Skip to content

The Benefits of Bottom Watering Your Plants

When it comes to watering your plants, it can be tricky to get the balance just right. Too little or too much water can cause the plant to become stressed and unhealthy. Bottom watering is one way to ensure that your plants are getting the right amount of water, but it can be tricky to get it right. Read on to find out how to bottom water your plants and why it’s better than top watering.

Bottom Watering Your Plants: Benefits and Drawbacks

Watering your plants from the bottom is a great way to ensure that you are not overwatering them. This method prevents drowning your plants in their pots and allows the soil to absorb only as much water as it can hold. Additionally, when you water from the bottom, the top layer of soil will remain dry, which helps to prevent certain pests from entering.

To bottom water your plants, simply place the potted plant in a container that has a couple of inches of water. After 15 to 20 minutes, the plant will have absorbed the exact amount of moisture it needs.

When it comes to choosing which plants should be bottom watered, it’s a good idea to start with any snake plants, African violets, or cape primroses you have in your garden. However, be sure not to overcrowd the container with too many plants at once.

Although bottom watering is generally a great way to water your plants, it does come with some drawbacks. If you bottom water your plant for too long, the main downside is that it can overfertilize the soil. This happens because the soil isn’t getting flushed from the top, which means minerals may build up in the soil and cause symptoms of excess or even chemical burn to the roots.

Another downside of bottom watering is that it should not be done at night. If there is a lot of water, it can be absorbed by the sun during the day, but if there is no sun at night, the water will stay for an extended period and this can result in bacteria and fungi growth.

Finally, if you are going away for a vacation, bottom watering can be a great way to keep your plants hydrated. Simply fill your sink or bathtub with a few inches of water and place the potted plants inside. The soil will draw up the water and keep the plant hydrated while you’re away.

Tips for Watering Your Plants

Another important factor to consider when watering your plants is the quality of the water you are using. Tap water can contain various chemicals, such as chlorine, that can be harmful to your plants. Therefore, it’s recommended that you let tap water sit out for at least 24 hours before using it to water your plants. This will allow time for the chlorine levels in your tap water to dissipate and reduce any potential risks of chemical damage to your plants.

When it comes to the timing of watering, the best time is either in the morning or evening. Morning watering is preferable to evening watering as this allows your plants time to dry before the sun goes down. Watering at night can lead to water resting in the soil, around the roots, and on foliage for too long which may cause rot or attract insects. Therefore, it’s not recommended that you water your plants at 5 pm as there is a risk of causing damage due to prolonged exposure.

How Much Water Should You Water Your Plants?

When it comes to how often you should water your plants, it is important not to water too frequently or not enough. During hot weather, it’s tempting to water just enough to keep the soil moist. However, this can lead to shallow root development as the roots are only reaching for the top layer of soil which has been recently watered. If you want to thoroughly saturate the soil and encourage deep root development, opt for a less frequent watering routine.

When it comes to what type of water you should use, rainwater and bottled spring water are the best options for giving your plants the absolute best. Any water with sugar or salt should be avoided as this will cause damage to your plants.

If you are going away for an extended period of time, such as two months, it is important to ensure that your plants are adequately watered while you are away. One way to do this is to put a jar, cup or bottle full of water next to the pot and place it out of the sun so that the mouth of the container is higher than the base of the plant. If you’re going away for a long time, it’s best to opt for a larger container.

This will ensure that your plants have enough water to last for up to a week without you having to worry about them.

Alternative Ways to Fill the Bottom of a Self-Watering Planter

When it comes to filling the bottom of a self-watering planter, the planting container should be filled with any type of moist mix. It is possible to purchase mixes specifically designed for self-watering containers from some companies, however any high-quality mix will suffice. Before placing it in the container, it is important to moisten the mix in order for it to work properly. If dry potting mix is used, then this method will not be successful. Once you have added your moistened soil into the planting container and placed your plants inside, all that’s left is to fill up the water reservoir with water or liquid fertilizer solution and wait for your plants roots to absorb what they need. Depending on how often you use this method of watering and how much water you put into the reservoir can influence how often you need to refill it again.

Aside from using soil, there are other sustainable options that can be used in the bottom of planters. Pine cones, wood chips, leaves and sticks can all be used but will eventually break down over time. This makes it a great choice for seasonal planters who repot regularly.

Another option is to use plastic such as an old pool cover or tarp. It is important to cut the plastic based on the measurement you made of the bottom of the raised bed and make sure to cut drainage holes in order for water to drain.

Finally, newspaper or brown paper grocery bags can be used to line the bottom of your planter. The paper will keep the dirt from falling out while allowing the water to drain. The paper will also retain water, so less frequent watering is needed.

To prevent root rot, a sponge should be placed at the bottom of the planter. Root rot happens when water gets trapped in the planter and can’t drain through the soil. With a sponge, it will absorb some of this excess water and help keep your plants healthy.

Watering Plants from the Bottom: What to Consider

When it comes to how often and how long you should water your plants from the bottom, there are a few things to consider. Generally, the pots should be left in the water for 10 to 20 minutes. To ensure that your plants are receiving enough hydration without being overwatered, it is helpful to set a timer on your phone or watch. Additionally, when watering from the bottom, you will want to keep an eye on the top surface of soil as this can help you determine when it’s time to take them out of the container. It is important also note that depending on factors like size of pot and type of mix used, absorption time may vary greatly. For instance, if using a coarser soil mix such as sand or gravel with larger particles in combination with a small pot size then absorption rate will be much faster than if using clay-based soils with smaller particles and larger pot sizes. Therefore it is important adjust accordingly when watering your plants from the bottom according to their specific needs.

When it comes to determining if you are overwatering or under watering your plants, there are a few key indicators. Plants that receive too little water will turn brown and wilt, while their leaves will feel dry and crispy when touched. On the other hand, plants that receive too much water will appear soft and limp due to an excess of moisture in the soil.

Furthermore, if there is too much clay in the mix, it can prevent water from reaching the plant’s root system. In addition, having too little water in the tray or having the tray tilted will not provide enough water to reach the full mass of soil.


Bottom watering is an effective way to water plants. It is important to make sure that the soil is able to absorb enough water, and that there is not too much clay in the mix. It is also important to leave the pot in the water for a certain amount of time to ensure the soil gets moist. Additionally, it is important to use a sponge at the bottom of the planter to prevent root rot, and to use paper to keep the dirt from falling out. Finally, it is important to use water that does not have sugar or salt, and to water the plants in the morning or evening.