Summer Water for Potted Plants

Outdoor potted plants are an excellent option for any climate, but especially for those that experience extreme heat or cold. The reason being is that they can easily be reorganized around from place to place and moved inside or outside depending on the weather.

Caring for potted plants is always a little bit more difficult than those planted into the ground and the margin of error is much thinner, especially as the summer temperatures start to climb. Nothing is more important though in the summer months than watering and potted plants have their own unique set of needs and challenges. We have laid out a list of tips to follow.

When to Water?

Watering potted plants is best done in the early morning or in the later evening so that they get plenty of time to absorb the added moisture during the coolest parts of the day. Sometimes a plant’s needs will not wait for the evening to arrive though so it is important to get in the habit of checking the plant soil for dryness and intervening as soon as you identify an issue.

While most potted plants are able to take a temporary drying out of the soil, it is important to recognize that the heat of the summer adds another layer of stress that can compound with dry roots and possibly kill the plant. A good guideline is to water whenever the first inch of soil gets dry. That is enough to keep the plant thriving without overwatering.

How Often to Water?

Most potted plants require twice daily watering during the summer months but that obviously depends on the variety of plant. Native perennials are the most evolutionarily prepared for the heat and will likely require less frequent watering during the summer months. Watering potted plants can also be fairly wasteful and direct application from a hose of even a watering can is not recommended. The best method is to setup shallow tubs where the potted plant can soak up to just below the soil line and slowly absorb the moisture.

How to Conserve Water?

Here are a couple ways to conserve water when caring for potted plants that will make you a good steward of the environment, while saving a few bucks on your water bill.

  • Use glazed ceramic pots as they reflect the sun’s rays and remain cooler than their unglazed counterparts.
  • Leave the top 1-2 inches of soil exposed on each container and mulch them up to the crown line often. Mulch keeps soil moist by acting a sponge for any added water and slowly releasing it into the soil.

Potted plants are a beautiful addition to any home. Whether it’s a patio setup or a sun room inside of the house, these truly mobile and versatile plants can improve the feel and quality of any environment.