Sub-irrigation: Protect Your Plant Investment


When you enter an office that has beautiful plant life, there’s a sense of calm. Adding greenery to your work environment has many benefits, including cleaning the air and boosting workers’ moods. But when you invest in plants, you need to make sure that you can keep them alive, which is why sub-irrigation is so important. 

What is sub-irrigation? 

Sub-irrigation is a method of planting that buries a water reservoir underneath the roots of your plants. Instead of watering from the top and wetting the soil from top to bottom, sub-irrigation gives moisture to the roots from below. Water is added to the reservoir through a tube that comes out of the soil for easy access. 

Why is it important? 

All plants have different moisture needs and those needs can change depending on their environment. The humidity in the room, the temperature, which may vary, the lighting conditions, external heating or air conditioners can all affect how much water your plants need. 

Even in ideal conditions, different plants have different needs. For example, the Spathiphyllum always needs to be wet or it will droop, whereas Dracaenas cannot be left wet or they will rot. So, the easiest solution is to plant these plants in sub-irrigation.

Which plants need sub-irrigation? 

The professionals at Plantscapers highly recommend using sub-irrigation with certain plants especially. All palm, aralia, ficus varieties, and Spathiphyllum benefit from this method. Planting these temperamental plants in sub-irrigation will give them the watering when they need it and the exact amount, taking into consideration the temperature in the room. 

Sub-irrigation should be used in partnership with other methods as well. Always use a moisture meter or probe, which uses tines that detect the moisture level below the surface. Knowing your moisture levels will help avoid over or under-watering.

How to implement sub-irrigation

Ask your local high-end garden center or nursery for planters that utilize sub-irrigation. Many nurseries will plant your plants in specialized planters and show you how to fill the water tubes to keep your plants happy. 

Just a reminder, that water is only one part of the equation. Plants still need to be wiped down regularly to clean off dust and check for disease. Sub-irrigation gives home horticulturalists a little edge in the battle to keep expensive house plants happy for the long haul. 

Professional interiors capers throughout the country already utilize this great technology. Sub-irrigation allows us to keep moisture levels correct and specific to each type of plant. It also allows access in hard to reach places such as conference rooms, executive offices, meeting rooms, and board rooms. 

Our technicians can fill up the tubes even if that space is inaccessible due to meetings. That way, we don’t have to worry about expensive plants going thirsty. Plus, it means that our team can spend more time shining and trimming your plants instead of watering. With some palms worth hundreds of dollars, sub-irrigation is our way of protecting your investment. 

Keeping your offices beautiful and your plants happy is the sole goal of the Plantscapers team. Using sub-irrigation means that your plants are happier and healthier, just like your workforce when you incorporate biophilia in your space. If you have questions or want to talk to the pros about caring for your plants, we’d love to chat!


1751 McGaw Ave
Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: (949) 486-1495
Toll-Free: 800-PLANT13
Fax: (949) 486-1499



Sign up to keep up to date with the latest in plantscaping trends. Click here to view our recent newsletters.


We're Hiring


Scroll to Top