plant guide

Easy Plant Guide: How Long Can an Average Plant Live Without Water?

One of the biggest causes of death for house plants is not watering them properly. In particular, not watering yours often enough can lead to crispy leaves and very fragile plants. But if you’re not always around, what can you do? With the right knowledge about how to water them and which plants are a little less thirsty, you can keep all of your greenery alive, even if you’re not home too often! Find out everything you need to know in this plant guide.

How Long Can an Average Plant Live Without Water?

Most houseplants will happily live without water for around two weeks. However, different types of plants will have different watering needs, with some varieties being able to last for months without water. It’s also not uncommon for plants to start to wilt if they’re frequently left for two weeks without water, so regular watering is recommended. 

How Often to Water Plants

If you love using plants as home decor, you need to know how to take care of them if you want to keep them alive. That all starts with watering. 

Watering your plants is vital to ensuring they function properly and delivering essential nutrients and minerals. How often you’ll have to water yours depends on a variety of different factors, including:

  • Type of plant
  • Size of plant
  • Indoor conditions (e.g. humidity levels)
  • Growing phase
  • Pot size and growing medium

In general, houseplants won’t need as much water as outdoor plants, making them much easier to maintain. However, each plant is going to have different needs. If you know the name of your plant, your best bet is to find out exactly what its own unique requirements are.

How Often Different Plant Types Should Be Watered

To give you an idea of how much watering needs can vary from plant to plant, here are some examples of different plant types:

  • Ivy, Areca palm, Fittonia – 3-4 days
  • Pothos, Monstera, Spider Plant, Daisies, Boston Fern – 5-7 days
  • Dracaena, Peperomia, Christmas Cactus – 7-10 days
  • Snake Plants, Money Tree – 2 weeks
  • Lucky Bamboo, Aloe Vera, Parlor Palm – 14-21 days

That’s just a small sample of how watering plants can vary from type to type. 

What Happens If You Don’t Water Your Plant Correctly?

There are two different ways you can water your plants incorrectly; over-watering and under-watering. 

If you don’t water yours frequently enough, the plant lifespan will reduce drastically. Just like humans, your plant will die quickly without water. Even if you do water it but just not as frequently as you’re meant to, it still won’t function as it should do and may still die.

Plants require water for photosynthesis and to produce enough energy and oxygen to keep them healthy and growing. It’s also needed to keep the plant upright and the tissue rigid, which is why plants wilt if they’re dehydrated. If your plant isn’t getting enough water, it’ll let you know with a few telltale signs:

  • Drooping leaves
  • Dull color
  • A lack of new growth
  • Dying plant

If you spot these signs, you need to rethink your watering schedule.

Can Plants Recover From a Lack of Watering?

If you’ve spotted that your decorative plants are looking a little under the weather and you think it’s due to infrequent watering, it’s not all bad news. You can bring dehydrated plants back from the brink with a little extra care.

Mildly stressed plants can bounce back from dehydration in just a few weeks if you stick to a proper watering schedule. If yours is severely stressed and looks like it may be close to death, it can take more time to recover fully and there is a chance it never will. However, if you take the time to nurture it back to health there is hope that it can come back to life, though its growth may be stunted in the future

If your plant is very badly affected, unfortunately, no amount of watering will bring it back.

How to Create a Plant Watering Schedule

If you struggle to keep your plants alive and well-watered, you’re definitely not alone. Remembering to take care of your greenery is tricky but you can build up a schedule that will help. Here’s how to make your own:

  • Research how often your plant should be watered (taking into account its growth stage and the humidity in your room)
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to water your plants when they need it
  • Learn to check the soil dryness with your finger or a stick so you know if your plant needs a top-up

Are There Plants That Need Less Watering?

If you’re frequently away from home, have a busy schedule, or live in a mansion with a plant in every room, there are some options out there that can go longer with a drop of liquid.

In particular, succulents are known for their ability to thrive with very little maintenance. Because they can store the water you give them within their cells so it’s available for them in times of drought, they can survive between 1-3 months.

Although even succulents will need more water in certain situations. During summer if your succulent is in direct sunlight and they have fast-draining soil, they may have to be watered every 3 weeks. However, it’s easy to over-water your succulents so check your soil and keep a close watch on the plant.

Keep Up With Our Plant Guide Blog

Learning how often you need to water your plants is a must if you want to keep them looking their best! This plant guide should help you, but watering is just the start to keeping healthy plants. If you want to learn more, be sure to keep up with our blog, which has plenty of advice on keeping your plants and home looking their best.

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