skip to Main Content

WATERING RECENTLY INSTALLED PLANTS

Follow these procedures to assure your plants have adequate water. Do not use a hose “trigger type” spray nozzle. Use a Dramm® Rose (sometimes referred to as a water breaker — available in the Garden Shop) to break up the force of the spray. Using your finger at the end of the hose to break up the force of the water may work on occasion, but it’s hard to keep a steady “broken” spray. A water breaker is a must have for a gardener’s tool shed. (Soaker hoses and overhead sprinklers are useful with established plants, but do not reliably water new plantings.)

Critical Day-After Planting Care

  • Each day for three days water each plant deeply. This initial watering is to assure the roots are well watered and the surrounding soil is settled around the root system of the plant.
  • Water from the base of each plant to a point past the drip line of the foliage or branches around each plant. Go back and repeat this process at least two more times to assure the water soaks in and reaches the root zone area of your soil.
  • After this three day period back off to a normal new plant watering schedule. (Continuing to water daily will cause root rot and kill your plants! Your plant’s roots need air to grow.)

Normal New Plant Watering Schedule (first year and as needed)

  • Water when the top inch or two of soil under your plant is dry. (Plants typically will need water two to three times a week in warm weather and once a week in cool weather at first.) If you are able to schedule your watering time, mornings (before 11 am) are best. This allows the water to soak in and the leaves to dry before evening.
  • Water from the base of each plant to a point past the drip line of the foliage or branches around each plant. Go back and repeat this process at least two more times to assure the water soaks in and reaches the root zone area of your soil.
  • How often to water can vary with each plant depending on size, variety, soil, and weather conditions. Check the soil under the plant at a depth of three to four inches before and after watering until you understand how well the water is penetrating the soil.
  • In general, it is best to water deeply for a long period of time. Light, frequent watering will not penetrate the mulch and soil deeply enough to provide moisture throughout the entire root zone.

Water is the most critical element in the survival rate of recently installed plants. Plants given an adequate source of water are more resistant to transplant stress and disease. Remember that recently installed plants have a very small root system relative to established plants of the same size.

Back To Top