Over the last several years I have put a lot of study into this, and I feel that I can now define the proper way to water a potted plant. First rule is to always water slowly, using no more than a quart at a time, pausing to let the soil suck air in behind the water as it pools on the top. For me, that involves a routine of watering each of my plants with the 1 quart, then taking a nice relaxing drink of whatever beverage I have brought with me to the tent, then I take a nice big hit off of the pipe that also followed me in there, and then after a nice pause, I go back to plant #1 and repeat the cycle. For 2 rounds, I water the entire surface of the soil, watching it pool up and get sucked down. After this initial wetting of the top, my watering method changes. Now, I want to do whatever I can to make the outside edges of the pot the wettest areas. I now carefully water only there, all around the plant, only on the edges. While doing this, I slow down a bit so that the water doesn’t pool as much in the center, always concentrating on the edges. The center will end up getting some too, and that’s fine, but the wettest areas of the pot will be on the outside edges and you will be driving nutrient rich soil into the dense original root ball. Continue this, again going slow, and taking drinks and hits in between each round. Continue until you see the first signs of runoff, and then stop. Look carefully at the surface of your container now. You will clearly see where the root ball is from your last transplant, because it will now be sticking up just a little bit above the outer rim. Take ½ the amount of water you have been using, about a pint, and now water very slowly, just in the raised area where the original root ball is. As you do so, look what happens at the outer edge of the original root ball. You will see the very finest soil, almost a mud, migrating out of the old root ball, and into the middle! This is the natural process of soil migration in a container. In this manner, all the roots get to take advantage of the nutrients in the soil, and the roots follow the migration of the nutrient rich soil, toward the outer edges where it does the most good. Watering in the manner I have described allows for a constant flow of soil throughout the container and will create an extremely dense root ball.