Potted plants can only get the water that’s in their pot so if it dries out, they will also dry out. But, sometimes too much water is worse for plants than not enough.
The trick to testing whether potted plants need watering is easy. Simply poke your finger into the soil! If it feels cold and damp and some of the grains stick to it then it doesn’t need any water but if it feels hard and dry, you need to get out the watering can.
Make a habit of watering plants that are outside in pots every day, and sometimes twice a day in summer, because they dry out very quickly. Fast growing plants such as vegetables, herbs and flowers in pots will need more water than shrubs and Australian natives.
Indoor plants don’t need to be watered as often and it depends quite a lot on whether the air-conditioning or the heater has been on. Do the ‘water test’ every few days to check. If the plant does need water, put it in the sink so that any water that drains out doesn’t end up on furniture.
Occasionally the potting mix in pots becomes really hard and the water just doesn’t soak in. Instead it goes down the sides and straight out the bottom of the pot and even after you have watered, the soil feels dry. If this happens, the soil needs to be re-wet. To do this, fill a big bucket or the laundry sink with water and dunk the pot in so that the whole root ball is covered with water; the leaves should stay above the water though. Wait for a few minutes until the air bubbles stop coming out of the pot and then let the pot drain. Make sure that you water the plant more often.