Garden experts share 'best time' to water plants to avoid damage during common mistake

Hand with water can watering indoor plants on kitchen counter
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Keeping your garden in tip-top shape can be a bit of a juggling act, but there are some savvy tips that can help you make the most of your green space.

When it comes to quenching your plants' thirst, there's one golden rule that plant aficionados insist you should follow. According to green-fingered experts, timing is everything, and there are specific moments in the day when your botanical buddies will benefit most from a good watering.

Garden pros point out that many enthusiasts actually make a common mistake and water their greenery "too frequently", particularly during the balmy summer months when it's easy to assume they're parched due to the sizzling heat and arid conditions.

Overwatering can spawn a host of issues, stunting your plants' growth. This happens because the roots get "dependent" on water at the surface and don't stretch down deep into the soil where they should.

The plant pros at Phostrogen have advised against morning waterings in the summer, telling The Express: "An error often made by gardeners is watering too frequently, as this means the plant isn't encouraged to develop its own root system and search for water at a deep level, becoming dependent on the surface water provided instead", reports the Express.

bee on lavender
People are keen to get out in their gardens this summer -Credit:Getty

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They add: "Soil texture and compaction levels greatly influence how well water is retained and reaches the roots. With four main soil types to consider, it's crucial to start by figuring out which one you're working with.

"If your soil is sandy, water often and a little at a time, as it can't hold a lot of water. Generally speaking, if it is more clay-like, you can freely water with large quantities of water, but less often."

The experts also said gardeners should be watering their plants more regularly during hot spells, but should only ever do it in the evening, as watering plants in the sunlight could result in "burning".

The experts add: "Of course, water more regularly during summer months and hot spells. 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."

Woman planting a tomato plant.
It can be best to wait until the evening -Credit:Getty/Guido Mieth

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There is less chance of evaporation when plants are watered in the morning, meaning they will actually receive all the water given. You should also try to direct to the water toward the root, avoiding the leaves, as this can encourage diseases.

"Think about where your plants are positioned," the experts suggest. South-facing plants are likely to need more water as the direct sun will dry out the soil quickly, and remember that some plants and vegetables prefer more water than others."

"For example, tomatoes and roses are thirsty and require lots of watering, whereas plants such as lavender and poppies and vegetables like asparagus do not, every plant is different", they added.