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How do you water your plants? serious question me and my husband are debating this

I say water from the top.....he says to add water to the tray so the roots can soak up the water...he says it is the roots that need to water so it can hydrate the plant.
He says adding water to the top of the soil doesn't do as much as adding water to the tray.


Asked by Anonymous at 1:14 AM on Jun. 13, 2010 in Home & Garden

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • For potted plants, we've taken plastic single serve soda bottles filled with water and pushed them upside down into the soil next to the plant (like a hillbilly version of an Aqua Globe I guess). Worked pretty well. I know some of my outdoor veggie plants are more likely to get sick if we water from the top and the stem/leaves get wet, so we shoot for the roots.

    Answer by plylerjones at 9:34 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • Just in my opinion....i'm not an expert....but it makes more sense to water from the top so all the soil can get saturated with water and hold water in it, so the roots can take the water when needed. If you put it in the tray, I guess it soaks up into the soil. I guess either way it would work and niether would be better than the other...hmmm

    Answer by CAGirl4 at 1:19 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • I water from the top... that way the roots inside of the plant are saturated as well, and the soil is nice and moist for the plants. Excess water does pool up in the tray below the pot (so it doesn't leak everywhere) and as long as you're not overwatering your plants, as the days wear on, the plant sucks up that excess water. Or.. I just dump it out if it looks stagnant and icky.

    Answer by ManicMomma02 at 1:28 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • I always thought the tray was for catching the over flow of water and if there is overflow the plant will drink it back up...I do agree with water the entire plant top soil and letting it go down

    OP here....

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:48 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • I dump water in on the soil until the soil is saturated and some is coming out in the tray at the bottom. It's very hot and dry here and I can tell you, if the soil doesn't stay wet, the plants will die in a couple of days.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 2:39 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • It depends on the plant. We were given a bonsai tree, and we didn't know how to care for it, so we did some research on it. They say that we're supposed to submerge the pot in the water, so the water is over the top, and let the clay pot absorb water as well as let the soil absorb it. We're also supposed to wet the leaves as well - there were several reasons for this, but I forget why.

    We have other plants that do well being watered from the top down as well, though the only one we submerge the pot is the bonsai.


    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 11:29 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • I water from the top down because the roots should be ALL over the soil at ALL levels under the initial level of soil.
    And if you think about it, a garden outside gets watered from the top down so should your houseplants.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 11:59 AM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • water from the top. if you fill the saucer with water and let the plant sit in that it will cause root rot and your plants will die. trust my advice..... i have 2 green thumbs lol

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:17 PM on Jun. 13, 2010

  • According to Clemson University's extension (agriculture extension):

    "When water is required, water thoroughly. Apply water until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. This washes out the excess salts, and it guarantees the bottom two-thirds of the pot, which contains most of the roots, receives sufficient water. Don't let the pot sit in the water that runs out. Empty the saucer"

    So I would say water from the top.

    Answer by Christina807 at 11:45 AM on Jun. 14, 2010

  • I water from the top except for my African violet. Home Depot sells pots that sits inside a bowl. The pot is absorbent, so I fill the bowl with water weekly, and the soil stays moist.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 11:55 AM on Jun. 14, 2010