Watering Plants From The Bottom Or The Top – Which is Better?

You’ll most likely devote a lot of time to learning about the subject if you’re a novice gardener.

During your research, you have most likely encountered the following dilemma: while watering a potted plant, should you water it from the top, or is it better to water it from the bottom?

Most gardeners use both methods, as some plants thrive better with water poured directly onto the plate and others with water poured onto the soil from above.

What is bottom and top watering?

When you top-water your plants, you’re soaking the entire plant, roots, and all or only the soil.

Watering a plant thoroughly, typically with a watering can, until excess water drains out of the drainage holes in the container. It’s the standard approach most amateur gardeners begin with.

Plants can be watered from the bottom by placing water in the saucer and allowing the soil to absorb it via the drainage holes. Although unconventional, it achieves its intended effect.

It will take multiple refills of the saucer until the water level stabilizes. Then you can dump it so the ground doesn’t become excessively saturated with water.

You can also accomplish bottom watering by placing the plant’s pot into a larger container filled with water. After the excess water has been drained, the containers are returned to their original storage locations.

The soil should be sufficiently hydrated after 15 minutes, but you can always use the knuckle test to be sure.

Benefits of Bottom Watering

Many gardeners are utilizing the less time-consuming technique, which calls for a saucer and a pot with holes. Fill the saucer, wait for the plant to absorb the water, and then fill it again.

The second approach is equally simple but can take a little more time.

All of the houseplants can be placed in a bath full of water. Make sure the soil is evenly saturated before taking the plants out of the bath. It is best to clean up the bath after use.

One large tray or several smaller ones can serve as temporary plant pots while you clean the bath. Make sure it’s deep enough so it can contain plenty of water, and then replace the plants once the soil has absorbed the water.

  • There must be no damage done to the leaves.

The leaves remain undamaged when you pour water into the container and it gets absorbed by the soil.

Bottom watering is the answer if you own a species that would suffer from wet leaves. This is because it will protect the leaves while providing the plant with the water it requires for healthy growth.

  • It does not promote pest growth

Keep in mind that wet soil tends to attract various pests. The good news is that bottom watering eliminates the risk of spider mites and fungus.

  • Boosts the growth of roots

The plant’s root system must exert more energy because water is further away. This causes the plant’s root system to expand and become more robust.

Plant Top Watering

Water goes straight into the soil when you water a plant from above. Make sure the soil is evenly moist if you plan on employing this technique.

The plant needs to be watered until the saucer dries out. After 15 to 30 minutes, drain the saucer, as many plants aren’t happy sitting in water for too long.


  • The technique is practical

Top-watering makes it simple to regulate the soil’s moisture level. After watering, it only takes a moment to feel the soil with a finger to see if it is uniformly saturated.

The plant is protected from waterlogging because any surplus is promptly drained away. It is common knowledge that thirsty plants with new leaves require more water.

Therefore, you may quickly satisfy their need and encourage the growth of new leaves by watering them from above.

  • Washing away the pests

Water might carry pest eggs and larvae away as it drains from the soil. That’s why it’s a good idea to empty the saucer whenever you can.

  • Removing salts and other substances that have built up

The salts will collect in the soil and around the pot’s borders if you regularly fertilize your plant. Soak the soil, let the water drain completely, and then repeat as necessary to remove the deposits.

Water plants from top or bottom?

There are benefits and drawbacks to both top and bottom watering. Some plants thrive with water from the top, while others do better with water from the bottom.

It is still important to adhere to the regulations and standards to minimize problems and plant damage when using the bottom watering method.

It’s up to you if you want to water your plants from the top or the bottom. You can do either, but combining the two might be more effective.