New Plant Watering Guides

3 images - roses for sale, a new plant being watered after planting, and a tree in a box for sale

Our Watering Guides for New Plants

Did you know that plants that are taken home and not planted right away should be kept in the shade and watered daily—or more often, as needed based on the size of the plant?  In fact, the thin containers that plants are sold in are designed for temporary use and are not designed to help plants retain water. That means that the soil will dry out very quickly in the heat and sun. In fact, the smaller the plant, the faster it will dry out. Therefore, we recommend planting newly purchased plants in your garden landscape as soon as possible to help ensure their success.

For new, in-ground plantings, we recommend that you give the plant water according to its size at the time of planting in order to help it establish a strong root system in your garden landscape and require less watering once established.

Desert Plant Being WateredFor New Plantings, We Recommend:

  • 1 gallon plant – needs 1 gallon of water each watering
  • 5 gallon plant – needs 5 gallons of water each watering
  • 15 gallon plant – needs 15 gallons of water each watering
  • 24-inch box tree – needs 24 gallons of water each watering
  • 36-inch box tree – needs 36 gallons of water each watering

To determine how much water your current method of irriagtion provides, click the button below to access the Landscape Watering by the Numbers guide from Water - Use it Wisely.

Irrigation Guide

New Summer Plantings – General Watering Guidelines:

Week 1 & 2 Week 3 & 4 Week 5 & 6 Week 7 & 8 Week 9 & After
Water every 1-2 days Water every 3-4 days Water every 4-6 days Water every 7 days Continue with less frequent, deep waterings

New Fall, Winter & Spring Plantings – General Watering Guidelines:

Week 1 & 2 Week 3 & 4 Week 5 & 6 Week 7 & 8 Week 9 & After
Water every 3-4 days Water every 6-7 days Water every 7-10 days Water every 10-14 days Continue with less frequent, deep waterings

Variables that Impact Watering:

  • Adjust watering frequency as needed for hot and windy conditions—additional water may be required.
  • Plants that are 5 gal. and smaller will require more frequent watering during summer.
  • Do not let the root ball dry out during the first month or so...
  • Different types of plants have different watering needs; we can help you tweak the above schedule as needed.
  • The type of soil will impact watering frequency. Sandy soil will dry out faster. Clay soil will hold moisture longer.
  • We recommend amending your existing soil with a planting mix, when planting. Once planted, add mulch on top of the soil to help the plant retain moisture.
  • The deeper you water, the deeper the root system will grow—and the less often you will need to water once the plant is established. (It will take a couple of months for plants to get established during the summer.)
  • The location of the plant is key. The amount of sun that the plant gets—full sun, partial shade, or full shade—will help determine the correct watering frequency.

container gardening from cupertino custom creation with geraniums, bacopa, black petuniasOther Key Watering Resources:

Plants in Containers

Plants planted in containers require special consideration. To learn the do's and don'ts about watering plants in containers, refer to our article, Common Misconceptions About Watering Plants in Containers.

Drip Irrigation over Hand Watering

Did you know that drip irrigation is much more effective than hand watering and is a great way to accurately water your plants while reducing water loss through evaporation. It is also key to your plants' survival during our hot summers. Check out our article, Advantages of Drip Irrigation Over Hand Watering: A Gardener's Guide, to learn more. 

To download a copy of our New Plant Watering Guides by season, click the buttons below:

Summer Planting Guide

Fall, Winter & Spring Planting Guide

Questions? Speak with one of our Trusted Garden Advisors, or visit your favorite local SummerWinds Nursery location.

At SummerWinds, We Guarantee Success!