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What Is the Best Time of Day to Water Plants?

By: Jessie Keith

“What time of day should I water my plants?” question from Courtney of Roebling, New Jersey

Answer: It really depends on where you live and what your soil and climate are like. In a very dry region, I’d suggest watering in the evening and possibly again in the morning, depending on the time of year and the severity of drought. But, where you live in the Mid-Atlantic, rainfall is ample, so watering plants in the evening can encourage fungal and bacterial diseases.

My horticultural colleague, Russell Stafford, says, “Water in the morning before the heat of the day, or at daytime hours on cloudy days. Use a hose with a watering wand or watering can to directly irrigate recently installed plants. Soaker hoses, drip systems, and other irrigation methods that directly contact the soil are ideal for established plantings.  (Sprinklers waste water.)” I have to agree, and might also add that I like to water the base of plants, at the root zone, rather than spraying foliage unnecessarily. Of course, if you miss watering in the morning, it does not hurt to water midday or even in the mid-afternoon. It’s just nice for plants to dry out a bit before the evening. Click here for more excellent watering tips from Russell.

Happy gardening,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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