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The WORST Time to Water Plants (Do It Right)

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Every gardener wants their plants to grow strong and healthy, and watering plants is essential for plants to develop well. Not any time of the day is the right time to water plants. In this article, I will explain in detail all about the worst time to water plants.

Throughout this article, you will learn when is the worst time to water plants in summer, winter, and indoor plants. I will also give important watering tips so you can water all your plants correctly and reduce the risk of disease from incorrect watering. Continue reading to learn all about the worst time to water plants.

When Is the Worst Time to Water Plants?

When Is the Worst Time to Water Plants? Midday and evening are the worst times to water plants. As a gardener, I consider midday the worst time to water plants, especially during the summer on extremely hot days.

Watering during the midday is a waste of water because the heat evaporates faster than the plant can absorb. Also, water droplets on the leaves can act as magnifying glasses, focusing sunlight and potentially causing burns on the plant’s foliage.

On the other hand, watering late in the afternoon or at night is not recommended because it can create a humid environment that favors the growth of fungi and other pathogens. Additionally, if the foliage remains wet overnight, it may become more susceptible to diseases.

In outdoor plants, I always recommend using a drip irrigation system to save water and prevent the leaves of the plants from getting wet, thus avoiding some pests and diseases. Morning is the best time to water plants.

Worst Time to Water Plants in Summer

Undoubtedly, the worst time to water plants in summer is midday. Avoid watering your plants between 12:00 AM and 4:00 PM. At those times, the water will evaporate too quickly, and the plants will not be able to absorb it properly. Also, high temperatures and intense sunlight can cause the water droplets on the leaves to act as magnifying glasses, potentially scorching or burning the plant’s foliage.

Generally, it is not advisable to water in the evening or at night throughout the year. Still, it is especially problematic during the summer. Watering during this time can create a moist environment that encourages the growth of fungi and other pathogens. In addition, if the foliage remains wet at night, it may become more susceptible to disease during warm summer nights.

worst time to water plants in summer
When Is the Worst Time to Water Plants in Summer? Avoid watering your plants between 12:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

Worst Time to Water Plants in Winter

The worst time to water plants in winter is late evening or night. Watering plants late evening or at night during the winter is generally not recommended. That is because the temperatures are colder, and the water on the leaves and soil can freeze overnight. When water freezes, it can damage plant cells and roots, potentially causing harm to the plant.

I have received many consultations from gardeners in northern states who mentioned that they watered in the late evening in winter. In the morning, they found their plants in bad condition. That was because the roots were freezing. Of course, I recommended that they change their watering schedule during the winter to avoid damage to their plants.

Consider that in winter, you will have to reduce watering frequency because plants need much less water than in summer. Also, in the winter, water evaporates much slower than in the summer, so changing the frequency of watering your plants is essential, or you will have root rot problems. Morning or midday is the best time to water plants in winter.

Worst Time to Water Indoor Plants

As a gardener, I believe that to water indoor plants correctly, you must know the requirements of each plant. Watering cacti or succulents that need very little water is not the same as watering a peace lily that will need more water. That is why you must first know the requirements of your indoor plant.

Avoid watering your indoor plants in the late evening or at night. Like outdoor plants, doing so can create a damp environment around the roots, which may encourage fungal growth and lead to root rot. So, remember that the worst time to water indoor plants is during the late evening and night.

It is best to water your indoor plants early in the morning, allowing them to absorb the water properly. Always check the substrate’s moisture before watering, especially during the winter when indoor plants also need less watering.

worst time to water indoor plants
When Is the Worst Time to Water Indoor Plants? Avoid watering your indoor plants in the late evening or at night.

Watering Tips

You already know the worst time to water plants, whether in summer, winter, or indoors. Here are some tips to constantly water your plants correctly and allow them to grow happy and healthy:

Remember not to water during the midday during the summer. In winter, you can water in the morning and midday. In indoor plants, water in the morning.

Watering frequency depends on several factors, including the type of plant, its size, the type of soil, and the environmental conditions.

Water the soil around the base of the plant rather than the foliage. That helps prevent diseases and minimizes water loss due to evaporation. Avoid wetting plant foliage when watering.

Applying a layer of mulch around the base of your plants can help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce evaporation.

If possible, use a drip irrigation system for your outdoor plants. It may be a costly initial investment, but it will bring many benefits, such as water savings and proper plant watering.

Following these tips and knowing the worst time to water plants will reduce the risk of plant stress, pests, and diseases.

watering tips plants
The drip irrigation system is a good option to water your plants properly.

Final Conclusions

Knowing the worst time to water plants is essential to avoid pests, diseases, and plant stress. Of course, you must also know the water requirements of each plant. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, watering a cactus differs from watering a peace lily.

Remember to reduce watering on all your plants outdoors and indoors during the winter. Always use an adequate substrate and only water your plants when necessary. Over-watering also causes pests and diseases. I hope this article will be of great help with your watering schedule.


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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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