How Dry Should Your Plants Be Before Watering Them?

It’s essential to water your plants correctly in order to keep them healthy and looking their best. One question that many gardeners have is how dry their plants should be before watering them.

Your plants’ soil should be dry to the touch before watering. If you water your plants way too often, the roots will rot. So, the best way to determine when to water your plants is to check the soil. However, if you wait until the soil is completely dry, your plants will start to wilt. 

This article will further explore different ways to determine when your plants need water and how dry they should be before you give them a drink.

How To Tell Whether Your Plant Needs Watering

Look at the Soil Color

The amount of water they need will depend on the type of plant, the climate, the time of year, and other factors. However, looking at the soil’s color is one reliable method for determining when to water your plants.

If the soil is too light in color, it likely means that the plant is thirsty and needs more water. On the other hand, if the soil is dark and moist, it’s a sign that the plant has enough water and that you can probably wait a few more days before watering again.

Get a Feel With Your Hands

Moisture is a great indicator of whether or not your plant needs more water, so get in there with your hands and feel around! If the soil feels dry, give your plant a good drink.

If your plant is too wet, it can lead to problems such as root rot. If it is too dry, the plant will start to wilt.

Of course, there are other factors to consider, but getting a feel for the soil’s moisture level is a great place to start. If it feels moist, then your plant is doing just fine.

Do a Weight Test

Doing a weight test is the best way to know when to water your plant. This is because plants are different, and some can withstand more water than others. Moreover, the pot that the plant is in will also affect how often you need to water it.

Doing a weight test is the best way to know when to water your plant because it considers both the plant and the pot. The easiest way to do a weight test is to pick up your plant’s pot and feel how heavy it is. If it feels light, then it needs to be watered. If it feels heavy, then it doesn’t need to be watered. For more precision, you can always use a scale.

Use a Skewer

Insert a skewer into the soil near the plant. If the skewer comes out dry, your plant needs water. If the skewer is moist, the plant doesn’t need water.

This trick works for both potted plants and plants in the ground. So next time you’re unsure whether to give your plant a drink, just grab a skewer and find out.

Monitor the Color of the Leaves

Leaves can tell you a whole lot about your plant’s hydration. Take a close look at your leaves the next time you’re watering your plants

If they are mostly green with a tinge of yellow, your plant is thirsty and needs more water. If they are wilted and/or drooping, your plant is dehydrated and needs water immediately.

If the leaves turn yellow, this is a strong sign that the plant is low on nitrogen and other minerals. Sometimes the leaves may turn yellow even due to overwatering, so always ensure that you check the soil before watering your plant. 

Do Thorough Research

Before you add any new plants to your garden, it’s important to do your research. Not all plants require the same amount of water. For example, succulents and cacti need to be watered less often than other plant varieties.

Some plants need very little water and can even tolerate periods of drought, while other plants need to be kept constantly moist. By understanding the needs of your plants, you can ensure that they stay healthy and happy.

How Deep You Water Your Plants Matters

The right watering frequency firmly depends on this factor. Shallow watering will lead to a more frequent schedule as the water will evaporate quickly. Deep watering will lead to less frequent waterings as the roots will have access to moisture for longer.

You might not realize it, but how deep you water your plants can also make a big difference in their health. If you water them too shallowly, the roots won’t be able to get the moisture they need to survive. On the other hand, if you water them too deeply, the roots may start to rot.

That’s why it’s important to water plants just deep enough to reach their roots. The best way to do this is to use a watering can with a long spout to direct the water right to the base of the plant.

You should also water in the morning, so the plant has all day to absorb the moisture before it gets hot and dry outside. All in all, absorption from the bottom of the plant is vital to its health.

Climate and Season Play an Important Role

The amount of water your plant needs mainly depends on the time of the year and the climate. In the summer, plants need more water because they grow more and evaporation occurs more quickly. In the winter, plants need less water because they are dormant, and evaporation occurs more slowly.

The amount of rainfall also affects how much water your plant needs. If it rains frequently, your outdoor plant will need less water from you. If it doesn’t rain often, your plant will need more water. Pay attention to the weather and how your plant looks to determine how much water it needs.

Most plants must be watered at least 2-3 times a week. However, you may need water more frequently in hotter or drought-prone areas.

Type of Pot Also Plays a Role

It’s not just the type of plant that determines how much water it needs – the type of pot can play a role as well. Plants in clay pots will need to be watered more frequently than those in plastic pots, as clay is more porous and loses moisture more quickly.

Similarly, plants in pots with drainage holes, like Terracotta containers, need to be watered more often than those without, as they will dry out more quickly.

Therefore, when choosing a pot for your plants, you must consider how often you can water them. If you’re not able to water them daily, opt for a pot with fewer drainage holes or made from a less porous material.

Plastic Pots Are Recommended

Plastic pots are the best type of pot to use for plants that need a lot of water. This is because plastic is a material that does not absorb water. So, when you water your plants in a plastic pot, all of it goes to the plant’s roots and does not evaporate like in a pot made from a different material.

Additionally, plastic pots are lightweight, making them easy to move around when watering your plants. Moreover, they are inexpensive, so you can buy many of them without breaking the bank. So, if you have plants that need a lot of water, use plastic pots.

How To Tell if a Plant Is Overwatered?

One of the most common problems that plants face is overwatering. This can happen when gardeners are too eager to help their plants grow or when they forget to check the soil moisture levels. Overwatering can lead to several issues, including root rot, leaf drop, and fungal growth.

There are a few telltale signs that your plant is overwatered:

  • The leaves may be wilted or yellow, and the stems may be soft or mushy.
  • The soil around the plant may also be waterlogged and lacking in oxygen.
  • If you’re still not sure, feel the soil around the plant. If it’s wet or muddy, the plant has been overwatered.
  • Finally, look for signs of fungal growth, such as mold or mildew. If you see any of these vital signs, it’s time to take action.

If you think your plant is severely overwatered, it’s essential to take action quickly. First, stop watering the plant and allow the soil to dry out. Then, repot the plant in a fresh, well-draining potting mix and water it only when the soil is dry.


I hope this article helped teach you how to water your plants! Always remember that checking the soil is the best way to know when to water your plants. The soil should be somewhat dry to touch before you add any moisture to it.

If you wait until the soil is completely dry, your plants will start to wilt. Watering your plants regularly will keep them healthy and happy.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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