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House plant expert reveals why common gardening method is problematic: ‘This method was a game-changer for me’

“Notice how the water is not evenly saturating the soil here.”

"Notice how the water is not evenly saturating the soil here."

Photo Credit: TikTok

If you thought there was only one way to water plants, get ready for your mind to be blown with this simple plant hack

TikToker Michelle (@ohtheplacesyoullgrow), who shares houseplant care tips, posted a video showing her audience why watering plants from the top isn’t always the best option.  

She started by watering her ficus Audrey tree using the typical “top down” method, removing the pot to reveal large areas of soil completely untouched by the water. 

“Notice how the water is not evenly saturating the soil here. There are sections that are completely missed even after half a gallon of water,” she explained to viewers. 

Luckily, she provided an easy fix to keep plants happy and hydrated. 

@ohtheplacesyoullgrow How do you water your plants? #plants #plantsoftiktok #planttok #wateringplants #wateringwednesday #planttips #plantcare #bottomwatering #planthacks #ficusaudrey #plantsmakepeoplehappy #plantmom #houseplants #indoorplants #urbanjungle #plantlover #plantcaretip #houseplantsoftiktok #plantcaretip ♬ CUFF IT – Beyoncé

“If you get a tray and just add some water to it and then water from the bottom, then the soil will soak up all of that water completely from the bottom all the way to the top, ensuring that everything is thoroughly saturated and watered,” she shared in the video. 

She added that it’s important to drain any excess water so the plants don’t rot. 

One viewer was skeptical of the “bottom up” method, saying, “Wouldn’t it do the same thing anyway if you water down and it soaks back upwards?” 

Michelle summed up the main advantages: “When you top water, you control the amount of water going to the plant, so it may be too much or too little. With bottom watering, the plant only takes what it needs and stops. It also reduces [the] chance of gnats because the top layer stays dry.”

Aside from helping prevent pests, Michelle’s method can save you time and money. Since water gets distributed more evenly throughout the soil, plants won’t need to be watered as often. In turn, you’ll conserve water, helping to lower your monthly bills and protect one of the planet’s most precious resources.

It’s important to note that this hack may not work for all indoor plants; you can learn more about which plants respond well to bottom watering here. Also, make sure your pots have drainage holes at the bottom to allow water through.

Many viewers were thankful for the plant hack, and others even tried it out with positive results.

“This method was a game-changer for me,” one commenter said. 

“I applied this method [in] the summer & for the first time my plants are healthier and taller. Highly recommend this,” another TikToker added.

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