How Much Should I Be Watering My Plant?


How fickle some plants can be when it comes to watering--do their leaves tend to get droopy, dried up and sad when thirsty, or are the leaves turning yellow-brown and falling off from root rot and overwatering?   For many gardeners, the age-old question of just how much water we should be spraying our gardens and filling out pots continues to be a prominent curiosity. While many species differ in their plant-specific watering needs and maintenance, Kathy Crowley of Crowley Nurseries & Gardens, LLC. weighs in on some generic, easy-to-remember and follow tips to keep your green babies happy and hydrated at home.  

SRQ: I just purchased a new plant, but have no idea how much to water it. How often should I be watering to ensure it doesn't die?

Kathy: Watering is an important factor for the life of your plant. Picture your tree and it is raining, where does the rainwater go?  It goes around the drip line of your tree, not on the root ball.  The root ball is the last place for the roots to dry and watering the root ball will cause root rot especially to newly planted plants.  Using drip irrigation around the drip line will keep the water off the leaves.  Keeping water off the leaves helps to prevent fungus buildup or bug infestation.  New plants should be watered about three times a week depending on the weather.  Many customers come in and ask, 'How do I know how much to water?'  Picture the size pot your plant came in and that should be the amount of watering you should do three times a week, for the first month, at which time the tree or plant should be ready for regular watering. Also, never fertilize when you first plant your plant, as you can burn the new roots.  Wait at least a month before adding any fertilizer around your plant.  

If you have a particular gardening question you'd like answered and featured in a future column, email


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