Ask the Expert: When Should You Water?

Ask the Expert: When Should You Water?

Is there a best time of day to water your plants? Our horticulturalist has the answers. 
Plants need water. It’s one of the main requirements for their health and growth. But is there a best time to water plants?

Horticulture expert, Justin Hancock, answers questions for new plant parents.

QUESTION: Most people need a cup of coffee to get going the morning. Are plants like us and prefer their hydration at a specific time of day?

JUSTIN: Well, let’s talk about watering indoors and outdoors – because there are two different answers here. Indoors plants live in a controlled environment, your home, so it really doesn’t matter what time of day they are watered. Morning, afternoon, evening – it’s all the same. Water your plants when it is most convenient for you.

QUESTION: When do you water your indoor plants?

JUSTIN: I’m in pretty close contact with my plants and I water them when I feel they need it. Most plants need water when the first top inch of the soil is dry.

QUESTION: What about outdoor plants? Is there a best time to water them?

JUSTIN: Yes, this is when the time of day does matter. Outdoor plants are exposed to sun, shade, wind, and weather, so when you water them does affect their lives. It’s best to water first thing in the morning.

QUESTION: Why is morning watering best?

JUSTIN: It allows plants to drink in water through the roots and it gives all day for the humidity level around the plants to evaporate. Too much humidity around some outdoor plants can cause fungal problems. And when you water your plants, add water close to the base of the plants rather than just spraying the leaves. This is the most efficient way to water plants; water goes directly to the roots and there's no water waste. 

Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson