When is the Best Time to Water Plants? And 4 Watering Myths Too

You have a garden, and flowers too. You’ve heard all kinds of advice when to water your plants. But what is right?  When is the best time to water plants?

Well, it’s not that cut and dry. 

And below I also have water myths you might have been following that really don’t hold water. 

The best time to water plants banner

So when is the best time to water plants?

The absolute best time to water plants is in the morning. There are a few reasons for this. When you water in the morning before it is hot out, the water gets to the plant’s roots. 

Watering between 5 am and 10 am, the water has time to run down into the ground and get to the roots. Where it is available for the plants to drink up during the warmest parts of the day. 

And because it’s not hot out yet, the water doesn’t evaporate but really soaks into the ground. And if you have a layer of mulch on top, that can help stop evaporation too. 

The second best time of day to water is in the late afternoon or early evening.

Because we are not all early riser or remember to get out and water first thing in the morning or have time to water each morning, the second best time to water is in the early evening. 

Watering in the evening after the hottest part of the day has passed with help refresh your plants and give them time to soak up the water before the heat of the day starts again.

And because the hottest part of the day has passed, there is less evaporation taking place than if you water in the middle of the sweltering day. 

The primary thing to remember with evening watering is to water early enough for the plants leaves to dry. Wet leaves overnight can promote disease in plants. 

Using a soaker hose can help keep the leaves dry but still give the plants the water they need. When using a soaker hose you can water later into the night since the leaves won’t be getting wet.

What is Best Time to Water Flowers

Flowers are just like any other plant. The best time to water flowers is in the morning between 5 am and 10 am to reduce evaporation and let the water get to the roots of the flowers. 

What is the Best time to Water Grass

Just like plants and flower, the early morning before 10 am is the best time to water your grass too. 

If you water your lawn in the morning, it can give you lawn the moisture it needs to make it through the hot day. 

If you can’t water in the morning, late afternoon or early evening is the next best time to water grass. You don’t want your grass wet all night long as it can contribute to fungus growth. 

How Often Should You Water Plants?

It is better to water your plants deeply, less often. Then to water shallowly more often. 

It’s best to water once or twice a week, deeply to the depth of 6 inches. 

You want to avoid watering daily, as this encourages the roots to stay close to the surface of the soil. Which leaves your plants vulnerable to drying out more easily. 

Deep watering encourages plants to grow deeper roots, which is better for the plant. 

But even with deep watering, you may need to water more often than once a week when it’s very hot or the plants are producing fruit. 

The best way to deep water is to use a soaker hose that gives the water slowly and lets it absorb into the soil instead of running off. 

water plants with a watering can

4 Watering Myths

We’ve all heard them, myths that we live by when watering our plants. Are you following any of these 4 watering myths below? 

1. Water 1 inch a Week

You may have heard you need to water your plants 1 inch a week. I know I’ve heard it before for lawns, but plants water needs vary. 

If you are watering seedlings or new transplants, they will need more water at the start because the root system isn’t established yet. 

More established plants may be watered less. You want to check the soil and see if it’s dry. If it is, you need to water. 

2. Overhead Watering on a Sunny Day can Scorch Leaves

You might have been told to avoid watering on a sunny day because the water droplets act as tiny magnifying glasses and burn the leaves. 

But this just isn’t true. What is true is when you water in the hot sun, the water evaporates off more quickly and less water is available for your plants. 

So avoid watering in the middle of the day but not because of fear of scorched leaves, avoid it because it doesn’t efficiently water your plants.

watering flowers

3. Wilting Leaves Means the Plant Need Water

When we see a plant with drooping leaves, we know something is wrong. And the first thing we think of is that plant needs water. But that isn’t always the case.

If you see a wilting plant, check the soil before you water. If it’s moist, then watering won’t help and there are other things that can make a plant wilt. 

One of my container plants was over-watered and it became very wilted. So too much water can make plants wilt too. 

4. Avoid Watering with an Overhead Sprinkler

This is generally true. You don’t want to use an overhead sprinkler close to sundown. It can leave too much moisture on the leaves and promote disease.

But on a hot, dry, and windy day, overhead watering with a sprinkler can remove dust that has built up on the plant’s leaves. 

Overhead watering in this case can wash the plants. And on a hot day,  it can refresh the plants too. Giving them relief from the hot sun and drying wind.

a sprinkler watering plants

Now you know the absolute best time to water plants and the second best time to water too. It can help you give your plants the water they need and conserve on water too. 

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