Plant, Shrub & Tree Watering Guidelines

About Watering

Three things are required for every plant: air, earth and most of all, water.  Water is vital in transporting soil nutrients.  The presence of water in the soil governs how deep a plant sends roots into the earth, and this in turn is directly related to its ability to withstand drought. Proper watering is the key to healthy and beautiful plants.  However, homeowners lose far more trees, shrubs, and perennials to over watering than any other reason.

How Much Water

Many factors play a role in how much water each specific plant needs.  These factors include, but are not limited to:  plant variety, temperature, humidity, wind, soil type, and soil condition.  Too much water and your plants root zone stays saturated and can no longer take up oxygen.  The plant will slowly die.  However, if you do not water adequately, the plant will begin wilting and eventually expire.  A general guideline for new plants is:

  • Trees:  Once every two weeks, two inches of water
  • Shrubs: Once a week, one inch of water
  • Perennials: Once a week initially, finger test biweekly

These are general guidelines for watering and we suggest that prior to watering new plants check for soil saturation levels. If the root zone and surrounding soil is wet, let dry out before watering again.

Deep Watering

It is suggested to begin deep watering early on with new plants.  Deep watering discourages surface rooting plants and promotes a deep root system.  Well rooted plants are able to resist drought early on.  Homeowners are under a mistaken assumption automatic sprinkler systems are a way to water their lawn and landscape plants too.  Frequent lawn watering does not allow room for oxygen in the soil and deep roots do not form.  The plants become dependant on the water supply and usually have a difficult time sending out enough roots to sustain the plant in dry conditions.

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