How to Flush Water a Plant

What does Flush Watering a plant mean?

Flush watering a plant is the process of soaking the soil multiple times, allowing it to completely drain between soaks. What this process does is remove excess mineral and salt build-up caused by tap-water and fertilizer. By removing these harsh deposits, you preserve the quality of the soil while protecting your plant’s roots. While this may seem strange, consider how a plant grows outside. The soil that outdoor plants live in gets completely flushed with rainfall, helping keep the soil healthy! It's important to flush water your plants every couple of months to keep them clean and happy.

Step 1

Take your plant someplace it will be able to drain, like a kitchen sink, a bathtub, or someplace outside. You will be letting the plant drain a lot, just make sure it is somewhere that won’t make too much of a mess!

Step 2

Slowly pour water onto the soil. Keep pouring water until it begins to flow freely from the bottom of the pot. Wait a few minutes and repeat this step a few more times. The best practices for this vary, but a common rule of thumb is to use about four times as much water as the pot would hold. Another way to calculate is to water the soil enough so that you see 25%-50% of the pot’s volume run through the soil. You can measure this by putting another pot underneath to catch the run off if you aren’t sure about eyeballing it.

Step 3

Allow the pot to sit for a few hours so that all of the water is allowed to flow through. It is recommended that you set a drip tray under the plant to collect any excess water for the next day or two, as water will continue to seep out over time. The excess water should be emptied periodically to avoid water build-up and soggy roots (or even worse, the dreaded root rot).

Some people even invest in flushing agents that help bind to these harmful chemicals and pull them out of the soil. It is important to do your research to see if this is right for your plant, as it isn’t always needed, especially if you don’t plan on harvesting your plant for consumption. This practice is more common on farms and when the nutrients in the plants are being carefully measured. It is also often recommended to flush your consumable plants before harvesting them to rid them of bitterness. Some argue that this gets rid of important nutrients in the plants, however this is heavily debated and only comes into play when plain water is used. 

Repeat this process every few months to keep your plants happy and your green space extra green! Your plants will grow to be much healthier, and it can preserve your soil quality for much longer.

Repeat this process every few months to keep your plants happy and your green space extra green.