What is the Best Time Of Day To Water Plants In Hot Weather?


Summer is associated with high temperatures and hot weather. And when it comes watering, sometimes it can bring additional struggles to plants. Gardeners and plant lovers need to be especially careful during that time.

In hot weather, plants are much more thirsty and require more water. However, if they get hydrated at the wrong time of the day, it can lead to a bunch of problems and even the death of the plants.

What is the best time to water plants on hot sunny days?

In the summer,  when the weather is at its peak, it is recommended to water plants either in the early morning or in the evening. This is because the temperature is low and the weather is cooler in this time of the day, and it allows the water to soak in the soil and keep moist longer.

It is recommended to give a good drench before the warm weather kicks in. However, it has to be done very early in the morning, before the sun comes out. This way, plants also will have more power to deal better with the sun’s heat.

If the plants are watered in the afternoon, the moisture will evaporate and be lost before it has any effect. We all agree that plants must not be watered when the sun is up.

There was a myth that watering under the sun caused the scorched leaves, this is not right. However, still, it is not efficient to water them under direct rays.

If you decide to water the plants in the evening, then the plants will have plenty of time for drying out. Additionally, the water will most likely reach the roots during the night.

It is recommended to make sure that all layers of the soil are wet and it reaches the roots. When you lightly hydrate plants regularly, it will cause shallow rooting and as a result, plants will become less drought tolerant. Therefore, it is always a good idea to water plants more seldom but thoroughly.

Additionally, watch the soil surface. Sometimes, it can form a hard pen and therefore, will not let the water run freely. To keep the soil moist and to avoid hard pen formation, you can use mulch.

Importance Of Watering

a person watering a plant
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

There is no doubt that in hot weather plants require more water even Succulents which is known that it stores water. All living things require water in order to hold chemical reactions in the cells that will provide them with energy for growth. Water is also needed to carry the nutrients from the soil to every cell of the foliage.

There are breathing holes located in the leaves that are called Stomata.

Stomata is a needed process for gas exchange during photosynthesis.  On sunny days, more carbon dioxide is used to make sugars through the photosynthesis process. Energy is lost and water replaces this energy. Additionally, water is needed to cool the plants down.

When the plants lack the amount of water, they decrease the Stomata and photosynthesis process and can be found in difficult situations.

If the lack of water gets severe, then the cells of the plants will start to die. Generally, when the plant is wilting, it can be recovered quickly by water. However, if this happens constantly, then it can cause the death of the plant.

Why Timing Is Important?

Professional gardeners recommend watering plants in the morning when the temperature is cooler. This is the time when the water is the most beneficial. This way, the water does not get evaporated in the heat. It also provides enough water for the roots and hydrates the plant throughout the day.

If morning watering is not a good option for you, then you can hydrate your plants in the early evening after the heat level is down and the sun is gone. However, it can lead to some complications.

If you observe your plant’s behavior carefully, then it will eventually tell you when to water. By carefully checking out, you can guess when it requires more water and if it received too much moisture. Sometimes, the foliage drops during the hot weather.

This is not because of the lack of water. It mostly is a defense mechanism against heat. By drooping, the plants use the resources more efficiently, and typically, they revive the next morning. It is always better to move the potted plants to the shade when the sun is “burning”.

Mistakes to Avoid

Yes, plants love water and need it for survival. However, even if the surface looks dry, deep down the soil can still be wet. Many plants have good root depth and therefore can reach down where the moisture is still present.

Some gardeners consider that the thumb rule for watering is that if the plant is not wilting, then it has enough water. However, it is not recommended to wait until this happens.

For example, some plants such as vegetables will require daily watering. If not hydrated on time, their roots will get split. In some cases, over watering is the biggest threat to the plants. Giving too much water can cause root rot which will lead to death.

You need to be consistent when watering. Check the moisture level every time before watering around the base of the plants. You can also have a stick to check if there is still moisture deep in the soil. Depending on the specifications of your plant, you have to make a schedule that suits it the most.

You may think that the plant has enough water after the rain and may not give it some more. However, it is not always the case. Actually, watering can be more beneficial after the rain. This is because the soil is already soft and will accept the soaking more effectively.

Watering Plants At Night

Evening watering is an option, however, it is pretty risky. Late-night watering can cause a damp atmosphere and when it stays without evaporation overnight, it can cause mildew and similar problems. Leaves and soil that are wet during the night attract bugs and snails.

So, if you decide to water it in the evening, then make sure to keep it out of the foliage and only pour it on the soil.

Generally, it depends on the weather and temperature. If it is warm enough, watering in the evening will not cause mulch because the temperature will make the moisture dry out on time.

Water Plants In Winter

Plants lose much less amount of water in winter because the evaporation is greatly reduced. However, it is also very important to adjust the watering schedule according to the temperature.

In winter, it can be a little difficult to figure out when to water. Unlike the summer, in the winter it is always better to avoid watering plants the early morning or at night. The plants must be hydrated during the day and by the time of night’s arrival, they should be well dried.

The Verdict

Generally, when asking what is the best time for watering, you will get an answer that in most cases it is depending on the weather and temperature.

However, when the temperature is at its peak and the weather is hot, it is recommended to water your plants very early in the morning, before the sun comes out. This way, the roots will get enough water and stay hydrated during the day.

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Peride Beradze
Peride is an avid planter, Tour Manager and freelance writer. She is a plant collector who mainly focuses on succulents. She loves studying cultures, traveling and learning new languages.

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