New plant parents must be aware of the 5 don’ts of watering houseplants. Not following these essential prohibitions when it comes to watering houseplants could cause your houseplants to get the wrong amount of water and prevent them from thriving in your home.
What to Avoid When Watering Houseplants
1. Don’t Overwater
Many new plant parents worry their plants aren’t getting enough water, and, as a result, they end up smothering their plants with too much water.
As a general rule of thumb, only water your plants when the soil is dry and just enough to moisten it. If water is remaining on the surface of the soil after watering, you are giving too much.
2. Don’t Use Sprinklers or Spray Bottles to Water Plants
Unless you have a tropical houseplant, most indoor plants need their leaves to be dry to complete photosynthesis. Using any watering method that leaves water on the surface of the leaves, such as an indoor mister or spray bottle, could damage your plant growth.
Give water using a watering can near the base of your plant, and try to avoid getting the leaves wet whenever possible.
3. Don’t Use Jet Spray Settings
Some plants require their leaves to be a bit wet, such as banana plants. When you grab a spray bottle to water your tropical plant, don’t use the jet setting, as this can damage the leaves.
Always select the mist setting and test the spray bottle in the sink before aiming it at your plant.
4. Don’t Give Your Plants Softened Water
While you don’t want to give your plants tap water, softened water can be even worse, as this process adds sodium to the water, which can damage your plants. Instead, use purified water, or leave tap water out overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate before putting it in plants.
5. Don’t Use Pots Without Drainage Holes
All plants, even indoor ones, need a way to allow excess water to drain. Only use pots with drainage holes and place them on a plate or tray to keep the water from damaging your floor or countertop.
Remember to empty any leftover water you find in the plate or tray 30 minutes after watering your plants.