I get a lot of questions about watering house plants when I lecture and I have heard some heart breaking stories of wonderful pieces of furniture–& even a grand piano top–ruined by water from house plants. Yikes!
At my last lecture, someone told me that she has banned plants from the house just to avoid this sort of incident. That’s one approach, of course, but I do like to think that plants bring far more to the home than the watering accidents they cause.
So, what to do? Well, to the extent possible, try to keep plants on glass. You will save a lot of heartbreak and expensive refinishing that way. I have even had glass pieces made to cover some wood furniture so that I can use them as plant tables. It’s not perfect, but it helps a lot.
You see the saucer, above, that, I prefer. It’s heavy plastic, with little “feet.” Why is that better? First, the heavy plastic is less likely crack or leak.
Next, if you do water as you are supposed to, so that water comes out the bottom of the pot, there are those indentations (the feet) that catch the water and drain it away so the plant’s roots aren’t sitting in water. That’s nice.
And because it’s less likely to crack like the older version, shown below, no water is going to spill out onto your table, windowsill or where ever.
I do still have some of these flimsy plastic ones. I use them under ceramic cache pots on rare occasion, but only on glass tables.
I use them on my sun porch on wire plant shelves. But I wouldn’t dream of using them on anything wood.
With any luck, some of these ideas will help those of you who are worried about water damage in the house. Because truly, house plants, with their air cleaning abilities, do give back so much more than they might damage.