4 Important Ways To Tell If Your Plant Needs Watering

When should I water my plants?

Knowing the right time to water your plants is something that even the most experienced houseplant owners can get wrong! There are so many different factors that might cause your plant to need less or more water. Houseplants that are placed in a bright, sunny room during summer months will need more watering compared to houseplants that are in a north facing window throughout the winter months. Furthermore drought-tolerant plants like Jane the Aglaonema, Monty the Monstera, Foxy the chinese evergreen and Maya the parlour palm can go many weeks without water but houseplants that prefer consistently moist soil like Bonnie the spider plant, Hamish the boston fern and Zara the Alocasia Zebrina will need to be watered more often. 
Houseplants are very clever and will find their own way to communicate with you when something is wrong. Below we have outlined a few common signs that your houseplant could do with a drink. Before you start, it is definitely worth noting that if the first two inches of soil feel moist or damp then your plant does not need watering.

Droopy foliage

A lot of houseplants will droop their foliage when they are thirsty. If you’re new to plants then we would suggest buying a plant that tells you exactly when it’s time to water. This takes all the guesswork out for you. 
Have a look at Lily the peace lily, Fiona the fiddle leaf fig, Eraser the rubber plant, and Freya the chlorophytum orchidastrum ‘fire flash’. You’ll know when to water as soon as their foliage starts to droop. Typically in the winter months this could be once every 2-3 weeks and in the summer months once every 7-10 days. This will vary depending on how much natural light your houseplant will get. 
It’s good to know that the prayer plant family moves their leaves with the light so you will notice the foliage droop during the day and stand up tall at night. This is completely normal and actually shows signs of a healthy plant. Prayer plants are the exception however, and not the norm. If you notice your Calathea or Maranta staying droopy even at nighttime, then you should check the first inch of soil and give it water if the soil feels dry.

Leaves curling

Curling leaves are usually found on the lower section of the foliage. This will happen when your plant is very thirsty and can be seen more often in the summer or hotter months than in the winter when your plant is in dormancy. The curling can be easily fixed with a thorough drink and most often than not the plant will bounce back and continue as normal.
It’s not advised to allow the leaves to curl before you water, but it is a good way to confirm that your plant is thirsty. It’s always important to feel the soil and only water if the first few inches of soil is dry. 

The nursery pot feels very light

A really good trick is to feel the nursery pot when the plant has just been watered and then again 7-10 days later. You will notice a significant difference in the weight of the pot. This is because when you water your plant the soil is holding in the moisture so the root system can over time absorb the water and hydrate the plant. A week later once the moisture has been absorbed and there is less of a soil/water ratio the nursery pot will feel much lighter. This trick works with all houseplants but especially is noticeable with Ollie the Calathea, Eraser the rubber plant and Eddie the golden pothos.

Time is flying

This might sound like an obvious thing to say but if it’s been a few weeks then there’s a good chance your plants are ready for their next drink. If you lead a busy lifestyle then it’s completely understandable why your plants could be forgotten about. You may catch yourself looking at your sad plant thinking, ‘when was the last time I watered you?’ 
By this point you might have already noticed some drooping foliage or curling leaves which would then further confirm that your plants have been under watered. 

On average, indoor houseplants can go 7-10 days without a drink of water and there should never be a time (even in the hottest summer months) where a houseplant needs a thorough drink more than twice a week. There are some exceptions to the rule. Sammy the snake plant, Zoe the zz plant and Ian the cast iron plant can go up to 6 weeks without a drink of water. We recommend these plants for an office setting where they can be forgotten about without any worry. 

These are by no means the only signs that your plant is thirsty but hopefully this blog can give you the ability to water your plants with confidence. For more plant care tips follow us on Instagram, Tiktok and Pinterest where we post plant care tips daily. Feel free to DM us on instagram if you have any plant care questions.


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