Watering your plants is one of the most important things you can do to ensure their health and vitality. However, did you know that there is such a thing as watering your plants too much? Believe it or not, there is a time of day when watering your plants can actually do more harm than good.
Following best guidelines when caring for your plants can save you time and prevent you from having to lose more plants than required to the compost pile/plant graveyard. Watering is no different. Choosing the best time of day to water your outdoor plants can mean the difference between life and death. So, when should you avoid watering your plants completely?
Midday and evening are typically the worst times to water plants. The temperature of the day reaches its peak at noon, evaporating any water provided to the plant even before roots are adequately soaked. During the evening, wet foliage and stems become vulnerable to pathogens that can cause disease.
I go over these issues in greater detail below, along with a solution and some helpful hints for watering your plants correctly:
The Worst Time To Water Your Plants
As stated in the introduction, midday is the hottest time of day and thus one of the worst times to water your plants. Because the plants are attempting to absorb water that is now escaping, the heat makes water absorption more difficult. Water in contact with hot sun evaporates faster rather than hydrating the ground. And, let’s be honest, who wants to be out in the hot sun at this time of day? By not watering during the day, you will be doing yourself and your plants a favor.
Some may argue that evening watering is acceptable and even preferable. Is it therefore harmful to water plants at night? Watering at night is generally not a good idea if you’re doing overhead watering. Pathogens can easily fester and grow in wet splotches on the leaves.
However, you can water your plants more safely at night by using a soaker hose, drip irrigation, a watering wand, or a can with a long spout aimed directly at the soil.
The best approach is to prevent splashback on the leaf surface; if you can do that, your plants will be less likely to experience the issues that are common with overhead-night watering.
To summarize, when should you avoid watering your plants? Mostly in Mid-day and late evening if you have overhead watering/sprinklers.
The Best Time to Water Plants
Though it might seem easy enough to water your plants, there is actually a science to it – and timing is everything! Watering your plants at the wrong time of day can result in water evaporation, leaf scorching, and even plant death. So, when is the best time to water your plants?
#1. Early Morning
Have you really wondered why farmers get up at such an early hour to tend to their plants and flocks? The sun hasn’t come out yet, but the air is cool enough to get a lot done. Watering your plants during this time allows them to quench their thirst and store water for the remainder of the day. Don’t be alarmed if plants appear to wilt a little during the day; this is a natural protective mechanism to ensure they don’t lose water.
But, let’s be honest, not everyone is a morning person. When they don’t have time in the afternoon, they water their plants in the evening. Is it better to water plants in the morning or in the evening? Watering in the morning is always preferable. As it photosynthesizes, it nourishes and refreshes the plant for the day. Evening watering may be acceptable if directed solely at the soil level.
Read More: How to Prepare Soil for Organic Gardening
#2. Late Afternoon
If you need to water during this time, drip irrigation or a soaker hose are better options. This is because you don’t have the benefit of the sun’s heat completely drying off the plant’s leaves before nightfall. So water at the soil level to give the roots plenty of moisture to absorb. Not only that, but if you don’t have time to water the plants in the morning, they will benefit greatly from a thorough soak. During hot spells, your plants may benefit from twice-daily watering. Give your plants a fighting chance, but keep an eye on the soil’s moisture to avoid overwatering.
Plant Watering Guidelines
There are various factors to consider to ensure that your plants receive adequate watering. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll have the watering process nearly perfected:
- Water thirsty plants right away: Water a plant right away if it appears wilted and under drought stress, even if it is well-established. However, always check the soil first: overwatering can cause plants to appear stressed and droopy.
- Watering should be tailored to the type of plant and the soil in the garden: The amount of water required is determined by the type of plant, its size, age, and the climate in your area. The amount of water required is also determined by the type of soil. Because sandy soil drains much faster than clay soil, it will require more frequent watering. Young plants may be less drought tolerant than mature plants.
- Water your seeds and seedlings at least once a day: Watering is also required at regular intervals for vegetable, flower, and grass seeds, as well as young seedlings. In the absence of rain, water at least once a day, and more frequently in hot, dry weather. Seeds dry out easily during germination, and young seedlings are much more susceptible to heat and dryness than established plants. Check the soil first to see if water is required. Too much water can also be detrimental to seeds and seedlings.
Overall, I hope these tips assist you in properly watering your plants. Or, at the very least, avoid any unintentional mishaps.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is watering plants at night bad?
You may want to water your plants at night on a few occasions, such as if you are outside during the day and notice that your plants are wet, or if you have recently had a lot of rain. Before watering your plants, make sure the soil is moist, but if the soil is already cool, this may not be necessary. However, watering your plants first thing in the morning is still the best time.
Why we should not water plants at night?
Even if there is a lot of moisture during the day, it can be absorbed by the sun, but watering at night allows the water that is sprinkled to stay for an extended period of time because there is no sun to absorb the moisture. This will almost certainly result in fungi and bacteria.
As you can see, knowing the best and worst times of day to water your plants is essential if you want to take good care of them. This information could save your plant’s life and assist it in growing healthy and strong. Remember that watering in the morning is better for your plants than watering at night, and watering in the middle of the day is bad for their health.