Jul 10, 2018

Tips for Properly Watering Trees, Shrubs & Plants

Water. Everyone knows plants need it to survive. And while everyone knows water is critical for plant and tree survival, you’d be surprised at how many questions we get about watering.

Believe it or not – watering can be complicated. There are actual ways to correctly water. Simply taking a hose out and splashing water on your plants is not effective for the proper growth and health of your plants. Below we’ve summarized our watering techniques and tips. Use these to help give your newly planted and well established plants a chance to thrive!


1) Water Immediately After you Plant

Your new plant is likely under a little bit a of stress from it’s trip from the garden center to your home. Giving your new plant a nice, cool drink will help it get settled it.

2) Water Deeply

Getting water deep into the soil around your new plant will help with healthy root growth. This is most important with trees and shrubs. Surface watering will promote shallow root growth which will result in a weaker root development.

3) Water Only as Much as Your Plant Needs

As a rule of thumb, soil should ideally be moist. This is different from soggy, which you can judge by feel. You can check soil moisture by using a garden trowel and inserting it into the ground to a depth of 2″, and then move the blade of the trowel back and forth to create a small narrow trench. Then use your finger to touch the soil. If it is moist to the touch, then they do not need water.

Signs that your plants/trees are not getting enough water:

  • wilting leaves
  • browning leaves
  • curling or crisping of leaves

4) Do Not Overwater

Not enough water can kill a plant, but too much water can kill one too! Over-watering is a common mistake. Watch for yellowing leaves – a sign of too much water.

5) Use Mulch

During the first few summers of your plants new life, it will have a difficult time dealing with heat and drought. Covering the soils around the plant with organic, wood chip mulch will help hold in the moisture during these periods.

Watering Trees After the First Two Years: After your tree has been established in your yard for two years the roots will be established. This will allow your tree to withstand a wider range of water conditions including on its own because it has a proper root structure.