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Gardening Basics

The Art of Houseplants: Part 3

Words by Kristen Geil

One of the most common mistakes beginner plant owners make is overwatering their new houseplants. We get it—you want to feel like you’re doing something to take care of your plant, so you water them a little here, a little there… and before you know it, you’ve accidentally drowned the supposedly un-killable ZZ plant.

Here’s what you do instead: stick your finger about two inches into your plant’s soil. If it’s dry, you’ve got the green light to give your plant a drink. But if it’s even the slightest bit moist, hold off for another day. 


Here’s our best recommendations for watering your new houseplants: 

Succulents: Allow your soil to fully dry out between waterings. Water every 10-15 days, or as needed. In winter months, you can get away with watering even less frequently. Can you say “low maintenance”? 

 Tropicals: Check your soil weekly with the finger test, and water when dry. If you notice your plant’s leaves are drooping or falling, that’s a sign that your plant is ready for a drink. 

 Herbs: Check your soil daily—yes, every day!— and water when dry. Falling leaves mean your herb is thirsty. Fertilize your herbs every third watering.

Take a pic anytime you water one of your new plants, and use it to track your progress over time. Tag us on Instagram so we can cheer you on and answer any questions that come up—we’re @modsprout. There you grow.