The Surprising Bonus Use for Your Turkey Baster

updated Nov 14, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

Raise your hand if you’re one of those people that show their plant love by giving it a lot of water! If your hand is raised, don’t feel ashamed: Overwatering is super common (more plants are killed by over watering than dehydration) but it is, of course, not great for your plants.

Prolonged exposure to water plus poor drainage often causes root rot in plants. You’ll be able to tell if your plant is suffering by keeping an eye out for signs like soft or wilting, yellowing leaves. But you may also see earlier cues that overwatering is underway: If there’s water sitting on top of the soil (in non-draining pots) or a puddle of water left in the saucer after you water your plants, you’re probably giving them too much water.

Luckily, when that happens, there’s a quick and easy fix that you can add to your plant care kit that you might already have in your kitchen.

Why You Should Get a Turkey Baster for Your Plants

Although a turkey baster is usually used to help maintain moisture when cooking, it’s also a really simple way to remove excess water if you’ve accidentally given your plant too much.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

If you find that your plant has too much water sitting on the surface of the soil that’s not being absorbed, try to suck up as much of the liquid as you can with the turkey baster and drop it into a bucket or pail. You can also attempt to (gently!) push the baster into the soil to remove water that’s resting deeper in the pot. That will help keep your plant friends happy, healthy and fungus-free —without making a mess. And next time, you’ll know you need to water it less!

This unlikely tool will come in pretty handy if you have a huge planter that’s too heavy to lift or just want to avoid spillage from carrying a cumbersome pot outside or to the shower to pour out excess water.  

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

If you bottom-water your plants, you can also use a turkey baster to remove water from the dish so that your plants don’t sit in it for too long. You can also opt for a little pipette for small plants that don’t require major suction. In either case, all you need to do is squeeze the bulb at the top, hold it to the surface of the water, release the pressure and let it do its job. 

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Why You Should Keep a $2 Turkey Baster in Your Plant Care Kit