Watering plants

The best way of watering plants

Watering is key to growing healthy plants. It’s crucial to get it right.

Underwatering can lead to leggy plants – this is because the roots grow too vigorously in order to find water.

However, overwatering can lead to soil becoming waterlogged. And this can cause rot and drown the plants.

Different plants and soil types need different amounts of water. Research your plants and check your soil type to make sure you give them the ideal amount of moisture.

How do I water my plants?

Use a watering can or a hose with a spray attachment. This will help you cover the soil generously without soaking the plants. The water needs to reach the plant roots – if you don’t use enough water, you’ll only dampen the upper layers of soil. This often leads to shallow root growth. Shallow roots can’t fully support the plant, especially in windy environments.

Equally, too much water can clog the soil, encourage rot, and eventually drown the plants.

Water at the base of the stem to help water reach the roots easily. If your plants sit in close proximity to each other – like bedding plants – avoid watering them directly overhead. Too much water gathering on the leaves can encourage mold and rot.

Some gardeners install drip irrigation systems for their bedding plants. Irrigation systems drip water slowly and steadily into the soil. It means water can reach the roots directly without gathering on the leaves or over the soil.

How often should I water plants?

Just as some plants need more water than others, different soil types need different amounts of water. Carry out the squeeze test to check the soil in your garden. 

  • Loam soil is a combination of sand, silt, and clay soil. You should generously water plants in loam 2-3 times each week.
  • Clay soil can be prone to waterlog, which can seriously damage any plants. We’d recommend watering clay soil once or twice a week – but be careful to avoid waterlogging.
  • Unlike clay soil, sandy soil drains water quickly. It can be prone to overheating or dehydration, too. If possible, sandy soil should be watered daily – especially during summer.

When should I water plants?

The best time to water plants? Early evening. It gives your plants the most time to absorb moisture overnight and drain any excess water from the leaves.

If you water plants during the day, the moisture could evaporate before it soaks into the soil, especially if it’s hot and sunny.


We always recommend learning about the plants in your garden to ensure you take the best care of them. It’s equally important to take care of your soil, too – be that by preparing for planting or improving the structure and drainage.

Potted plants can need more thorough watering than bedding or ground plants.

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