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Newly potted plants: Do you have to top water and completely drench them?

I repotted some young rosemary and lavender today and on all the videos about repotting ive seen, they suggest top watering the newly potted plant until water runs through the bottom. I decided not to do that and instead bottom-watered in a tray like I usually do and gave the soil a quick mist on the top, just so the soil is all well set but not as drenched as it would have been if i'd have watered until water came out the holes in the bottom of the pot. I didnt feel comfortable doing this as I know lavender and rosemary are drought-loving and prefer a dryer soil. What would you have done?


  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,940
    I would have watered them fully from above, then allowed them to drain. This ensures that the entire root ball gets adequate moisture.  Both plants are drought tolerant when in the ground but in pots they will need a little more attention. Check the top of the compost regularly while the young plants establish and rewater when the top two cm feel dry. Adding grit to the compost will ensure that it is free draining - they do not like to stand in water.  It's worth raising your pots up with pot feet to ensure they are free draining rather than placing them directly on the ground or in a saucer.  You won't have done any harm - just give them some extra water and ensure this drains out.  Hope this helps.

    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,236
    You'll need to keep them watered if they're staying in pots. It's totally different to a plant growing in the ground. Many people make this mistake and end up with dehydrated plants.  :)
    Watering by putting pots in a tray or saucer is fine for seedlings, so that they don't get disturbed by the force of water, or when something has dried out completely, as it ensures the plants take up everything you pour in. Always easier to water from the top otherwise though. Watering completely overhead is fine on a cloudy day, but the best method is to water in at the plant's base, so that the water doesn't get shed off by the foliage, leaving the soil dry. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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