The 'best' time of day to water your plants to keep them thriving and it's not the morning

A woman waters her tomato plants on a rooftop terrace
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Gardening is a year-round activity but the summer months require particular attention, especially when it comes to watering. Watering plants is crucial for their survival and growth, helping your beautiful blooms flourish.

Plant experts at Phostrogen explain that every plant is 80% water and the only way they can absorb water is through their roots, making proper watering vital. In hot weather, plants and vegetables become extremely thirsty and, depending on their location, may require watering twice daily.

One of the most common mistakes gardeners make during this season is watering at inappropriate times, reports the Express. TV presenter and QVC gardening expert Mark Lane highlighted that watering plants "at the wrong time" is one of the "worst mistakes" a gardener can make in hot weather.

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So, what's the optimal time for this task?

According to the plant specialists at Phostrogen: "In spring and autumn, water early in the morning, but in the summer, it can be best to wait until the evening as watering during full sun can burn the plants."

Watering in the evening reduces evaporation, ensuring the plant receives all the water provided. However, if you can do it early enough, Mark says that actually "the best time" to water plants "is early in the morning when the outdoor temperature is cooler, between 5:00 and 9:00am".

Mark advises watering plants in the early morning, explaining that it will "result in less water lost to evaporation" as temperatures rise throughout the day.

The amount of water is just as crucial as timing. Despite plants' increased thirst in hot weather, using less water is more beneficial during peak temperatures.

Henry Bartlam, the founder of Dig, recommends against giving "plants a daily light sprinkling of water".

He suggests that it's "better to give them a good soak every couple of days (especially in warmer weather) than a quick splash every day".

While there's no exact science, Henry says if the soil remains moist and doesn't dry out too fast, "you've probably done a good job".

However, he cautions gardeners: "Be careful not to overwater and saturate the soil though - not only could this eventually damage the plants, but also wastes valuable water."