I’m a gardening expert – my simple test to know if your plants need watering & the best time of day to do it | The Sun

WATERING your plants is a chore, but using expert-approved strategies can make it less work.

Garden pros know exactly when to water your plants, and shared the foolproof trick for finding out what they need.

The pros at Gardening, Etc. explained the best way to water your container plants, including some simple formulas that will make the process easier.

One thing to keep in mind is that every plant will have different needs based on species and location.

"A heavily flowering patio plant in a container in hot sunny weather may need watering daily, even twice," the experts wrote.

On the other hand, "a fern in a garden planter in a shady spot could perhaps go up to a week without seeing the watering can."


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According to gardening expert Divya Choudhary, you can give plant pots a quick pat-down to learn if they need moisture.

"Sticking your finger into the soil to see how dry it is before watering is a good idea," Choudhary explained. "Watering when the soil is already moist can lead to problems such as root rot."

Kevin Rodrigues, another plant-care expert, said he always waters container plants until water begins draining from the planter's holes.

"This ensures that the moisture in the potting soil will last longer," Rodrigues said.

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It's a good way to build hardiness and avoid wilting, too. "It will make the plants more resistant to periods where there is a lack of moisture," he added.

You can follow a rule of thumb the Royal Horticultural Society advocates: add 10 percent of the container's volume every time you water.

So, if your favorite plant sits in a 10-liter container, empty one liter of water each time you water that plant.

Watering at the right time of day helps, too.

Avoid watering in the evening, for example, which leaves soil moist overnight and open to mildew, snails, slugs, or root rot.  

"The RHS experts say it’s always best to water your container gardening ideas in the morning if possible," the experts wrote.

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Once the sun rises, your plants will actually start "using" the water.

Give them a cool drink in the mornings, and your plants will look fresh and vibrant all day.

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