How Often Do I Need To Water An Indoor Tree?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

There are all sorts of reasons to purchase an indoor tree for your home. They add a much-appreciated pop of life and color to a room, they are great to look at, and even provide clean oxygen-rich air for you to breathe. While some indoor trees require a bit of maintenance and upkeep, there are many that are resilient and require very little work to maintain. But every indoor tree needs water. If you recently purchased an indoor tree, you need to know how often you need to water it.

Most indoor trees need water no more than once a week, and some trees require water only twice a month or even monthly. Before watering, place a finger one inch into the soil to ensure the soil is dry beneath the topsoil. Water the soil thoroughly to ensure it is fully saturated. Suction out and remove any access moisture that makes its way to the tray underneath the pot.

Indoor trees, for the most part, are relatively easy to maintain. But just like every other plant, they require some attention from time to time. The best way to ensure that your indoor tree stays thriving for years to come is to make sure it not only gets sunlight but also water on a regular schedule. If you are confused as to how often you need to water your specific tree, read our tips and tricks for indoor tree watering, so your tree will stay properly hydrated throughout the year.

How Often Should You Water An Indoor Tree?

For the most part, indoor trees should not be watered more than once a week. There are a few exceptions and circumstances where a tree may require water more than once a week, but this is quite rare. In fact, many indoor trees, especially those that are specifically sold as indoor plants, require water only twice a month or even monthly.

These timelines are approximate standards and are subject to external factors. The key is understanding these factors and learning to spot the signs that it is time to water your indoor tree.

One thing you should know right away when caring for an indoor tree is that it is entirely possible to kill a tree by watering it too often. Overwatering can cause mold, root rot, and other issues. It can also drown the tree by depriving it of the oxygen pockets in the soil that it might require to live. While there are variables as to how often your indoor tree needs water, make sure you don’t overwater it.

Five Variables That Impact How Often To Water Indoor Trees

1. Tree Species

One major factor that impacts how often you need to water an indoor tree is the tree itself. There are tens of thousands of tree species, and they all have different needs. Often, trees that are sold as “indoor trees” require less maintenance, watering, and even sunlight. This gives them the best chance of survival. But other indoor trees, especially some flowering trees and fruit trees, might require more water than others. Make sure you thoroughly read the care instructions for your tree, as this will act as a helpful watering guide.

2. Tree Size And Growing Cycle

As you might expect, as your tree grows, it often requires more water, and sometimes more frequent watering as well. A tree that is in a dormant cycle requires less water than one that is growing. Understanding your tree and its cycles, as well as paying attention to the moisture level of the soil throughout the year is critical.

3. Your Climate

The climate you live in will also impact the frequency with which you need to water your tree. If, for example, you live in a hot dry climate with lots of sunlight, the odds are your tree will require more frequent watering than in a wet darker climate.

Remember, it is not only the outdoor climate you must consider, but the climate you create within your home with the use of heating, air conditioning, and humidity-controlling devices.

4. Where In The Home The Tree Is Located

Believe it or not, where in the home you decide to place your plant can impact how much water it needs. The main location factor is the proximity to windows. If your plant and its soil receive frequent direct sunlight on a daily basis, it is likely to dry up faster than if it is far from a window and only receives indirect sunlight.

5. The Humidity Level In Your Home

Humidity levels, especially the lack of humidity, will impact how frequently you need to water your indoor tree. If your home is exceptionally dry, then the moisture can get pulled out of the soil fairly quickly through evaporation. This is not ideal, as you want the plant to absorb the moisture. Watering the plant might help increase the humidity level in your home, but it means you also might need to water a little more frequently.

Clues That It Is Time To Water Your Indoor Tree

The Soil Is Dry On Top And Throughout

The most important clue that it is time to water your tree is when the soil is dry. While this might sound obvious, the art of checking your indoor tree’s soil does take a little know-how and finesse

It is fairly easy to see when topsoil is dry. It is loose, crumbly, and often lighter in color. But you need to think about all the soil, otherwise, you may overwater your indoor tree.

The best way to check for dry soil is to stick your finger one to two inches into the soil. If your entire finger feels dry crumbly soil, then it is time to water. If, however, it feels moist under the topsoil, then it is best to wait and check the soil again in a few days.

The Plant Shows Signs Of Withering Or Discoloration

Withering and discolored leaves are often a sign that your tree is fighting for survival. While this might mean it needs a new pot, or it is struggling with mold or other issues, there is a good chance that the plant needs water.

The Leaves Begin To Sag

Sagging leaves and branches are another sign that your tree needs some water. This is an important sign to look out for, as it is usually the first visual sign that your indoor plant is dried out. If you act quickly you can avoid damaging the tree, but the longer you wait, the more irreparable damage your plant will endure.

Tips To Properly Water Your Indoor Tree

Saturate The Soil: The key to successfully watering your indoor tree is saturating the soil. This means making sure all the soil gets good and wet. But it also means not over-saturating it. So make sure you find the balance by not flooding the plant.

Rotate 360 Degrees For An Even Distribution: Don’t just water the plant in one spot. Water all around the trunk of the tree for even water distribution.

Soak Up Extra Water Left In The Saucer Underneath: Removing access water from the drip tray underneath is also critical. Use a turkey baster or something similar to easily suction up the extra water that flows out the bottom of the pot. Failure to do so can overwhelm the plant, and make it flood. This can also lead to root rot or drowning the plant.

Water The Soil, Not The Leaves: Make sure you water the soil and roots, not the leaves. Watering leaves can cause mold and other plant issues. Always aim for the soil.

Wrapping Up How Often You Should Water An Indoor Tree

Indoor trees are a fantastic way to breathe life into your home. They add a lovely pop of green color while also adding some additional oxygen and removing harmful carbon dioxide from your environment. But these trees don’t take care of themselves. You need to water your indoor tree usually no more than once a week. Sometimes trees only need watering once a month. Check the care instructions for your tree, and inspect the soil to ensure it is dry before properly saturating the soil.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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