. I love helping people understand their plants better, so please reach out if you have any questions or just want some advice about what is going on.


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