How To Fix Plants Not Absorbing Water From the Bottom

Have you ever noticed that your plants never seem to absorb water from the bottom? If so, you’re not alone. Many gardeners face this issue and often wonder what they’re doing wrong.

The best way to fix this absorption problem is by bottom watering your plants. Bottom watering is when you water your plants from the bottom up rather than from the top down.

This article will further explain why this problem occurs and go through some of the best options for fixing it. Follow these simple steps, and your plants will absorb water like never before!

1. Bottom Water

Bottom watering your plants is one method that can help improve absorption at the bottom. When you water your plants from the bottom, the roots can take in what they need without the leaves getting in the way.

This method is especially helpful during hot summer days when evaporation is more likely. Watering from the bottom also helps to discourage fungus and mold growth because the leaves stay dry. 

If you’re not sure how to bottom water your plants, it’s easy to do:

  1. Ensure your pot has small holes in the bottom before adding any water.
  2. Place your plants in a water container and let them soak for at least 15-20 minutes.
  3. Then, drain the container and allow the plants to dry before placing them back in their pot or soil.
How Bottom Watering Works

Things To Remember

Bottom watering is a solid way to give your plants the moisture they need without risking overwatering, but you still need to be careful not to drown them. When you bottom water your plants, there are a few things to remember:

  • First, make sure that the water is at room temperature. Cold water can shock roots and damage delicate plants.
  • Make sure that the drainage holes in your pots are clear. If they’re blocked, the water will build up and could cause your plants to rot. 
  • Ensure that the top layer of soil is dry before moving forward with bottom watering.

Benefits of This Method

Bottom watering your plants may seem odd, but it has some great benefits:

  • For one, it’s less likely to encourage fungal growth since the water never touches the leaves.
  • It’s also a more efficient way to water since the water goes straight to the roots where it’s needed most.
  • It also reduces evaporation, so you lose less water to air.
  • Bottom watering is a great way to ensure your plants get the hydration they need without any drawbacks of top watering.

So next time you water your plants, try bottom watering and see the difference for yourself.


Bottom watering your plants has some drawbacks worth considering before deciding whether or not to do it.

  • First of all, if you have a plant that’s bottom-heavy and it tips over while the bottom of the pot is still wet, you will have a big mess on your hands.
  • Second, if you’re not careful, you can easily overwater your plants by bottom watering them.
  • And last but not least, bottom watering can cause mineral buildup, especially if you’re using tap water.

So while there are some benefits to bottom watering your plants, there are also some clear drawbacks that you should consider before deciding.

2. Check the Soil’s Drainage

Checking the drainage is important to ensure plants absorb water from the bottom. If the drainage is not checked, water will sit on the surface of the plant and will not be able to penetrate through the roots. The plant will then suffocate and die. 

Furthermore, if the plant cannot absorb water, it will become dehydrated and may eventually die. To check the drainage, feel the soil around the base of the plant. If it feels soggy or wet, then the drainage is likely poor.

You can also check the drainage by putting your finger in the soil and seeing how easily water flows through it. If water does not flow easily, the drainage is poor, and you need to improve it. 

3. Check the Soil

Checking the soil to ensure your plant is not too dense or packed down will improve bottom absorption. The roots of your plant need space to grow, so if the soil is too dense, the plant will not be able to get the nutrients it needs.

Use your fingers to feel the soil around the plant. If the soil is very dense, it will be difficult for water to penetrate. Gently loosen the soil with your fingers or a trowel, taking care not to damage the roots.

Once you have loosened the top layer of soil, you should water it thoroughly to help settle the particles and improve bottom absorption. 

If the soil is too compacted, you may need to replant in a looser, more porous mix. Checking the density of your soil regularly will help ensure that your plants can thrive.

Break Up Any Clumps of Soil Around the Base

Break up any clumps of soil around the base of your plant. You can do this by lightly poking the soil with a finger or a fork. This will help the roots spread more and take up more water.

Once you’ve broken up the clumps, give the plant a good watering. This will help the soil to settle around the roots and give them a better chance to absorb water. Be careful not to damage the roots.

4. Deep Water

You’re not deep watering your plants enough to improve bottom absorption. When you water your plants, they should reach the roots to properly hydrate them.

Water that only reaches the top of the soil does not provide adequate hydration for the plant and can be harmful. Deep watering encourages root growth and helps prevent problems like root rot.

Additionally, deep watering helps improve bottom absorption, ensuring that your plant gets the nutrients it needs. So, give them a good deep watering next time you water your plants.

5. Add Some Organic Matter

Add some organic matter like compost to improve absorption. Both help improve the soil tilth, making it easier for roots to penetrate. In addition, they help to hold moisture and nutrients, making them available to plants for a longer period.

When adding organic matter to improve bottom water absorption of plants, you can also turn to compost or other decaying plant matter.

This will help increase the rate at which water is soaked up by the roots and improve drainage. Not to mention, your plants will be healthier and better able to withstand drought conditions. 

So if you’re looking to take your gardening game up a notch, this is a great way to start.

6. Choose Plants That Are Suited for Your Climate

It’s important to choose plants that are suited for your climate to ensure accurate bottom absorption. This is because different plants have different systems adapted to absorb water at different rates.

For example, a plant native to a tropical climate will have a shallower root system designed to absorb water quickly during periods of heavy rain. In contrast, a plant from a desert climate will have a deep taproot system that allows it to access water from deep underground.

If you choose plants that are not suited for your climate, they may not be able to absorb water properly and could die during periods of drought. Therefore, it’s crucial to do your research and select plants that are well-suited to the local climate to ensure their success.

7. Remedy the Soil

It turns out that the soil itself could be to blame. Hydrophobic soil repels water, making it difficult for plants to absorb moisture from the ground up.

What Causes Hydrophobic Soil?

Hydrophobic soil is caused by various factors, including compacted soils, wax buildup, drought conditions, and high temperatures. When the ground is compacted, it prevents water from seeping into the soil. This can be caused by activities like vehicle traffic or heavy machinery.

Drought conditions also cause hydrophobic soils because the lack of moisture in the air causes the dirt to harden and repel water. Lastly, high temperatures cause hydrophobic soils because they cause the water molecules to evaporate before the plant roots can absorb them. 

How To Fix Hydrophobic Soil

There are some ways to fix hydrophobic soil so that your plants can absorb moisture from the ground up:

  • One way is to aerate the soil with a garden fork or tiller. This will help loosen up the compacted soil and allow water to seep into it more easily.
  • Another way to fix hydrophobic soil is to add organic matter like compost or mulch. This will help hold moisture in the soil and make it easier for plants to absorb.
  • You can also try watering your plants more frequently or using a soaker hose to water them from the bottom up.

Final Thoughts

So, if you’re experiencing the same problem with your plants not absorbing water from the bottom, hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to fix the issue. The root cause of the problem can usually be solved by monitoring the soil.

Keep in mind that all plants are different, and what works for one variety may not work for another, so be sure to do some additional research before trying any of these methods.

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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