Water carries nutrients from the soil to plant cells; no water, no nutrients. During a hot afternoon, up to half of your watering can be lost to evaporation. Water in the morning or evening so roots have a chance to absorb it.
How often you water depends on the size of the plant, soil conditions, and weather. Newly planted trees and shrubs require more than established ones. The best way to know when your plants need a drink is to check the soil. The soil should be moist, not soggy. If the soil is dry to the touch, your tree needs water.
For best results
Watering slow and deep is best, allowing plant roots absorb adequate moisture. Consistency in the water schedule is important. If soil dries out completely, or if it is always soggy, plants will be stressed and prone to disease.
Do not apply water faster than the plants can absorb it. Imagine a person drinking from a fire hose compared to a slow stream from a garden hose. Newly planted trees are still getting established and will need more frequent watering. Mulch will keep the soil from drying out too quickly.
Planted containers dry out more quickly than plants in landscape beds. Check containers daily during the summer by sticking a finger into the soil down to the first knuckle. Be sure containers have good drainage.
- How to water new plants
- Water tips for different types of plants
- Watering tips during hot weather
- Guidelines and tips for planting and watering
- Protecting Your Plants During a Drought
U.S. residential outdoor water use accounts for more than 9 billion gallons daily of water, mainly for landscape irrigation. As much as 50% is wasted through evaporation, wind, or runoff, due partly to improper irrigation system design, installation, and maintenance.
Water management is a complex issue — one that’s more top of mind than ever, due to supply and demand issues, increased regulation, and environmental concerns.
Control your landscape water use by working with an Illinois Certified Nursery Professional to address four landscape questions:
- What water needs do your plants require?
- What irrigation system do you use, and how does it work?
- Where does your water come from?
- How does water move in your landscape?
Some of our favorite resources for learning more
- Fact sheets
- Home, yard & garden pest newsletter
- Garden calendar
- Gardener’s corner newsletter
- Horticulture blogs