This Genius Hack for Watering Your Plants uses an Ingredient you Probably Have in the Kitchen Right Now

Promote your plants' growth with this simple yet effective trick

house plants surrounding a desk
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to caring for plants we all have one goal in mind. Promoting new growth is at the top of the list, but it isn't always as simple as it seems. If you don't want to rely on chemical fertilizers for better growth or harmful treatments to keep diseases at bay, you might be wondering what else can you do other than your normal maintenance routine. Well, luckily, we have the answer. 

As it turns out, you can upgrade your watering routine with something you probably already have lying around in your kitchen right this second. A viral Instagram video claims that a universally loved wonder ingredient can have a positive impact on the growth of your houseplants and, naturally, we wanted to discover more. Here we speak to plant experts to determine if this trick is really worth the hype or a total waste of time. 

What is the garlic watering trick?

The secret is out of the bag - garlic is supposedly the answer to flourishing, fast-growing plants, and if you're a proud parent who loves decorating with plants, it could be the one trick missing from your repertoire. The trick isn't simply a case of throwing some garlic bulbs at your plant randomly, however - there's a method to the madness. 

'Garlic contains sulfur, which is antifungal and can help ward off several plant diseases,' says florist and plant expert Juan Palacio. 'When used in moderation, garlic water can be a great addition to your plant care routine, especially if you're dealing with pests or fungal issues.' 

How do you do it?

plants from Leaf Envy

(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

Transferring these benefits to your plant is as easy as infusing water with garlic and, while it might sound obscure, the trick is actually really simple. Experts agree it's one of the best ways to treat mold on houseplant soil, too. 

'Start by crushing approximately three to four cloves of garlic and add them to a liter of water, letting the mixture steep overnight,' says Juan. 'The next day, strain the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray this solution on the affected areas of your plants. It's best to do this early in the morning or late in the evening to prevent sunburn on the leaves, as the water droplets can act like tiny magnifying glasses in the sunlight.'

The solution can be used as a preventative measure as well as a treatment. 'Early in the growing season is the best time to use it to prevent problems or when you first spot signs of pests or fungal issues,' says Tom Su , garden and landscaping expert. 'It's more about prevention and early intervention than anything else.'

Does the garlic water hack work?

A rubber plant in the living room

(Image credit: Hanna Grankvist. Studio credit Studio Nato)

If you're skeptical, we don't blame you. While this trick isn't going to have any immediate impact, it will certainly prevent the risk of disease in the long term, which is a win in our books. 'The short answer is it's not a miracle grower, but it has got its perks,' says Tom. 

The garlic water trick has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that can prevent disease and thus promote growth, but you shouldn't expect immediate changes overnight. This trick will give your plants a little immune boost but isn't a growth hormone, so don't be expecting any miracles. Simply incorporate it into your regular houseplant care routine and see how much happier your green babies become. 

What you need for healthy plants

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.