How to Make Sure You’re Giving Your Plants the Right Amount of Water

Welcome back to our series on The Secrets to Garden-in-a-Can & Garden-in-a-Jar Success. We’re here to share our second tip with you to help your indoor gardening adventure get off to a great start.

The most common question we receive from new gardeners is how much water do their herbs and plants need—and for good reason! A plant’s watering needs depend on their environment and growth stage so the answer varies. If this all sounds complicated, fear not, we’re here for you any time. But trust us, once you get through this short guide, it’ll be a piece of cake to keep your herbs watered juuust right. 


Take a look at our Watering Guide below for all the watering info you and your herbs will ever need:

Weeks 1-2: Germination

Before anything green has sprouted out of the topsoil, your seeds are hard at work in a process called germination. During this time, daily to every-other-day sprinklings of 1 teaspoon of water will keep your seeds moist, but not drowning. We recommend using a spray bottle for this, but as long as you disperse the water throughout the can, you’ll be all good. The key is to be gentle, because your little guys will be fragile at this time, and you won’t want to disturb the soil above them too much.

Weeks 3-5: Early Growth

After your seedlings have emerged, you can ditch the spray bottle and be a little more frivolous in how you pour water on your plants. Progressively increase the amount of water from 1 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons, but begin to space out waterings to every other day.

Week 6 and beyond: Mature Growth

Once your herbs have a couple sets of leaves, they’ll need more water to continue growing, so it’s time to ramp up your watering! Gradually add a bit more water each time you water your plants until you reach 3 tablespoons. Once you’ve reached your way to 3 tablespoons, continue with that quantity of water 2-3 times per week for the entire life of the plant.


Expert tip! Before you water, always check the wetness of your soil.

Only water your herbs when the top ½ inch of soil is dry to the touch. Since the topsoil is the first part of the soil to dry, if it’s still damp, then the rest of your soil is, as well. That means you can hold off watering for another day.


Worried that you overwatered?

  1. Tilt your cans from side to side. Do you hear or feel any water moving around in there? If you do, gently tip your can to pour out the excess water (be careful not to let your soil or plants spill out!)
  2. After draining excess water, use a toothpick to poke 1-inch-deep holes into the soil. This process is called aerating and it helps relieve drowning in the roots.


We hope this tip helps you achieve optimal growth with your Garden-in-a-Can, Garden-in-a-Jar and any other herbs you may be growing! Watering is a tricky thing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll feel like a master gardener.

Have any other questions? Our incredible Community Happiness Guru, Emily, is here to help! Check out her extensive FAQ section on or email us at!

Happy growing!


By Tom S. @ Back to the Roots

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