How To Water Indoor Plants: 10 Tips For Watering Houseplants Like A Pro

Not sure why your indoor plants are looking a little bit sad? It might have something to do with the way you water them. Here’s some watering tips to get your houseplants thriving!

big devils ivy cutting beginner plant

1. Don’t overwater your indoor plants:

I’ve said it before and I’ll day it again – soggy plants aren’t happy plants! Most house plants don’t need to be watered as often as we think. Even if the top layer of soil seems dry to touch, the bottom of the pot could still be full of moisture from the last watering. 

Every plant species has different watering requirements, but as a general rule of thumb you’ll only need to water your indoor plants when the top few centimetres of soil are dry. The easiest way to check the soil with your fingers. If you’re not sure whether it’s time, err on the side of caution and hold back watering for a day or two. 

mini monstera water indoor plants

2. Get yourself a moisture meter:

Want to take the guesswork out of watering your indoor plants? A moisture meter will give you an accurate measurement, and will help you understand when it’s time to water your plants much better than a finger estimate!

You should be able to buy a basic moisture meter at any gardening centre. Stick your moisture meter into the soil – as close to base of the root ball as possible. After a few minutes, you should have an accurate reading of whether you soil is wet, moist or dry. This is also a great way to see if some of your plants retain more moisture than others. 

jade plant grow indoor plants water

3. Water your indoor plants deeply:

Rather than giving your plants little sips, try giving them a deep water. Watering your plants deeply allows the soil and roots to be moistened evenly, whereas as little trickles don’t always reach all areas of their pot.

So how do you water deeply? Well, simply give your plant a good soaking until you start to see water running out the drainage holes. It’s best to water like this in the sink, shower or outside so you don’t leave puddles around your house. Plants that are watered deeply generally don’t need a shower as often, since moisture in the pot remains for longer – which is great for busy people.

marble queen devils ivy water plant

4. Don’t let your indoor plants sit in water:

Unless you’ve got aquatic plants sitting in a fish tank, your houseplants won’t like living in a puddle of water. Leaving your plants to sit in water can lead to issues like root rot, mould and even mosquitos breeding in tropical areas. 

For your small plants with saucers, wait a few minutes for the water to collect in the saucer before tipping it out. If you have giant plants that are difficult to move, pop a sponge in the side of the saucer to soak up the excess liquid. Don’t worry if you forget to empty the saucers for a few hours – your plants should be okay. Leaving the water for days however could start to cause problems! 

The only exception to leaving houseplants sitting in water is when you’re ‘butt-chugging’! – more on that below!

burros tail water indoor plant beginner

5. Give your houseplants a ‘butt-chug’:

‘Butt-chugging’, or bottom watering, is a method of watering where you let your indoor plants drink from below. It’s a great way to water if you haven’t got a watering can, or you’ve got plants that don’t like their leaves being splashed with water. 

Fill a saucer or plastic container with water and let your plant sit directly in the water. The water will wick it’s way up through the drainage holes into the soil, and your plants will gradually suck up the water they need. Bottom watering generally works better for plants with strong root systems, so give it a try with these plants first. Some people in the gardening community solely water their plants this way, and swear by it!

spider plant indoor houseplants watering tips

6. Tilt your pots: 

Sometimes water can sit in the bottom of the pot when you give your plants a shower, even when there are lots of drainage holes. 

If you suspect your pot is holding extra water, try tilting it on a 45 degree angle – if there’s excess liquid, it should drip out slowly. I tend to give all my plants a tilt after watering, just to be sure!

peperomia indoor plant beginner

7. Dial back on watering to combat fungus gnats:

If you’ve got indoor plants with a fungus gnat problem, your watering habits can help make or break their breeding cycle. 

Fungus gnats love laying their eggs in the top layer of moist soil. If you can keep your indoor plants dry, it discourages them from breeding. You can do this by watering only when it’s absolutely necessary, or try bottom watering to give your indoor plants a drink without overly moistening the top soil. 

black rubber plant houseplant

8. Use lukewarm water:

You wouldn’t particularly enjoy an icy bath, so why would your plants? Make sure the water you’re using is room temperature to avoid any unnecessary shocks to the system. This is especially important in winter, where tap water could be close to freezing depending on where you live!

begone rex plant water tips

9. Know who to mist and who to miss:

Misting can be a great addition to general watering of your indoor plants. It helps increase humidity and keep leaves dust free, just like a sprinkle of rain would in the wild. 

Certain plants like ferns love their leaves being misted, but be warned – not all of your houseplants will enjoy being spritzed. For some plants, especially those with furry leaves, misting can be detrimental and cause damage to the foliage, so do your research before getting trigger-happy with your spray bottle. 

devils ivy plant beginner

10. Give your indoor plants a shower: 

For plants that don’t mind a splash of water, try giving them a shower next time they’re thirsty. 

Houseplants which originate from humid tropical regions will especially enjoy a shower every once in a while. Water falling from a shower-head mimics natural rainfall your plants would experience in the wild. Just make sure you don’t go into autopilot and blast the hot water like you would for your own shower!

beginner indoor plant soil

Keep these tips in mind next time your plants need a drink. Even if you’ve had watering problems in the past, keep trying until you get it right – your plants will thank you!

Poppy xoxo

If you’re new to houseplants, take a look at this post I’ve written on 9 things every indoor plant beginner should know.

how to water indoor plants

9 Things Every Indoor Plant Beginner Should Know!

indoor plants tips beginner

I’ve always invested in good-quality faux plants, so I could travel and know I’d be coming back to beautiful and healthy (fake) plants every trip. But recently with travel grinding to a halt, I found myself at home with plenty of time to care for some real green babies. What started as a few indoor plants around the house quickly turned into a full-blown obesssion with all the bells and whistles. Now, I’m a crazy house plant person!

So for those with little houseplant experience, where should you start? There’s a lot of gardening information out there, but once you cut through all the planty jargon, there are really only a few key things that you need to know to keep your indoor jungle thriving.

So here’s a great little list of things I think every houseplant beginner should know before they dive right into their plant obsession! 

mini monstera houseplant beginner

1. Houseplants love humidity:

Most of the houseplants we know and love originate from South East Asia or South America, where they would have lived in humid jungle environments. If you can mimic this humidity in your home, your houseplants will thrive!

Even in a house where it isn’t particularly humid, there are methods you can use to raise humidity levels for your plants. You can try:

  • misting the leaves (not all species like water on their leaves, so check before you mist)
  • keeping plants close together to increase humidity 
  • standing your pots on a tray of wet pebbles (but don’t let the bottom of the pot sit directly in the water) 
  • running a humidifier 
  • keeping them in the bathroom (where showers help to keep the air moist)
burros tail indoor plant

2. Don’t overwater your indoor plants:

Overwatering is the biggest killer of house plants, and is probably the biggest issue for your new green babies – soggy plants are not happy plants! It’s really easy to whip out the watering can whenever you sense your plants are unhappy. But realistically, indoor plants don’t need as much watering as beginners think they do. Apart from being soggy, overwatering can lead to a host of other issues for your houseplants, including root rot, mould, fungal infections, and pests breeding in the wet soil. 

Each species of plant has different watering requirements, but a general rule of thumb is to feel the soil and only water plants when the top few centimetres of soil is dry to touch. 

It can be tempting to run to a watering schedule, but changes in weather or humidity might mean plants need water quicker or slower than usual. If you’re not sure if it’s time’s to water, err on the side of caution and hold back for a day or two. I’ve written a whole post with tips and tricks for watering houseplants, which you can read here

cutting devils ivy beginner plant

3. Drainage is key for indoor plants:

Next to overwatering, drainage is another major issue which can cause beginner houseplants to go downhill fast. Indoor plants HATE sitting in water, and their roots will start rotting if they become waterlogged. 

To give your plants the best chance of flourishing, make sure they are living in a pot with lots of drainage holes. The grower pots plants come sold in at the nursery are a good examples of well-draining pots. By having a good drainage situation, your plants can soak up the amount of water they need and get rid of the rest.

string of pearls grow houseplant baby

4. Repotting straight away might not be necessary:

The idea of repotting plants as soon as you take them home has always been drilled into me – and I think most beginner plant enthusiasts probably think the same. After all, repotting straight away lets the plant settle into its “forever” home, right? Well it turns out, repotting new indoor plants isn’t always a good idea – here’s why. 

Taking a plant home from the nursery can be a bit of a challenge for your new green friend – new lighting conditions, temperatures and humidity can stress out even the healthiest of houseplants. Couple that with repotting and changing the soil environment, and you’re almost certain to send the plant into a little bit of shock. 

Generally, if you think repotting is going to be necessary in the near future, it’s probably worth biting the bullet and doing it straight away. That way, your plant doesn’t have to cope with two rounds of stress – settling into its new home only to be shocked again with a new pot. But if the current pot still has room for the plant to grow, it might be best to let it stay put. If in doubt, postpone the repotting and let your indoor plant settle into its new environment first. 

monstera leaf opening indoor plant

5. Rotate your indoor plants:

Plants usually like to grow towards the light, and houseplants are no exception. If you keep your plant facing the same direction for too long, you might start to notice your plant growing a bit lopsided – this is because it’s focusing its energy on growing into the light. Rotate your pots regularly to keep foliage growing in all directions – it’ll keep you plant looking full and happy!

6. Buy cute cover pots for your regular pots:

So by now, you know that drainage is absolutely key for happy houseplants. But whenever you go shopping for pots, the awesome designs never have any drainage holes…. what’s an indoor plant lover to do? 

An easy solution is to measure the size of your plant’s current pot, and purchase a decorative pot a few centimetres larger. That way, you can use this larger pot to hide the boring one inside – you’ll keep your plant well-drained and stylish at the same time. 

When it’s time to water, you’ll just need to shimmy the plant out of its decorative and give it a good soak, making sure any excess water drains before putting it back in the outer pot. 

7. Inspect and monitor your foliage for pests:

It’s easy to get excited at the nursery and buy the first plants you see, but if you’re not careful you could be bringing pesky hitchhikers home with you. Before you purchase, check the stems, undersides of leaves and soil for any signs of bugs which could cause problems in the future. 

The best thing you can do to keep your plant collection pest-free is set up a quarantine routine. If you can, isolate new plants for at least two weeks before putting them into general plant population – this gives you time to see whether the plant has any pest issues, and keeps the spread to a minimum.

While your plant is settling into its new home, keep checking regularly for any little critters – if you catch them early, you have a much better chance of managing the problem before it turns into a full-blown infestation. 

If you do find some bugs, don’t panic and throw the whole plant out- there’s plenty of natural and chemical options out there to help combat pest issues. Try to identify the pest, and treat accordingly. Make sure you put the affected plants back into quarantine so they don’t keep spreading to others in your collection!

big monstera indoor

8. Find your ‘goldilocks’ lighting conditions:

It’s important as an indoor plant beginner to find the ‘goldilocks’ lighting conditions in your home. Not too light, not too dark – just right. Without proper lighting conditions, your plants won’t thrive. Best case scenario, they simply don’t grow, worst case scenario, they shrivel and die. 

Not giving your plants enough light is a common mistake made by lots of houseplant beginners. Before you bring home the plant of your dreams, take some time to figure out if it’s intended spot will have enough light. Try to remember that low light doesn’t mean no light, it just means it won’t die in poorly-lit conditions. Even plants suited to low light conditions will benefit from a little extra filtered light. 

On the other side of the spectrum, say you proudly put your new little friends under the brightest window in your house – but instead of them thriving like you’d expect, you start to see brown spots or sad-looking foliage. Too much light can also be a deal-breaker for your plants, as the sun can burn their leaves and cause grief.

Ultimately, the ‘goldilocks’ position for most houseplants is in bright indirect light. What is that exactly? A spot which receives plenty light, but where rays of sun don’t hit your plants’ foliage directly. Bright indirect light is a houseplant lover’s best friend!

Some plants are more sensitive to direct light than others that others, so do a quick search online to see whether your plant will burn if it spends too much time in harsh rays. If you’re worried about your plants getting sunburnt, try introducing a sheer curtain, moving the plants a bit further from the window, or get something like a cactus that loves soaking up the sun.

rubber plant black houseplant

9. Everyone has differing opinions on what’s best for plants:

The internet definitely isn’t short of gardening advice, and it’s easy to get confused with so much conflicting information out there. One website will say a certain plant is sun-loving grower you’ll be hard-pressed to kill, and the next will say it’s a finicky shade-lover that beginners should steer clear of.

At the end of the day, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to indoor plant care, and realistically you’ll end up making adjustments according to how your plant reacts. What works for one plant might not work for another – it’s a bit of trial and error.

If all the internet advice is giving you a headache, don’t stress – your plant will most likely come with a little tag of care instructions, so use these as the basis for your care if you’re unsure of what to do. 

zz plant growing indoor beginner

Keep these tips in mind next time you take a trip to the local nursery – they’ll help take you from black thumb to green goddess in no time!

Poppy xoxo

Want more tips and ticks for indoor plants? Take a look at this post on how to water your houseplants like a pro.

9 tips for indoor plant beginners

What Is Greyhound Roaching? Everything You Need To Know

Greyhound lying upside down roaching

There’s plenty of urban definitions for the word ‘roaching’ out there, so what does it mean in the greyhound world?

greyhounds roaching on bed

What is greyhound roaching?

Roaching is a position lots of greyhounds like to snooze in. Lying on their backs with their legs in the air, they look a bit like dying cockroaches when they roach (which is where the name comes from).

Our greyhound Pepper is a master ‘freestyle’ roacher – she can sleep upside down absolutely anywhere. Our boy Finn prefers to roach when he’s resting up against a wall or lounge. Either way, it always gives us a chuckle seeing them in such silly positions!

greyhound lying on floor

Does roaching mean a greyhound is happy?

People tend to think that if a greyhound is roaching, it means that they’re happy. It’s usually a sign that a grey feels comfortable and safe in their environment, since the upside position would ordinarily leave them vulnerable to threats. If you’ve brought a new greyhound home, roaching is a good sign that they’ve settled in.

2 greyhounds on bed relaxing

Is greyhound roaching normal?

While roaching is pretty common, not all greyhounds like lying in this position, so if you can’t seem to catch your fur baby in the roaching position it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t content. On the other side of the spectrum, some greys are obsessed with roaching and will do it anywhere (Pepper is one of these!), so it doesn’t always mean they comfortable either.

greyhounds sleeping having fun

Regardless, roaching is one of those quirky greyhound traits that greyhound owners love to see!

greyhound in cage sleeping roaching

Poppy xoxo

Want to read more about greyhounds? Take a look at this post I’ve written on 9 reasons why greyhounds make the best family pets.

what is greyhound roaching

9 Reasons Why Greyhounds Make The Best Family Pets

You might think greyhounds belong on the side of a bus, or zooming around a track on the sports channel. But where are greyhounds truly in their element? As pets in your home!

These beautiful dogs aren’t often given the attention the deserve as pets, because they don’t really fit the ‘family dog’ stereotype. They’re not the cute fluffy companion most people have in mind when looking for a dog.

Here’s why you should consider bringing a greyhound into your home – you won’t regret giving an ex-racer a second lease on life!

greyhounds as pets swimming at beach

1. It’s far better to adopt than shop:

Most people nowadays are concerned about puppy farms and the inhumane breeding conditions of the dog world. With the surplus of dogs in shelters growing, there’s never been a better time to consider adopting a furry friend rather than buying from a breeder.

There’s plenty of deserving dogs waiting in shelters, so why should you get a greyhound?

Well, unlike most other dogs in shelters or adoption agencies, greyhounds have often had a hard working life in the racing world. They’re raced until they’re no longer profitable to their owners, and then put down if they can’t be rehomed. Greyhounds are constantly being retired out of racing, so there’s always a long line of gorgeous greys waiting to be adopted at any given time.

There’s definitely something special about giving a working dog a second chance at a life. For most greyhounds, they have never experienced love and care from a family before!

pet dog greyhounds on bed

2. Greyhounds aren’t expensive to adopt:

Most greyhound rehoming agencies have very reasonable adoption fees for their doggos – they’re focused on forever homes, not making profit. We paid around $400 each to adopt Finn and Pepper. This adoption fee covered registration, microchipping, desexing, worming and vet checkups before we brought them home.

Compared to the thousands of dollars you can spend getting a purebred puppy, greyhounds are an affordable pet to bring into your family. Not that you could ever put a price on the love of a dog!

sleeping on bed greyhound pet

3. Greyhounds are purebred:

If you’re hell bent on a purebred dog, a greyhound is the perfect choice for you. When you adopt a retired racer, there’ll be no doubt as to its pedigree. Since the racing industry take lineage very seriously, you’ll be able to trace your fur baby’s family tree with a quick internet search.

Greyhounds are the supermodels of the dog world – they’re lean, defined and instantly distinguished from other dogs. Your greyhound will never get lost in a sea of fluffy purebred doggos.

female greyhound on walk

4. Greyhounds sleep almost as much as koalas:

People think greyhounds are full of energy… After all, they run for a living! It’s all a lie. Greyhounds are lazy as anything, they’ll sleep all day if they get the chance.

Our two greyhounds, Finn and Pepper, love going on short walks and the occasional run around the dog park, but if they miss out on some exercise they won’t be upset. They would much rather be stretched out on a bed than running amuck in the backyard. You can come back after being out for hours and find them sleeping in the same positions as when you left!

greyhound sleeping

5. Greyhounds are used to human contact:

In the racing world, greyhounds are constantly handled by people, so as a dog breed they are incredibly familiar with human contact. This means when you bring a greyhound into your home, your new furry friend will already be comfortable around people.

This is especially great for young children who can make a habit of pulling ears and tails unannounced – a little poking and prodding will leave your greyhound largely unphased. Finn and Pepper naturally gravitate towards humans (and their pats!) and are well-behaved in crowds of people, which can’t be said for all dog breeds.

(Not all greyhounds have had positive human experiences in their racing life, so be sure to check with the rehoming organisation if an individual dog has issues with human contact or aggression towards people)

greyhounds having fun

6. There’s no puppy phase:

There’s no denying puppies are adorable, but what about their constant barking, chewing and need for attention? Not so adorable.

When you adopt a retired racing greyhound, you skip all the naughty puppy behaviours that have new dog owners tearing their hair out. Sure, there may be some retraining to get your grey settled to their new home (they may not be used to stairs, their new toilet spot etc.), but it will be far less stressful than navigating puppy training from scratch.

While your rescue greyhound might not be a puppy, be aware – they’ll still whip out their ‘puppy dog’ eyes when they want some of your dinner!

why you should get a greyhound

7. Greyhounds don’t shed:

Greyhounds have short coats that don’t shed* or need haircuts, so apart from a bath every now and then they’re very little maintenance. You can kiss the dog groomers goodbye with a greyhound!

*While the general consensus is that greyhounds don’t shed, there’s a few furry doggos here and there that do – Pepper is one of them! Although since the fur is so short, it’s easily managed with a quick vacuum.

cute greyhound with hat

8. Greyhounds are a conversation starter:

I’m not suggesting you should get a greyhound purely as an icebreaker, but your furry bag of elbows (an affectionate nickname that the greyhound community love to use) will definitely get people talking.

People are naturally curious to see greyhounds as pets, and often have lots of questions about the adoption process and the racing industry. When we walk around the neighbourhood with Finn and Pepper, people often come up to have a chat and a pat. Having a greyhound is a great opportunity to educate the community about these gorgeous dogs and their life post-racing.

big greyhounds on walk

9. They’re just so cute:

Come on, how could you say no to these faces?!?

cute greyhounds sleeping pet

So there you have it, 9 reasons greyhounds make great pets! Greyhounds are incredibly adaptable to new environments, and are great at settling into retired life. Finn and Pepper took no time at all to weasel their way into our hearts – now we couldn’t live without them!

If you’re still not sure about greyhounds, you can always foster a retired racer to see whether it’s right for you. Have a chat to your local greyhound rescue organisation to see if there’s a perfect fit for your family.

Poppy xoxo

Want to read more about greyhounds? Check out this post on everything you need to know about greyhound roaching.