Learning to water
Container plants should be watered every day when the weather is warm and be sure there is a
drainage hole in the pot.  
Hanging baskets should be watered at least every day from march through October.  Water
thoroughly, so that water runs out the bottom of the basket.  In very hot weather or when plants
are exceptionally big, they may require watering more than once a day.  
shrubs and trees
Watering:  The amount of water needed by a plant depends on the type of plant, the soil,  where it
is planted, (as far as how much sun it is getting) and the time of year that it is planted.  As a result,
it is to impossible to say here exactly how much water a plant will require. Personal experience and
close observation of newly planted shrubs is the best teacher.  Many shrubs (not all) will wilt or
drop leaves to show you they are too dry, so watch newly planted shrubs carefully, until you get
used to how much water they need.  Having said that, don’t purposely let them wilt before you
water, this stresses the plant.
    The following are general rules that seem to work well in most cases.  If planting a new shrub
or tree in March through October water every day for the first 4-5 weeks, then you can probably
start watering every other day until cold temps of winter appear.  Don’t rely on rainfall unless you
receive more than 2” that day.  If planting November through February it will depend on the
weather and the plant.  If it is a new planting water every other day for about a month or two, then
if temps are cold and days are cloudy, once a week may be enough during this period, if it turns
sunny and warm and the plant has not gone dormant, by dropping its leaves, it may need watering
every few days until it turns cold again.  
      Some plants with very large foliage like hydrangea or plants with a big top section like crepe
myrtle may require watering every day in hottest weather the entire first summer, observe them
closely and they will let you know.  When watering make sure the stream of water is going directly
down the center of the plant, so that it will hit all sides of the root ball.  If watering with a normal
hose, with a good stream of water it may take only 10-15 seconds or so a plant on most 1 and 3
gallon plants.  This doesn’t sound like much but if done correctly, you are putting several gallons
of water in a very concentrated area where the plants roots are.  On much larger plants you may
want to water them 25 to 30 seconds a plant.  Under no circumstances should you leave a hose
running or dripping on the plant, this is not the way to water.  Irrigation systems are better than
nothing but they tend to water some plants too much and others not enough, resulting in the loss of
a few plants, so only use these if you cannot water by hand, don’t try both methods at the same
time.  Once plants have made it through one growing season they usually have enough roots out
that they can survive on rain from then on, or with an irrigation system.  Exceptions to this: In
times of drought plants will require extra water and plants under trees or within a trees root system
will require extra water.  
    A lot of people think they don’t have to water because it has rained a lot, even though the ground
may be saturated every where, a plant will suck the water out of the area where its roots are within
a day in  hot weather and may become dry even though the surrounding soil is wet.   
 It is best to water plants early in the morning, not late in the evening.  Due to fungus and disease


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