Whether flowers live outdoors or indoors, they require water to thrive. Many people overwater or underwater their flowering plants, however, causing the plants to become diseased or to wither. Understanding the best flower watering techniques can help gardeners of every skill level maintain healthy plants with beautiful blossoms. When it comes to outdoor gardening, the best flower watering technique is one that takes into consideration the weather conditions and concentrates water at the plants’ roots. The best indoor techniques keep water away from the plants’ blossoms and promote soil health.
Most outdoor flowering plants are active in late spring and summer, when the sun is at its hottest. In order to keep plants hardy when temperatures rise, the gardener must practice a careful flower watering routine. During the hot months, it is best to water flowers in the early morning. This practice allows the plants to soak up plenty of water before they are hit by intense sunlight, which could otherwise cause them to wither. Even if early morning watering is not possible, an effort should be made to water plants several hours before sundown, as overnight dampness and chill can lead to disease.
Another important part of outdoor flower watering is concentrating water at the plants’ roots rather than their leaves, a practice which makes the water easy to absorb and discourages the diseases that can thrive on damp leaves. Many people water their gardens with oscillating sprinklers. These devices require little attention and are thus convenient, but they tend to soak plants’ tops, leaving their roots dry. For healthy plants and lush flowers, a better choice is a soaker hose, a long, flat tube which is pierced with many small holes. Soaker hoses are connected to a water source and then laid directly on the flower bed, allowing water to penetrate the soil while keeping the plants’ upper parts dry.
The blossoms of many indoor flowering plants can be damaged by direct contact with water. A technique called wicking can keep plants’ roots nourished without directly exposing the blossoms to water. Plant wicks are thin cords made from natural fibers, available from most gardening centers. The wick is soaked in water and then one end is inserted into the plant’s soil while the other is placed in a bowl of water. Over time, the plant’s roots “drink” the water through the wick, thus eliminating the possibility of damp blossoms.
Indoor flower watering should also be carried out with attention to plants’ soil health, as good soil is necessary to root support. Obviously, keeping soil moist is crucial, but care must also be taken to distribute moisture evenly. Consistently watering in one spot can create a “tunnel” in the soil through which water will exit before it can be drawn in by the plant’s roots. Avoid this problem by spreading water over the entire soil surface.