“Be sure to water your new plants every day” is something we say every day to our Dallas area customers, but there’s more to it than that so here are a few quick watering tips for new plants and some pitfalls to avoid to ensure that you protect your new landscape investment.

New Plantings Have Special Watering Requirements

New plants need to be watered, deeply, every day for the first two weeks after installation. You should be wetting the soil 6-12″ deep to encourage root development. Over watering should be avoided as it can actually inhibit root development. We want the soil to dry out in between waterings to encourage the roots to reach for moisture and thereby establishing more deeply which promotes overall plant health. 

With the prevalence of in-ground sprinkler installations in and around Dallas, we tend to “set it and forget it” with our irrigation systems. Clogged sprinkler heads, or broken ones, can go unnoticed for weeks if your irrigation is set to go off in the early morning hours when you’re fast asleep. Before, and after, any new plantings, you should check your entire sprinkler system to ensure that new plantings are being reached and then set them to go off daily for the first two weeks. Any areas that cannot be reached with the automatic sprinklers should be watered by hand. 

Even heat and drought tolerant plantings like those we use in our xeriscape designs need more water than usual after initial planting until they’re well established, then you can enjoy the benefits of their low-maintenance / low-water upkeep. If you have a lot of sand, or clay in your yard, you may need to adjust the watering schedule accordingly and the same holds true if your plant during dry, or rainy seasons. Your landscape professional can help guide you with how to best care for your new plantings. 


How To Water New Plantings

Watering at the plant base is good practice for new plantings. If you have a border, or larger area of new plantings, this can be done easily with a soaker hose (let it trickle for about 15-20 minutes a day). If you have one new plant among already established ones, consider hand watering to ensure you don’t over water the existing plants. Avoid blasting water on the base of the plant as you can easily erode the newly packed soil around the root ball and the plant can’t absorb run off, so it’s a lose all around. Slow and deep is the name of the game. 

Container flowers and plants need the same care for new installations. They too need to be watered every day until established and then can likely move to an every-other day schedule during the growing season. Not sure if your container needs water? Just stick your finger in the soil, if it’s dry, water. If it’s wet, give the pot time to absorb the water in the soil. Note: Terra cotta pots may need more regular watering as they’re porous which is great to allow water to pass through the pot to avoid problems like root rot, but also means you may need to water more. 

You can also tell if a plant needs more water by looking at it; are the leaves drying up? Curling, wilting or turning brown? If so, that’s a telltale sign your plant is not getting enough water. By the way, these signs apply to already established plants as well.

We recommend watering in the early morning to allow plants to take in all of the water. If you water in the heat of the day, some will evaporate either from the heat of the day, or on our ever-present north Texas winds. A layer of mulch is also recommended to help keep soil retain water and enable more even absorption. 

watering tips for new plants

When watering with a hose, be careful to not erode the soil at the base of the new planting

Regular Monitoring Is Key To Spotting Problems Early

We recommend walking through your garden at least twice a week so you can catch any watering, or insect problems early on before you lose your landscape investment. Even with our weekly maintenance customers, we always want to hear about problems that you might spot in between our visits as quick action can often avoid the loss of a plant without a hiccup in enjoying its beauty. 

Browning and curled leaves are signs of under watering

Splendid Gardens provides professional landscape services to Dallas and surrounding cities in North Texas. We take great pride in delivering customized services to each client, getting to know your yard’s specific needs and your personal tastes. 

Our experienced teams provide a variety of services including landscape design, installation, scheduled maintenance services, custom flagstone and redesign of existing landscapes.  We actively give back to the community by volunteering our services to local projects in need. 

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