Watering Houseplants From the Bottom

It can take a lot of time and be a pain to water your plants. Each plant needs a different amount of water at a different time or every other week. It’s hard to remember. Bottom watering helps with this!

“Top watering,” which is precisely what it sounds like, is a normal way to water your plant from above, right on top of the soil. The difference between water from the bottom and the top is also just as said! Bottom watering is when you let the soil around your plants soak up water from the bottom. Before you decide to switch to bottom watering, you should know what the pros and cons are.

watering houseplants

Bottom-Watering Plants Has Many Advantages

The following are some advantages of watering houseplants from the bottom:

Strong Roots

When you water from the bottom, your plant’s roots can grow. When you water a plant from the bottom of the pot, the roots have to reach for the water. This makes them less likely to stick together and more likely to spread out over the whole pot. This helps your plant have strong roots, which lets it take in more nutrients.

watering houseplants

Avoid Pests

Gnats and aphids, common indoor pests, like to live in wet and humid soil. Because bottom watering keeps your plant from sitting in the water, you give it, and the soil is less likely to get too wet, making it less likely that pests will come to your plant.

watering houseplants


Mold grows best when there is a lot of moisture on top of your soil. Mold doesn’t always kill a plant, but it can attract pests or stop the plant from getting the nutrients it needs. When you water from the bottom, the top layer of soil is less likely to stay moist.

watering houseplants

Protect Leaves and Stems

Some plants’ leaves can get brown or yellow spots if they get too much water. Water pools near the surface of the soil can cause root rot in some plants. These problems can be fixed by watering from the bottom, which keeps water from building up on the surface.

watering houseplants

Water Distribution

If your water comes from the bottom, the water will be spread out more evenly. It stops water from pooling or running off to one side.

Compact Soil

The soil gets packed down when you keep watering plants from the top. Due to the density, this will make it harder for the plant’s roots to spread out. It will also stop air and water from getting to the roots that are already there.

watering houseplants

Root Rot

As was already said, some plants can get root rot if water pools around their roots. When roots sit in water, they make it easy for pathogens to get to them. Pathogens can make it hard for roots to get the nutrients they need. This leads to rot, which could kill the plant in the long run (see article on overwatering to bring your plant back from root rot). Root rot can be stopped by keeping the plant above the water when you water from the bottom.

watering houseplants

Avoid Over or Underwatering

When you give a plant too much water, the soil doesn’t dry out, and oxygen can’t get to the plant. At the same time, not giving your plant enough water can kill it from thirst! Bottom watering is the best solution because it keeps the plant from getting too much or too little water. It only lets the plant take what it needs.

watering houseplants

Bottom-watering Disadvantages

The following are some disadvantages associated with bottom watering:

Build Up

When you water from the bottom, water never moves through the soil, so salt and other minerals build up. When these salts and minerals build up in a plant, it can slow down its growth or change the color of its leaves.


Watering plants from the bottom is a long process that requires checking how wet the plants are. Depending on the size of the pot and the number of plants you have, it can take a lot of time and be hard to get right.

watering houseplants

How to Water Plants From the Bottom

Checking to see if your plant needs water is the first step in any watering, including bottom watering. You would push your ginger about an inch into the soil to do this. If the soil is already wet, water is not needed. The soil needs to be watered if it is dry.

Next, you’ll need to ensure that the planter’s bottom has a hole. If there isn’t a drainage hole, you can’t water the plant from the bottom of the pot.

Once you know that your plant can be watered from the bottom, you need to find a bigger pot. This could be a bucket, a bowl, your sink, or even your tub.

Then, you’d put a few inches of soil in that container and put your plant in it. Give the plant about 10 minutes to grow.

After 10 minutes, you’ll need to use your finger to recheck the moisture level. If the plant is still wet, you can move it. If it’s still dry after 10 minutes, let it sit for another 10. When the plant’s soil is moist, you can put that guy back where he belongs.

watering houseplants

Conclusion – Bottom Watering System

How to water your plant from the bottom? Using a planter that waters itself. Self-watering planters have a built-in wicking system that needs the bottom reservoir to be filled with water.

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