How Often Should I Water a Houseplant? [Complete Guide]

If you have recently invested in some houseplants, you are probably wondering, “how often should I water a houseplant?” The answer is simple, but it depends. The amount of water a houseplant needs varies between different types of plants.

Overwatering can often kill a plant. It also wastes water. Houseplant care, specifically relating to watering, can be simple. The first step is to identify what type of plant you have. The following table might help.   

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PlantPopular inType
Aloe VeraAlabama, Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, TexasSucculents
African VioletsAlaska, Montana, New Hampshire, Iowa, South Dakota, West VirginiaTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Corn PlantArkansas, North DakotaTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Succulent PlantCalifornia, Idaho, UtahSucculents
DracaenaColorado, Washington, WyomingTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Christmas CactusConnecticutSucculents
Majestic PalmD.C.Tropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Snake PlantDelawareTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Garden CrotonFloridaTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
BasilMassachusetts, Minnesota, VermontHerb Plant
Ponytail PalmNebraska, KansasTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
OrchidsHawaiiTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Common IvyIndiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia  Temperate
Cast Iron PlantLouisianaTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Easter CactusMaineSucculents
PhilodendronOregonTropical/Sub Tropical Plant
Jade PlantWisconsinTropical/Sub Tropical Plant

How Often Should I Water a Houseplant?

Water is essential for plants. It cools them down and allows the soil to store moisture which is used up until the next time you water them. Water can make your plants appear livelier. This is because it puffs them up from within.

Another reason why plants need water is linked to the transpiration process. If enough water is present in the roots, the sun pulls water from them. However, a lack of water within the roots leads to moisture being pulled from the leaves. This weakens the plant over time.

If you are asking yourself, ‘how often should I water a houseplant?’ you have come to the right place. Here are some watering tips for specific types of houseplants.

Read What houseplants clean the air

How Often Should I Water a Succulent Houseplant?

Succulents are the warriors of the houseplant world. This is because they can soldier through most negligence and still come out alive. This is because their fleshy leaves are more than capable of storing much water at once.

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Most people have trouble taking care of succulents for the opposite reason; they are easily overwatered. So how often should one water them?

  • An easy way to know whether it is time to water a succulent is to check its soil. If you notice even the tiniest hint of moisture, it is best to wait before watering it again.
  • Another hint is to notice when it grows its flowers and leaves. This is the time when it is most active. Even if it is watered a few times a week, it will continue to flourish. Come winter. However, succulents stop growing and sucking water up to the leaves. In this season, they are best left alone. You can water them once a month.
  • Check the amount of time it spends in direct sunlight and humidity. The more the humidity, the less they need for watering. Similarly, the more the sunlight, the more they need for watering. It all depends on how much water the plant is consuming.

How Often Should I Water a Cacti?

The answer is simple; cacti are from the succulent family and should be treated accordingly.

Read How to Care for Houseplants While On Vacation

How Often Should I Water a Tropical Houseplant?

Tropical plants have quickly gained popularity in the USA. Choosing between the many different types of plants can be difficult.

If you have bought a tropical houseplant and are wondering how to water it, the following tips may help.

  • Watering tropical houseplants can be quite tricky. This is because these plants prefer their soil to maintain a healthy balance of dryness and moisture. Overwatering is always worse than underwatering. However, try not to neglect your tropical plant for too long.
  • Invest in a watering device and measure your plant’s moisture before watering it. Alternatively, sticking a finger into the soil can also let you know if it needs to be watered.
  • These plants may need a little bit of water daily. Make sure you take special care of tropical plants that are in direct sunlight most of the day. These will probably be the ones needing the most watering.

Read Why is My House Plant Oozing Liquid?

How Often Should I Water a Sub-Tropical Houseplant?

Try to judge the atmosphere the houseplant is placed in before making hasty decisions regarding how you water it.

  • Plants that have big leaves will need more watering. This is because more water is pulled up by the leaves to be spread throughout the plant.
  • Plants that exist in humid atmospheres need more water. This is because water is depleted from its roots and leaves quicker than most others.
  • Plants exposed to direct sunlight for most days experience a significant drop in moisture levels daily. You may need to water them daily.
  • Pay close attention to the seasons and how they affect your houseplant. Most houseplants require much less water in Winter and Autumn than in Spring and Summer. This is because they bloom in Spring and Summer, which requires much more water intake.

You know your houseplant best. No one can tell you whether your houseplant needs water or not. It would help if you spent time with your houseplant to learn its language. This is the language of wilting leaves and dry soil.

Read How to Clean House Plant Leaves

How Often Should I Water an Air Plant?

Are you wondering about how often Air Plants should be watered? Every plant has its personality. It has different requirements, and certain rules should be followed if you want it to grow.

Watering an Air Plant is easy. However, you must keep some basic requirements in mind.

  • Air Plants do not rely on their roots for moisture. They are used to taking in water through their leaves.
  • Watering Air Plants consists of submerging the plants in a bowl or bucket of water for 30-60 minutes every 8-10 days. Do not worry about destroying the flowers; these plants are used to getting wet.
  • Make sure to avoid using tap water. This is because filtered water usually does not contain many minerals Air Plants need to survive. Try using some form of fresh water.
  • You must ensure your Air Plants are dry before returning them to their homes. This is because water residue can lead to rotting.

Air Plants are great for people looking for low-maintenance plants. These plants can survive any climate (even your bathroom) and don’t need soil to grow.

How Often Should I Water a Forced Bulb and Indoor Herb Plants?

Forced Bulbs

Since most Forced Bulbs are forced within the water, you do not need to provide additional moisture regularly. All you need to do after the initial growth phase is to top off the water in the container if you notice low levels.

This is because the water can evaporate over time. It can reduce the levels of moisture and ruin the bulb. A good trick is ensuring the water levels stay below the bulb at all times.

Herb Plants

Herb Plants are a great investment. Unlike outdoor herb gardens, they are low maintenance, and you can take advantage of the benefits without most of the work!

Herb Plants are not that hard to care for. You need to make sure you are watering them from time to time. However, keep the watering occasionally. Leaving gaps between watering and letting the soil dry out can be healthy for your herbs.

Do not pour water over your herb plant! This may lead to the water slipping out from the drainage area and never reaching your herbs. Moreover, establishing a watering schedule for your plants is a great choice. Try to aim for alternate days and avoid overwatering.

Read How to Care for Houseplants in Summer

Tips and Tricks for Watering Houseplants in the USA

Here are some tips and tricks to help you in your journey toward becoming an experienced houseplant owner!

  1. Hot, Not Cold: Like the human body, plants digest warm or tepid water much better than cold water. This is because sudden bursts of cold water can shock them. This water may not even absorb into the soil.
  2. Don’t Overwater: If you can, invest in an instrument that checks the soil moisture levels in your pots. Water cautiously, and only if needed. You can even look for signs that a plant needs water. Just pay attention to the way the leaves or stems look.
  3. More Sun Means More Water: The harsher the rays your plant is exposed to, the more water it will need. This is only true for tropical or sub-tropical plants.
  4. Spray Don’t Splash: If possible, invest in a watering can that allows water to trickle off the leaves gently. Direct, harsh exposure to falling water can negatively affect your houseplant.

If you are a visual learner, perhaps a watering tips and tricks video can help!

Best Houseplant for You

Are you wondering about the kind of houseplant that would suit you?

Visit our “Best Houseplant to Buy” Guide for new houseplant owners!

Many kinds of houseplants are bought by homeowners in the USA every year. No one kind of houseplant is the best. However, different people do have some personal favorites. It all depends on you!

If you are a beginner, then a houseplant that is hard to kill will be ideal for you. Succulents are great beginner plants as they do not need much to survive. The Paddle Plant, String of Pearls, or even the Pothos plant is ideal in this situation. They can stand strong against a lot of negligence!

If you are looking for plants that do not need a lot of sunlight, you should go for the Spider Plant, the Peace Lily, or even the Cast Iron Plant. These plants are for people who want to decorate their office space or apartment building.

Another great investment for people living in areas of drought is plants that do not need much water. Cacti and other succulents are, yet again, a great investment in this regard.

There are many other categories to choose from, such as houseplants to buy in the summer or winter, houseplants for stress, or even for air purification. All you need to look is choose!

How Often Should I Water a Houseplant
How Often Should I Water a Houseplant

Final Thoughts

How much your plant grows depends on how well you care for it. Leaving sensitive plants out in the sun for too long or drowning moisture-retentive plants in water is a recipe for disaster. Before investing in houseplants, research into the many different types along with their unique requirements can save you from losing plants in the long run.

Plants can be as faithful, therapeutic, and giving as a puppy from the pound. If you are asking the question, ‘how often should I water a houseplant?’ that is proof enough of the fact that you care about your houseplants. Pick your houseplant and make a friend for life!