Many people have potted plants and live in an area where it rains periodically. Everyone knows that plants need water, but can you leave potted plants outside in the rain?
Potted plants can be left in the rain because the water has high amounts of oxygen beneficial to the plants. The rainwater will also wash away dust on the leaves and help them absorb sunlight better. The rainwater also contains minerals that are beneficial to the potted plants.
Now that you know that you should leave potted plants in the rain, you are likely wondering how long you should leave them in the rain and what will happen if you leave them out for too long. Keep reading to find out.
Should I leave potted plants in the rain?
You should leave potted plants in the rain because they get the purest form of water that contains a high amount of oxygen and minerals. The rainwater will also help clean the plant’s leaves and flush salt deposits from the potting soil.
Make sure the pots have drainage holes in the bottom so the excess rainwater will flow out. Otherwise, it can lead to overwatering that damages the plant’s roots causing root rot.
Before leaving your potted plant in the rain, make sure that its soil isn’t super dense and drains well. If your plant is in soil with plenty of perlite, you won’t have to worry about overwatering.
You should periodically leave your potted plants out in the rain because the rain washes away any dust accumulated on the leaves. If you don’t leave your plants in the rain, you have to get a spray bottle and use a damp paper towel to remove the dust, which is time-consuming.
Leaving your plants in the rain is much easier. If you remove the dust from the leaves, your plants will thrive because they will absorb more sunlight than before. The leaves will also look shiny and have an aesthetic appeal.
Before you leave your potted plant outside in the rain, check the conditions. If there are harsh winds and the temperature is forecasted to drop dramatically, don’t leave your potted plant outside as it will likely become damaged or frozen.
I asked 100+ gardeners to share their experience of keeping potted plants in the rain. 92.3% of gardeners had a positive experience with leaving their plants in the rain.
How long should I leave potted plants in the rain?
You can leave potted plants in the rain for 1-2 days without causing any harm to them, but you should take your potted plants inside after 1-2 hours in the rain to avoid overwatering, especially if the rain is heavy.
Should I leave potted plants in heavy rain?
You should not leave potted plants in heavy rain because the large water drops may damage the plant leaves. The excess water may cause overwatering. It may wash away nutrients from the potting soil or erode the soil itself.
Should I water potted plants after leaving them in the rain?
You should not water your potted plants after leaving them in the rain because they would have received sufficient rainwater. Watering the potted plants can lead to overwatering conditions that cause root rot and damage the roots.
How to tell if plants are overwatered after rain
Once the rain stops, you can check the potting soil for signs of waterlogging. If you see water pooling on the topsoil in your potted plant or see residue on the sides of the pots that your plants are in, then you have overwatered them and need to avoid watering them until the soil is nearly completely dry.
Potted plants don’t need to have constantly wet soil to thrive. Most plants prefer to be underwatered rather than overwatered, and most plants don’t need as much water as you expect. When watering your potted plants, add water until it runs through the drainage holes.
Don’t water your potted plants until the top few inches of soil are completely dry, especially if you have a plant that prefers to have a small amount of water. Different plants require a different amount of water, and some can go long periods without being watered. When you purchase a potted plant, check to see how frequently it needs to be watered.
Overall, you should leave your potted plants out in the rain so they can be watered with highly oxygenated water, but you shouldn’t leave them out for days or weeks on end. Leave it out for a few hours, at max 1-2 days, and then put it back where you usually have your potted plant.
Make sure your potted plant gets plenty of sunshine, but make sure the leaves are dry before putting your potted plant in direct sunlight as water droplets on leaves while a plant is in direct sunlight may cause the leaves to burn, especially if you leave it in direct sunlight for hours on end.
What are the problems potted plants can face due to overwatering?
If your potted plants are overwatered, they become waterlogged and likely die. Waterlogging happens when the soil around the roots of a plant becomes oversaturated with water, and the water doesn’t evaporate quickly because of the amount of water there is.
Waterlogged plants often have:
- Brown leaf tips
- Yellow leaves
- Start to wilt
- Leaves falling off
- Root rot
- Foul smell emanating off of them
- Discolored roots
Waterlogged potted plants die or start developing diseases because they are being deprived of oxygen. Various gasses are being trapped in the soil because of the high water content. Waterlogged potted plants also become deprived of nutrients because they can’t absorb nutrients from the soil very well.
Waterlogged potted plants often have pests around them because they are weak, and pests see them as easy snacks that are vulnerable to attack but still have plenty of nutrients that will help them survive.
Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.
Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.
Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.
Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.
Trowel – Garden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers
Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.
To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.
Kevin is the founder of Gardening Mentor, a website that aims to teach people to grow their own food in a limited space. As a self-taught gardener, Kevin has spent several years growing plants and creating gardening content on the website. He is certified in Home Horticulture and Organic Gardening by expert gardeners from Oregon State University.