The Worst Time To Water Plants - Backyard Boss
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The Worst Time To Water Plants

Winter is on its way and by now your plants have been brought in from the cold. At this point, you’re plants are in a cozy spot and comfortable in their pots. The one things left to do is know when the worst and best times to water your plants are.

While it’s probably not the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, watering your plants is crucial! Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult tasks to remember. One day your plant is perky, and the next, it’s drooping. So, what’s the worst time to water plants? Keep reading to find out!

Worst Time to Water Your Plants

Watering Jade Plant
Image credits: Krichevtsevavia Shutterstock

Turns out, the worst time to water your plants is in the afternoon when temperatures are highest. If you are tempted to water in the heat of the day, be careful – this can actually be bad for your plants!

When you water in the afternoon, much more water is lost through evaporation. In the heat, the water doesn’t have enough time to properly soak into the plants roots, thus evaporating from the surface of the soil. Compared to other parts of the day, mornings are the most ineffective; Less water will make its way down into deeper parts of your soil, where it can nourish your plant roots.

If you live in a dry climate or have very low humidity in your home, it’s best to wait until dusk or early morning to water your plants. This way the sun won’t get to it first.

Best Time to Water Your Plants

Watering Plants
Image credits: blackred via Canva

Watering in the mornings is a great way to ensure that your plants get all the hydration they need! When the sun comes up your plants will be able to use the water you give them right away. This is because as soon as the sun starts shining down on your plants, they start to transpire by drawing water up through their roots and out of tiny holes on their leaves known as stomata.

Additionally, morning watering can help keep your foliage and soil from standing in water. After your plants soak up all the water, the rising sun will dry them out. This helps prevent fungal diseases like mildew.

If you happen to forget to water your plants in the morning, don’t worry, evening watering is fine too! The chillier temperatures indicate a smaller amount of water is lost to evaporation.

Tips On How to Water Your Houseplants

Watering houseplants is a simple task that many people overlook. And, overwatering is at the top of the list when it comes to dying house plants. If you want to keep your plants healthy and alive, it’s important to give them the water they need on a regular basis. Here are some tips for making sure your plants stay hydrated:

Check Before You Water

Jade plant being watered by a hand holding a beige watering jug
Image credits: Kevin Malik via Pexels

Check the soil moisture level regularly to see if your plants need watering. The best way to do this is by sticking your finger in the soil 1 to 2 inches down without disturbing the plant’s roots. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water.

An example of this is flowering plants. Your flowering plants will need to be watered regularly – but not too often! This is because flowering plants need more energy to provide you with gorgeous blooms. If you’re not sure how much water they’re getting, it’s better to underwater them than to overwater them.

When the soil surface dries out, it will start to look lighter in color. This is the opposite for soggy soil, it will appear darker in color. If you keep drying it out further, you’ll notice that it starts to crack and pull away from the sides of the pot. When this happens, some damage may already have been done to your plants’ roots. Point being, soil that’s either too wet or too dry can cause damage and even death to a plant.

Type Of Water

watering peace lily
Image credits: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

If you’re using tap water to hydrate your plants, you typically don’t need to worry about chemicals in the water. Although, chlorine or fluoride in your tap water can cause some minor problems. These elements won’t harm most plants, but there are varieties that can’t tolerate them such as ti plants, calatheas, and carnivorous species.

It’s better for your plants, and your wallet, if you switched to rainwater. You can harvest your own right in your backyard to always have on hand.

Not All Plants Are Created Equal

For extra protection you can place your orchid on a pebble tray to ensure to roots don't sit in water.
Image credits: Vasyl Pshyk via Shutterstock

Pay attention to the type of plant you’re watering and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Some plants, like cacti and succulents, require less water than others, while tropical houseplants may need more frequent watering in order to thrive. Be sure to do your research so that you can make an informed decision before pouring your plant a drink.

How To Water Your Plants

Morning outdoor activity to watering aloe vera pot plant, copy space
Image credits: sundaemorning via Shutterstock

There are several different ways you can go about watering your plants. If you prefer to water your potted plants from the top, using a small spouted watering can help keep as much water off the greenery as possible. If you get the foliage completely wet you risk disease.

Water until it comes through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot and then toss out any remaining water after about an hour. This method of watering ensures that each time you douse your plants, you are moistening the entire soil mass, not just the top inch.

Alternatively, watering plants from the bottom is an easy way to ensure that your plants get a thorough soaking every time. To water your plant in this manner, simply place its pot in a saucer or pan filled with water and let it sit until the topsoil becomes moist. Now, remove the pot from the saucer, let the rest of the water drain from the soil, and return it to its original position.

You may notice some salt build up on the upper layer of soil if you frequently water your plants from the bottom. Instead, try watering from the top to wash out the salts. However, don’t allow the soil to reabsorb the already salty mixture that appeared on the soil. In this case the best thing to do is replace the soil.

Overwatering

Watering Houseplant
Image credit: Cassidy Phillips via Unsplash

Take care not to overwater your plants, as this can cause root rot and other problems that can lead to plant death. Instead, water only when the top inch of soil feels dry. The best precautionary measure is to have a moisture meter for more accurate readings.

Got Water?

Watering your plants is a life or death situation, to be a little dramatic. Too much and you risk drowning your plant but too little means they could shrivel and droop. And even better, watering your plants at the wrong time can do more harm than good. This guide is here to steer you in the right direction!

Make sure to share this article with your friends and family — They might thank you for it! Do you have any tips or tricks on how to water your houseplants? Leave a comment below!

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