How To Bottom Feed Your House Plants

By Sarah A

We all know that in order for our house plants to flourish and grow, they need to have their basic needs met… which means giving them light, water, air, nutrients and enough space to live, as well as making sure that the ambient temperature is plant-appropriate.

When it comes to watering, different plants have different needs and it can be tricky - depending on which plant you’re dealing with - to get the schedule right. 

Take fiddle leaf figs as a shining example. While these plants are incredibly popular, with their striking dark green leaves, they can be particularly difficult to keep alive and they’re rather fussy when it comes to drinking. 

Many first-time fiddle leaf fig enthusiasts fall down with the watering and either end up giving their plants too much or not enough - and it can be tricky to work out what the problem is. Before you know it, your beautiful leaves have fallen off and you’re left with nothing more than a long dead stick.

But don’t despair! There is a solution to your watering woes and it could prove to revolutionise how you look after your favourite plants in future.

We’re talking about bottom watering, or reverse watering as it’s also often referred to. This particular gardening technique involves giving the roots of your plants hydration from the bottom up, rather than the top. 

Instead of pouring in water from the top of the plant, where it then trickles down to the roots, the water is absorbed by the roots first - and they only take what they need, so they essentially water themselves while you sit back and relax.

It’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with watering from the top, but some plants don’t like having their leaves splashed and this can be hard to avoid. You also run the risk of soil compaction, as well as making it more likely for pests to become problematic since the soil surface stays moist.

To get started with bottom watering, you first need to check moisture levels of the soil. Push your finger into the soil to the second knuckle. If you don’t feel any moisture, it’s watering time.

Fetch a container that’s big enough to hold the planter and fill it with an appropriate amount of water based on the size of the pots you’re watering. Then simply pop your planters into the container and leave them to soak for ten to 20 minutes. After ten minutes, have a look to see if the water has been absorbed. You’ll know your plants are ready if the soil is moist.

And that’s it! There are lots of benefits associated with bottom watering and your plants are sure to thank you for it. So why not give it a go today?

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