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Bottom Watering Plants: How to Bottom Water Plants Correctly

Bottom watering plants is the easiest way to keep your plants alive. Here's how long to bottom water plants, the benefits, and more.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

As plant parents, we've all made the mistake of overwatering our plant babies. In trying to ensure our snake plants and monsteras never get parched, sometimes we keep them a little too hydrated.

Though those roots definitely need water, they also need some time to breathe. Luckily, by bottom watering plants, you get the best of both worlds: You're able to keep them from drowning, as well as avoid underwatering them.

Learning how to bottom water plants is easy, and we're going to teach you everything you need to know.

The Benefits of Bottom Watering Plants

First of all, when you're watering your plants from the top, it can be really hard to tell if they've received enough water or not. That's why plant expert and YouTube content creator, Harli G., prefers the bottom watering method.

"So many times I've top-watered my plants and let the water drain through to the saucer underneath, thinking all the soil is completely saturated. I'll even give it a second dose sometimes and let it fill the saucer again," she says. But lo and behold, when digging into the soil a bit, there's still dry parts. "Basically, gravity is pulling the water down. That doesn't necessarily give it a lot of time to absorb into the soil."

That's not the case when bottom watering. All you need to do is set the potted plant (be sure it has drainage holes) into the bathtub, sink, or another container that's filled with a couple inches of water. After 15 to 20 minutes, the plant will have absorbed the exact amount it needs—never too little or too much.

There are some other benefits of bottom watering plants, too. One being that it's great for plants that develop root rot quickly. Harli says that by not top-watering, the roots aren't sitting in an excess of water—aka the prime reason plants develop root rot and die.

If you want to stop accidentally drenching your poor plant babies (oops...), keep reading below to learn how to correctly bottom water your plants.

How to Bottom Water Your Plants

What You'll Need:

Potted plant
Bathtub, sink, or another container


1. Fill up your preferred container with a couple inches of water.
2. Set your potted plant into the container of water.
3. After around 15 to 20 minutes (or once the top of the soil is damp), remove the plant.
4. Return your plant to its dry saucer.