Why You Should Be Bottom Watering Your Plants and How!
Bottom Watering is one of my favorite watering techniques. Not only does it promote healthy roots, but it also helps keep root rot and fungus gnats at bay. Read on to discover why you should be bottom watering your plants and how to do it!
Now let's jump into how you bottom water or butt chug ;)!
How to Bottom Water Your Plants
Bottom watering AKA Butt Chugging is super easy and makes watering your plants a breeze. As long as you have a drainage hole in your planter (which you should have anyways) and a shallow dish you are good to go.
Simply take a shallow dish or pot and fill it up halfway with water. Then place your plant in the dish. Let the plant sit for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how big the pot is. When the top of the soil is moist you are all done.
Hot Tip: I love using Terra Cotta planters. They help you see where the water level is without having to shove your finger in the soil.
Why You Should be Bottom Watering Your Plants
If you can't tell by now I am a big fan of bottom watering. It's a great technique that promotes happy and healthy plants. That's the goal right? To have happy and healthy plant babies!
Here are some of the reasons why you should bottom water.
Bottom Watering Eliminates The Question of How Much To Water
With this technique, your plants only take as much water as they need (unless you forget about your plant and leave it in the water for like 24 hours...I have done this). You are making your plant's roots do all the work for ya. This will eliminate the questions of "am I watering too much?" or "am I watering enough?". All in all we are trying to make plant life easier and less stressful. So why not fill up your kitchen sink and water 10 plants at once while you sweep your kitchen or watch some TV (or whatever other activity you want).
Promotes Healthy Roots
Bottom watering makes your roots work for their water source. Instead of being “fed” the water, they are having to bring the water up to them. This promotes healthy and stronger roots in the long run. This technique also helps your plant’s roots grow downwards.
Helps with Root Rot
Root rot happens when you accidentally (or purposively…I don’t know your MO) overwater your houseplant. This is apart of owning houseplants and happens to the best of us. Fortunately, bottom watering helps to eliminate that problem because the plant will only take what it needs. When you bottom water the roots do the work to bring the H2O to the plant. As long as you are allowing the plant to dry out between waterings you won’t overwater your plant. Also don't leave your plant in the water for too long. Keep an eye on it. Once you do this long enough you will figure out how long each plant needs to be fully watered.
Helps fight Fungus Gnats
Fungus gnats will be the bane of my existence. They happen and that’s okay. A way to get rid of these bad boys is by not watering as much as you usually do and bottom watering. Bottom watering does not leave access moisture at the top of the soil. Fungus Gnats are attracted to moisture especially on organic material I.E your potting soil. So if you eliminate the excess moisture then you can help to eliminate the gnat.
When it comes down to it, you do what you gotta do to give your plants the water they need. Try out this technique and let me know how it works for you!!
As Always Happy Planting,