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Gardener issues warning on major mistake that could be starving your plants: 'You may be causing more harm than good'

"Be careful when you're watering your pots from the top."

"Be careful when you're watering your pots from the top."

Photo Credit: @joesgarden / TikTok

Many gardeners make a common yet avoidable mistake that could be starving their plants. Thankfully, one TikToker shared an innovative way to efficiently and thoroughly water plants to keep them healthy.

The scoop

The popular TikTok channel Joesgarden (@joesgarden) has over a million and a half followers and a plethora of videos with gardening tips. 

"Be careful when you're watering your pots from the top," Joe tells viewers. 

@joesgarden Today we are back and I am showing you my quick tip on watering potted plants, to make sure the roots of your plants are actually getting a drink. This technique is really effective and is often used in commercial growing. However, I dont normally water one plant at a time in a plastic bowl, that was for the camera so you can see whats happening. The most effective way to do this is to grab a large tray, fill it up with water, and place three or four pots on there at a time. Obviously, you can water from the top of your potted plants, but you do need to be careful and check the water is reaching the roots. By watering from the bottom you do not need to worry about this. This method is also really effective for young plants in pots, as watering from the top can offen damage their stems. 😞🌱 Certain pots do not need to be watered from the bottom, such as the fabric pots we use in my garden with Joe kits where we send you everything you need to grow your own crops every month. You can check out my channel description if you want more information 😊🌱🙏 I hope you are all having a lovely week so far, and I love you all! 😊🌱💚 #organic #garden #gardening #growyourownfood #plantbased #sustainable #diy #zerowaste #gardentips #wateringplants ♬ Married Life (From "Up") - Geek Music

He then goes on to explain that watering potted plants from above may "be causing more harm than good" because the water doesn't always seep through the soil, which could eventually starve the plants. 

Instead, he recommends filling a large tray or container with water and placing the pot with the plant inside. This way, the water will enter through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.  

This method helps to give your plant "an even drink all the way throughout," Joe explains. 

For pots that are too large to place in a container, Joe recommends doing the opposite, partially burying a smaller empty pot in the middle of the larger pot with the plant and then pouring water into the smaller pot, which will seep through the holes and into the soil.

How it's helping

For those without enough space for a garden, there are numerous benefits to having potted plants, either in your yard or in your home. 

They help to purify the air we breathe and can also mitigate noise pollution and provide shade in the summer, which helps to keep our homes cool, an essential asset in our warming world. 

A cooler home can also reduce the need for air conditioning, saving us money in the long run. 

Also, numerous studies have shown there are psychological benefits to being surrounded by plants, increasing our sense of well-being. 

Another study found that those frequently surrounded by plants can recover from illness more quickly, and for those at the office, they can boost productivity.

What everyone's saying

Commenters had plenty of praise, while others offered additional suggestions for keeping plants well-hydrated and healthy. 

"This was actually so helpful," one person expressed.

"I usually pour water until I see it draining out the bottom of the container," another admitted.

Another viewer provided some alternative advice. "If this isn't an option, watering in rounds also helps with this. Just wait a few minutes between rounds."

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