Watering: keep your garden plants healthy

A cool shower on hot days
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A refreshing shower after a hot summer afternoon is a beautiful way to end the day. Garden plants would agree: an evening's water with the hose will cool them down, quench their thirst, and get them ready for the next day. Although watering may seem simple, there are some key things to bear in mind to keep your garden plants as healthy as possible. Follow our tips to create a faultless watering routine that your plants will love.

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

Watering tips for pot plants and bedding plants

Sun-loving plants such as bougainvillea and oleander like to be given a lot of water. The best time for this is early morning or late evening, when there is least evaporation. If you don't want to set an alarm, set up a watering system with a timer. 

Plants in pots don't just need water when it’s hot: the soil dries out in cloudy or windy weather. Even rainwater often doesn't reach the soil because it runs off the leaves and down the pot. You should check your potted plants’ soil regularly, and water when it's dry.

Watering plants in beds is different as the plants’ roots can grow down and find water. Encourage your plants to root by watering the garden every couple of days, so that they go hunting for water in the soil. In between times, collect rainwater in a barrel for your watering schedule: it's your garden plants' favourite type of water.

Watering tips for hanging plants

If you have a balcony full of plants and hanging baskets, consider using a spray lance or watering wand that fits onto your garden hose, to reach high-up pots easily easily.

You can easily make a plant pot watering system with a PET bottle. Cut off the bottom, make holes in the bottle and plant it upside down amongst the plants. When you add rainwater or water from a watering can into the bottle, it will drip through the holes into the soil.

How to rescue a dried-out plant

If a plant is dry and the leaves are drooping, get a bucket of water and place the plant in it, pot and all, to saturate the soil with water. This trick is also great for a hanging basket suffering from drought. 

Watering your plants while on holiday 

If you are going to be away for a few days, group all your pot plants together out of bright sunlight, so they can shelter and protect each other. If you expect it to get very hot, place them in the shade.

If it's just for a few days or over a weekend, place a deep saucer under the potted plants. Give each plant a good watering, and leave some water in the saucer so that it can enjoy that drink for longer. If you're away for a week or more, ask a neighbour or friend to be your plant sitter, and come over and water the plants.