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Clearing the Water about Watering

Category: Garden Resource, Gardening Tips | Posted by: Mike Riesenberg

You’ve visited with us at White Oak Gardens and just bought a beautiful tree, some shrubs, perennials and annuals. After talking with our staff you’re all squared away with how to plant them – but you also want to know – how often should I water my new plants and how much?

Good question!

Here are some tips to help you water wisely.

Water well after planting.

No matter what it is you are planting – tree or perennial, shrub or annual – in the ground or in a container – always water it well immediately after planting. To water well is to saturate the soil around the plant or plants.

Water when dry.

After planting and the initial soaking, water only when the soil is trending toward dry. Plant roots need cycles of wet and dry. Use your hand or a garden trowel to gently burrow alongside the root ball several inches below the surface. If the soil looks or feels wet, wait a day or two and check again before watering. When the soil is dry and its time to water, water well, saturate the soil around the plant(s).

Look for signs of stress.

Take a mental image of your beautiful plant when you bring it home. If you notice changes in the way it looks, specifically if the leaves droop or if they change color, don’t immediately go to the hose! Check the soil first. Plant leaves will of course droop if the soil is dry, but also if it is wet! How will you know if the plant needs water? Check the soil for dry!

Plants in containers

Plants in containers, such as a colorful annual arrangement, will need more frequent watering – perhaps as often as every day, every other day, or every third day – depending on weather. Look at the plant and check the soil for dry before watering!

Plants in the ground

Plants in the ground will require less frequent watering. New perennials planted in the ground may need watering every 3 or 4 days at first, and less often as they become established. Newly planted trees and shrubs may need watered once every 5 to 7 days at first, and less frequently as they become established. Look at the plant and check the soil for dry before watering!

What if it rains?

Never count on rain to water your plants – but if it does rain you may get a pass on watering for the day. How will you know if it has rained enough to sufficiently water your plants? Look at the plant and check the soil for moisture content before watering!


Hopefully the above tips clear the water when it comes to watering. Still not sure about how often to water? Call us at 513-385-3313 or visit us at the store!


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