Watering: how to keep your plants in tip-top shape

A fresh shower on hot days

We all love a refreshing shower after a hot summer’s day - and so do your plants! However simple watering might look, there are some things to bear in mind in order to keep your plants as healthy as possible. 

Watering: how to keep your plants in tip-top shape - Thejoyofplants.co.uk


  • Oddly, plants in pots do not just need water when it’s hot; the soil can also dry out rapidly in cloudy, windy or even rainy weather. Rainwater often does not reach the soil because it runs off the leaves down the pot. You should therefore check your potted plants’ soil regularly. 
  • Plants that like to be in the sun such as the Bougainvillea and oleander like to be given a lot of water. The best time to water is early in the morning, when there is least evaporation. Luckily there are handy watering systems available with a timer. 
  • Watering plants in beds is a different story. Unlike pots, the plants’ roots have room there to seek out water. You can help your plants to obtain water deep in the soil by encouraging them to root. You do this by not spraying the garden daily, but giving it a decent shower every couple of days. 

Convenient for hanging baskets

If you have a balcony full of plants and hanging baskets, a spray lance that you can fit onto your garden hose is ideal for reaching every spot easily. If you don’t have that many hanging plants, a normal watering can will do the job. You can also easily make a watering system with a PET bottle. Cut off the bottom, make holes in the bottle and plant it upside down amongst the hanging plants. If you now pour water into the bottle it will gradually seep through the holes into the soil. 

Plant sitter

If you are going on holiday, place all your pot plants together as much as possible, preferably out of bright sunlight. If you expect it to get very hot, place them in the shade. Position the garden hose ready for use to assist the plant sitter.

If you’re going to be busy for a few days or going away for the weekend, place a deep bowl under the potted plants. Give the plant a good watering, and leave some water standing in the bowl so that it can enjoy that drink for longer! 

First aid for dry plants

If a plant is looking dry and the leaves are drooping, get a bucket of water and place the plant in it, pot and all. The soil will be saturated after a while. This watering trick is also very suitable for a hanging basket suffering from drought. 

Tip: have you ever thought of collecting water in a rain barrel? Your garden plants prefer that type of water!