Plant 101: Signs You’re Underwatering your Indoor Plant

Written By: Lively Root

Article Image

Share This Post

Table of Contents

As confusing as it may be, signs of underwatering are very similar to signs of overwatering. Dry, yellow, brittle leaves? Wilty blooms that droop and fall off? Chances are these are all signs of your indoor plant trying to tell you it’s being under-watered.

How to Revive Your Underwatered Plants

  • If your houseplant lives in a small container with a drainage hole, fill your sink full of room temperature water and submerge it in the water. Let all the bubbles stop before you remove the plant from the water. Let excess water drain from the pot before you place it back on its saucer and be sure to replace any lost soil.
  • Larger, root-bound houseplants are more susceptible to underwatering and will want to be repotted to give their roots a bit space to spread out, get nourishment, and drink up water.
  • For larger indoor plants, water from the top several times (rather than submerging) and break up the soil on the surface so water can penetrate down. Since dry soil usually contracts, water might just flow down the sides without adequately soaking the soil. Be ready to repeat a few times.
  • After you’ve give your plants a good drink, prune and cut away any dried leaves to tidy the plant.
  • Set a recurring reminder on your phone to check your plants each week.


Looking for signs of overwatering your plants?  Checkout our next Plant 101 article: Signs You're Overwatering your Indoor Plants.