The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Watering House Plants

We all love having a home and garden full of luscious plants.

The only problem is finding the time to water them. Not to mention knowing how much water to give them and how often.

Watering is without doubt the biggest issue gardeners and domestic goddesses face but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our cheat sheet will have your home looking green and fresh inside and out in a few simple steps.

First up, the most common houseplants…

1. Spider Plant

Water: little and often

Location: a well-lit room but NOT in direct sunlight

Spider Plants are the most popular plant for UK homeowners and are also found in many offices throughout the country – largely because they are easy to care for and grow quickly. Water regularly and cut dead leaves away as needed.

image: thespiritscience.net
image: thespiritscience.net

2. Aloe Vera

Water: regular and constant. The soil should be damp to touch at all times

Location: bright conditions – on a windowsill or shelf that receives direct sunlight

Aloe Vera’s health and medicinal benefits make it a popular houseplant but growers should be aware that it relies on water for its green foliage and can take a while to flower. Be patient and keep watering!

image: be-insight.com
image: be-insight.com

3. Peace Lily

Water: daily during summer and weekly during winter. Humid conditions will require more watering

Location: bright conditions but out of direct sunlight – away from the window

Thankfully easy to maintain, Peace Lily plants have a small pretty flower with few demands. They are thirsty plants when it’s hot though so be sure to keep a watering can handy during summer. You can leave longer between drinks in the winter when weekly or even fortnightly watering is sufficient.

image: healthyfoodmind.com
image: healthyfoodmind.com

4. Jade Plant

Water: infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out in between watering

Location: window location where it will receive a few hours of sunlight per day

Jade Plants owe their origins to the Bonsai tree and, like the Bonsai, they flourish best when they are able to enjoy direct sunlight for a few hours. Kitchens are a popular location and homeowners love their low watering demands which require the soil to dry out in between drinks. Failing to do this and leave surface water at the roots can actually cause them to rot so take heed!

image: bloomiq.com
image: bloomiq.com

What can you do when you’re not at home?

So now you know how to look after your houseplants the next question is what should you do when you’re not at home?

Dog-sitting is one thing but will your friends and family really be willing to plant-sit while you’re sunning yourself in the Costa Brava?

There’s no need to come home to an unhappy houseplant – or relative – if you prepare your beloved blooms for your time away.

First of all, you need to give your plants a thorough watering before you leave. You should also move them out of direct sunlight and into a cooler room to prevent damage.

Next, you need to find a way to keep your plants watered while you’re not around – especially if leaving for a long holiday. There are a few different watering methods you can try:

1. Wick method

Ideal for large single pot plants. Use a large container to hold water along with a piece of capillary matting as a wick. Insert one end of the wick into the container and tuck the other end into the plant pot, enabling the plant to have access to water while you’re away.

2. Cover with clear plastic bag

This should only be used for short-term trips. Place a clear plastic bag over your plant and seal it closed to allow the plant to collect and recycle water vapour.

3. Self-watering containers

More suited to plants which need water all year round, such as citruses, these can be purchased from garden centres and have built-in reservoir systems to provide a constant flow of water.

Do you have any other tips how you keep your plants happy during your time away? Leave a comment below!

Don’t forget to check out an extensive range of plants online, in chase you are looking to extend your plant family at home or to send a thoughtful gift to a loved one!

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Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.


  1. Do you know if purified water is better or worse for watering plants?

  2. Karina Kisa

    I normally don’t comment to point out when someone is wrong but in this case I will simply because I know how sad it can be to find your plant dead and with root rot most people will notice signs but by that point it is too late. Plant looks normal for the most part but the roots are mushy rotten and simply gone. Plant starts to look badly after the point of no return
    Aloe is a succulent and likes to be dry. If you keep it moist it will rot. Peace lily will also die if watered daily it usually needs to have 1-6 inches of the top dry out (depending on pot size)
    I always suggest to stay on side of caution, if yo not sure don’t water. Spider also likes to be dry and can rot. So far the best guide I found is houseplants411 the site has most detailed and fairly short instructions for each plant. A few are missing but I did notice new ones added frequently.

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