How often should you water flowers? Which plants should be watered from above and which from below? We reveal what you should consider when watering plants in the home and garden.
Watering the Plants is the subject of numerous urban myths and half-truths. Despite the fact that correct watering is critical for a plant’s health, the included watering instructions are frequently vague and unhelpful. The reason for this is that watering is a problem for which there is no simple answers.
This is the problem: there are numerous variables that affect the amount of water a plant needs while watering it, including pot size, temperature, soil type, and sunlight. Despite this, we’ll do our best to provide you with some background information on the issue. Because if you devote more time to learning about watering, you will quickly become a plant watering pro!
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Watering Plants in Your Garden
One of the most important things to do in the garden is to make sure the plants have enough water. And for good reason: water, along with sunlight and nutrient-rich soil, is one of a plant’s most basic needs.
Only a few plants, like tillandsias, absorb moisture through their leaves instead of their roots, and this is the rule for nearly all others. Nutrients enter the plant through the roots in addition to water. To maintain a constant supply of nutrients, water the plants regularly.
As a result, when watering, be sure to cover the entire root ball. Air supply is just as important as nutrition absorption. If you water deeply and don’t allow the soil to dry in between, you run the risk of depriving your plants of oxygen.
Special organs are only found in aquatic plants that can provide oxygen to the roots. If soil air isn’t available, most of our garden plants will perish. A plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and its oxygen uptake depend majorly on how well it is watered.
How often should you Water Flowers and Plants in the Garden
When it comes to the frequency with which you should water your garden’s flowers and other plants, there is no definitive solution. The frequency with which plants need to be watered is, in fact, quite variable. The weather is the most important consideration – if it’s raining heavily outside, then there’s no need to water the garden.
Watering should be done using a watering can if there is a protracted dry spell. Plants require more water and nutrients during their growth period than in winters, therefore the season has a significant impact. Watering in winter should only be done during protracted dry spells and only during frost-free periods to avoid damaging the plants.
Variations in the watering can be caused by a variety of factors, including soil quality, exposure type, and plant species. Even in the middle of summer, deep-rooted trees frequently don’t require further watering, although other veggies need it as early as the spring.
As a result, the frequency with which plants should be watered is highly variable. However, how can you figure out how often you should water your garden if you don’t know how much it needs?
Water availability in a garden can often be determined by easy observation by a gardener: Moisture deficiency can be first detected by looking for crumbly, broken soil that feels bone-dry to the touch. Continue watering if the plants also show limp or drooping petals or foliage.
As a result of the following: The root ball of many plants prefers to be completely submerged, therefore watering it once a week with more than just a little every day is preferable. Hence, it’s important to pay attention to your garden and adjust watering as needed based on the needs of your plants and the weather.
Tips on Watering Frequency
- Remember that there can be no generalizations. What works for others may not work for your garden plants.
- Watering intervals are determined by weather, soil conditions, plant variety, and other factors.
- Drought indicators include brittle, cracked soil and wilting plants.
- It is preferable to water the root ball thoroughly once rather than watering in little amounts every day.
- Watering schedules must always be adjusted to suit the garden plants and weather conditions.
Watering Plants During Hot Summers
Plants, particularly in mid-summer, rely on additional water from frequent watering. Long dry periods generate a lack of water in the soil, while heat guarantees that the residual water evaporates slowly. That is why, even in the heat, it is critical to water plants more frequently.
Many gardeners, however, are wary about watering flowers in the heat since it might cause sunburn to the plants. In reality, plants must not be watered during the daytime heat: Water droplets have a magnifying glass effect on the plant leaves, causing them to burn.
As a result, it is preferable to water in the early morning hours: The temperature is substantially lower here, and evaporation is also reduced.
#Tip: To find out how you can ensure that your plants do not dry out and die due to the lack of water while you are on your summer vacation, read our article on “Watering plants while on vacation”.
Watering Bedding Plants and Flowers
Garden Bedding plants may root through a large amount of soil and hence require lesser watering compared to potted plants. Garden plants, on the other hand, require a little water every now and then to keep active and healthy.
Watering bedding plants regularly, especially after planting, helps to fill the voids in between the root ball and the garden soil, allowing the plant to grow faster. Watering intervals should gradually increase after planting.
Only in this manner can the plant’s root “seek” water and produce a suitable root volume. Plants with well-formed roots are more resilient during prolonged periods of heat and they also require less water overall.
The soil conditions in the bed substantially influence whether and when garden bedding plants need to be watered during dry periods: Heavy, humus-rich, loamy soil may hold an enormous amount of water. Sandy soils, on the other hand, require significantly more frequent watering.
However, if the soil dries out and the plant leaves wilt, the bedding plants must be watered immediately. Many gardeners are unsure whether plants should be watered from below or above.
The answer is straightforward: water is most uniformly distributed at the plant’s rootstock, hence it should be irrigated from below. When flowers and other plants are irrigated from above, the wetness on the leaves can foster fungal diseases.
Watering Potted and Raised Bed Plants in Balcony
Potted plants, as opposed to the plants in garden beds, have far less substrate availability and can only root through a much smaller limited space. Because of the limited space, potted plants must be watered significantly more frequently.
Potted plants require extra water, especially in the spring and fall, because their container has a limited volume. Potted plants require extra water during the summer since their pots heat up quickly, thus resulting in increased evaporation. The texture of the soil, like bedding plants, is an excellent predictor of whether potted plants need to be watered.
Furthermore, for smaller plants, weight can be used to indicate water balance: if the plant feels particularly light, it may be due to a shortage of water, indicating that it is time to water the plant again.
Another distinction between watering potted plants and watering plants in the garden beds is the substrate (soil): potted plants are generally grown in potting soil comprised of peat rather than topsoil. Peat does have the ability to hold a large amount of water, which aids in avoiding the need for frequent watering.
But take care not to let the peat entirely dry out! Dry peat repels water and stores it poorly; as a result, peat might cause potted plants to require even more frequent watering. As a result, from a sustainability standpoint, peat is increasingly being avoided.
Soils manufactured from wood fibers and coconut fibers, for example, are biological alternatives. The water storage capabilities of this material are not as good as those of peat. Alternative soils, on the other hand, do not become water-resistive when dry and often have a superior CO2 balance. This also applies to organic soils, which are peat-reduced or peat-free and produced in a sustainable manner.
Is your potted plant consuming an abnormally large amount of water thus necessitating multiple waterings every day? This problem can be induced by an undesirable plant-to-pot ratio.
The size of a plant takes more water than the restricted soil in the pot can provide, resulting in a greater need for water. Repotting the plant in a larger container can instantly resolve this issue and greatly increase watering intervals.
Watering Indoor Houseplants
Houseplants are completely reliant on humans for water supply and, as a result, perish quickly if neglected. This emphasizes the importance of paying close attention to adequate houseplant watering. But how frequently do you need to water houseplants?
This is particularly dependent on the plant species in question: Cacti and succulents, for example, have a minimal water requirement and may dry out quickly between waterings, whereas exotic houseplants from rainforests have a high water requirement as well as prefer evenly moist soil.
In addition, the houseplant’s development period must be monitored. Plants require a lot of water when they are flowering, but they rarely need it when they are dormant. Furthermore, factors such as sunlight, room temperature, and humidity might alter how frequently you need to water houseplants.
Take a good look at the plant’s substrate (soil) to decide when it is time to water it: You can feel whether the substrate has dried completely by penetrating one to two millimeters into it with your finger. If that’s the case, it’s time to water most houseplants. Furthermore, a lightweight, hollow sound when striking the clay pot, or the substrate peeling away from the pot’s rim can all be signs of dryness.
If the houseplants are to be watered, it is also essential to determine the proper amount of hydration that is needed. While the root ball should be moist, there should be no waterlogging. After watering, wait for 15 mins – 30 mins before checking the saucer. If excess water accumulates in it, it should be thrown away to avoid waterlogging.
Using Tap Water for Watering Your Gardens
Everyone is undoubtedly aware of this myth which states that “you must always water your plants with either well water or rainwater – Just don’t use tap water!” But why is that? Many amateur gardeners, as well as some specialists, believe that tap water is too harsh for our plants.
Although several plants prefer a pH of 6 – 6.5, tap water can potentially have a pH of 8 or higher. As a result, the pH of tap water is frequently very high for your plants. However, it is frequently overlooked that plants release organic acids into the soil for nutrient uptake, thus lowering the pH value.
As a result, the higher tap water pH value is adjusted. As a result, watering our plants with tap water is not detrimental. Only plants that favor highly acidic soils and are sensitive to lime – such as the azaleas (Rhododendron) or blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), can benefit from avoiding tap water with a high lime concentration and instead of watering with rainwater.
As you can see, no one can’t provide a one-size-fits-all approach for proper watering. However, if the preceding suggestions are followed and you know about how much water your plants require, nothing should go wrong.
Most plants are more resilient than you may expect, and even if they are already incredibly droopy, they usually recover rapidly after being watered.
Water is required not only for the plants in your garden but also for the lawn. What you should look out for when watering your grass can be found in our article.