bottom watering

Plant Moderator
5 min reading

If you want to keep your plants alive, there are a few things you have to do: give them light, feed them now and then, and – of course – water them.

Sounds easy right? Then why doesn’t your plant collection look like it’s getting enough water? The answer is easy, overhead watering may not be saturating your plant’s soil. The solution: Try bottom watering.

what is it?

Bottom watering plants is a method of watering that waters potted plants from the bottom up. The plant is placed in a tray or container of water and absorbs water via capillary action through the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Instead of dumping liquid onto the top of the soil of your container plants, you allow the soil to soak it up into its roots from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot.


is bottom watering better for your plants? 

Bottom watering helps you to avoid drowning your plants in their pot. The soil will only absorb as much moisture as it can hold. It also prevents certain pests, because the top layer of soil will stay dry when watering your plant.

can you over water by bottom watering?

Yes, if the plant is sitting in water too long, you can still overwater your plant through bottom watering. However, bottom watering is a more controlled method of watering your plants. Just make sure your plant is in a nursery pot or a pot with drainage holes.

how to bottom water:

  1. Fill a large bowl or saucer with water.
  2. Remove your plant from its planter (but keep it in the nursery pot).
  3. Let the plant sit in the bowl/saucer for about 15 minutes.

If you’re finding that your plants are bigger than any bowl you have, you can fill a nursery tray or even your kitchen sink with water to sit your plant in.


benefits of bottom watering:

  1. Less pests because the top layer of soil doesn’t get too wet.
  2. Thorough and even water intake
  3. Less chance of damage to your home from spills from the watering can
  4. Virtually no clean up

which plants like bottom watering?


snake plants


peace lily


african violets


have an idea?

welcome back

log in to join the plant chat!

create an account

join our passionate plant community and gro your garden!