Monty Don shares ‘the single most useful thing’ to revitalise houseplants and prevent overwatering

Monty Don shares ‘the single most useful thing’ to revitalise houseplants and prevent overwatering

Royal Horticultural Society gardening tips

Royal Horticultural Society
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 03/04/2024

- 14:00

Updated: 03/04/2024

- 14:01

The British horticultural has explained how to mist houseplants so they thrive this month

When a gardener spots signs of struggle on their houseplant, it’s imperative to act fast, or the plant could wither.

According to gardening expert Monty Don, watering practices like misting could be key to guaranteeing the long-term welfare of houseplants.

The gardener shared his pearls of wisdom in the latest entry of his blog, in which he maps out monthly to-do lists for budding gardeners.

He explained that most problems concerning houseplants stem from inappropriate watering routines, but using the correct misting device can help plant owners circumvent this risk.

Monty Don / houseplant

Monty Don suggests misting plants regularly to give them a boost


“There are [...] a huge range of plants that can and are grown permanently indoors with a wide range of conditions best suited to them but [...] the biggest mistake people make with them houseplants is to overwater them,” the gardener said.

“In fact, that can be qualified - or refined - by saying most are overwatered at the roots but under-watered in the air.

“A coolish spot, out of direct sunlight is likely to be more congenial for all evergreen plants from tropical regions (but no desert cacti and succulents) than a south-facing window still above a radiator.

“Only water when the potting compost is totally dry and then it is best to soak them in a basic for 15 minutes, draining them completely before returning the pot to its position.”

Misting plants generously and regularly is one of the best watering techniques out there, according to Monty.

“The single most useful thing is to get hold of a really good mist spray holding at least a litre of water and with a trigger action,” he declared.

“Use this twice a day to give your plants a really good spray so the foliage is running with moisture.

“However that does mean placing them where very humid air is not going to damage furnishing or surfaces - which is why a bathroom or kitchen is likely to be more suitable than a living room.”

The hack ensures plants receive all the humidity they need without waterlogging the roots, which can cause rot. The practice is most helpful when the central heating is on full blast.

Although the effects of misting are short-lived, the droplets settle on the leaves and slowly evaporate.


woman holding plant

Most houseplants experience problems due to overwatering


This briefly increases the humidity around the plant before the liquid disappears completely.

It comes soon after the gardening guru urged Britons to spend some time over the next month planting lilies in pots.

"Plant lilies in pots for one of the best and most fragrant of summer displays," the gardener advised.

For healthy blooms, Monty recommends providing the plant with “good draining and a nice, loose compost”.

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