The Best Time to Water Plants All Year Round

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By Alex Harris

Not sure when should you water your plants? Well, we can definitely help you with that. Watering plants at the right time is essential for their health and growth.

In this guide, we’ll familiarize you with the best time to water your plants all year round so you can enjoy their sight in your backyard or terrace for the longest time possible. Without further ado, let’s get right to it!

Morning, Afternoon, or Evening Watering?

According to a study published by Iowa State University, you should water your plants in the early morning, specifically between 5:00 and 9:00 AM. It’s the best time of day to water them, no matter what type of plants you have or how good or bad the weather is.

If you don’t have enough time in the morning to water your plants because of your work schedule or other unexpected circumstances, you can water them in the late afternoon. However, try to avoid watering your plants in the evening as it could promote fungal growth.

Different Types of Watering

It’s important to understand the various types of watering, so you can avoid any beginner mistakes.

different types of watering

Vegetable Gardens

Contrary to popular belief, vegetable garden plants aren’t that tolerable to drought. You still need to occasionally water your vegetable gardens with a soaker hose to avoid damaging them, especially on hot days.

Container Plants

Watering your container plant is essential for its growth. When it comes to potted plants, water is considered a fertilizer for them. Inadequately watering your potted plant will make it look scruffy, so the next time you water your lawn, make sure that you manually water your container plants instead of relying on your drip irrigation system or sprinkler.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs must be watered deeply, even if rainfall is a common occasion in your region. Preserving their roots is key to sustaining their health.

House Plants

A houseplant usually requires less maintenance than outdoor plants. Watering your indoor plant once every 1-3 weeks would be more than enough.

Annual and Perennial Plant Watering

Annual plants need a single season to get their lifecycle done, while perennial plants require several seasons. Understanding which plants are annual or perennial is crucial when figuring out the best time to water them.

Unlike annual plants, such as impatiens and cosmos, perennial plants are resistant to drought thanks to their deep roots. This means that watering them a couple of times a week during summer would be more than enough; just make sure that you water them deeply.

Some of the most popular perennial plants include false indigo and coneflower.

On the other hand, annual plants require more frequent watering during heat waves because of their shallow roots. Therefore, you might need to water them daily or every other day, depending on how severe the heatwave is.

What to Do With Wilted Plants

Are your favorite plants wilting? Don’t panic! In many cases, wilting can just be the plants’ natural response to heat waves. Your plants should be back to normal before dusk if the reason behind them wilting was the temperature.

If your plants are wilting 24/7, you might be dealing with a disease or pest problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions on watering plants.

What Is the Best Time to Water Plants in Hot Weather?

The best time to water your plants during hot summer days is in the early morning. It gives your plants the water they need to withstand the heat. Not to mention, watering your plants in the early morning is ideal because it prevents water loss due to evaporation.

Another reason why watering your plants in the early morning is recommended is to give them enough time to dry, which helps prevent diseases.

Do Plants Absorb Water at Night?

Yes, plants absorb water at night, but we don’t recommend watering them at that time. While your plants will definitely benefit from some nighttime watering, it’ll take longer for them to dry, leaving your plants vulnerable to fungal infections and powdery mildew.

If you really have to water your plants at night, just water the roots without splashing water on the leaves. You might also want to consider watering them right before dusk.

Should You Water Plants Every Day?

It’s not necessary to water your plants every single day. What really matters is how deep that watering is. Deep watering accelerates the growth of roots downwards. You don’t want your roots to grow near the soil surface, making them prone to dry faster.

As a general rule of thumb, water your plants just once or twice a week as deeply as you can.

Does Spraying Water on Plant Leaves Help?

Yes, spraying plant leaves is definitely a good idea. It helps get rid of the dust particles that accumulate on the leaves over time. It also eliminates fungal spores and insect pests.

However, make sure that you spray your foliage early in the morning to give them some time to dry because leaving them wet for prolonged periods may encourage the development of diseases that need moisture.


To recap, early morning is definitely the best time to water plants all year round, and here’s why:

  • It gives your plants enough time to dry, preventing fungal growth.
  • It’s the perfect time for your plants to benefit the most from the water without losing a large amount of it because of evaporation.
  • During summer, your plants would definitely benefit from a stash of water due to the heat.

Another good time to water your plants is right before dusk.

As for watering frequency, several factors come into play, like weather conditions and the type of your plants (annual or perennial). Generally speaking, annuals need more frequent watering, especially on extremely hot days.

On a final note, remember that morning watering your plants is the only way for them to flourish, so make sure that you keep it at the top of your to-do list.