Stop drowning your flowers or losing blooms to dry, crusty soil. Follow these plant watering tips for a thriving flower garden throughout the season. Tips for containers, sun lovers, and more!  Read on to grow your green thumb!

Have you ever wondered how much or how little to water your flower gardens? It can be a tough balance between how much is too much or too little, am I right?

Well today, I’m spilling the secrets to watering your flower garden like a pro so it thrives this year and beyond. Plus, I’m sharing a watering hack that completely changed how I garden forever.

Learn how to properly water your flower gardens with these simple tips!

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Plant Watering Wisdom for a Thriving Flower Garden

As many of you know, I’m passionate about creating gorgeous gardens that are effortless to maintain. And guess what? Proper watering is one of the keys to unlocking that blooming perfection!

The thing with watering is, how much or how little you water largely depends on your soil, what you are growing, how you are growing them, the season, their location in your yard, and how well you water. Here’s what you need to know so you learn how to properly water your flower garden.

Know Your Soil: The Foundation of Hydration

Before you grab the hose , let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: your soil. Think of it as the foundation of your plant’s hydration system. Well-draining soil allows water to reach the roots efficiently while preventing waterlogging that can drown them.

So, how do you know if your soil is up to the task?

There’s a simple DIY test! Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and wide, fill it with water, and observe. If the water drains within a few hours, you’ve got well-draining soil. If it takes much longer, you might need to amend your soil with compost, leaf mold, and other organic matter to improve drainage.

It’s also a good idea to test your soil to determine what nutrients it has or is lacking so you can amend the soil accordingly. This will overall help with hydration. Ask your local cooperative extension for a kit or you can buy a soil test kit online. Remember, happy soil equals happy plants!

aromatto basil and fountain in cut flower garden
aromatto basil and fountain in cut flower garden

Seasonal Shifts: Watering with the Rhythms of Nature

Just like us, plants adjust their thirst with the seasons. For example, spring in New Jersey can be more temperate with lots of rain. With cooler temperatures and more rain, I don’t physically water my garden plants as much, even when they are in containers because the weather takes care of it for me. If we don’t get rain, then I will do supplemental watering.

Summer demands deeper frequent soakings to reach thirsty roots hidden below the hot surface. If you are gardening in containers or raised garden beds, you might be watering daily, sometimes even two times per day if it’s hot and dry enough.

As fall arrives, I gradually taper off watering to prepare plants for winter. The air gets a bit cooler, New Jersey tends to get more rain, so I back off my watering practices more.

And speaking of winter, more established plants only need minimal watering during this dormant period. If you planted new evergreens and trees however, they may need to be watered if there’s no rain or snow to keep them hydrated.

It’s important to pay attention to your seasons, how much rain you get, and check the soil to see when and how often you need to water.

How to Check Your Soil

The best way to learn about your soil and determine whether your plants need to be watered is to stick your finger down into the soil. Does it feel dry? Or is it soaked? Getting a feel for your soil will help you learn how dry or wet it is so you know how often you need to water. So listen to your garden throughout the seasons and your garden will reward you with lots of pretty flowers.

zen garden with gorgeous container gardens filled with pink and yellow flowers

Container Gardens, Hanging Baskets, and Window Boxes vs. In-Ground Plantings: Watering Tailored to Their Homes

Container gardens bring instant floral charm, but their residents have will have unique watering needs. Unlike their in-ground counterparts, container plants are surrounded by limited soil, which dries out faster, particularly in the summer heat. So, be prepared to water them more frequently, especially during hot spells.

Watering Hack for Planters, Hanging Baskets and Window Boxes

Many of us know about drip irrigation systems for in-ground gardens, but did you know that there are easy kits you can buy for your planters too?

Let me tell you, these drip irrigation kits set on timers are total game changers where planting in containers is concerned. Because you could spend hours watering in the summer if you don’t set up some sort of drip irrigation system for them.

I run these drip irrigation kits to all of my planters, hanging baskets, and window boxes set on timers so they are set and forget all season long. Now I will say that I check them frequently to make sure they aren’t getting over or under-watered. And if they need adjusting, I adjust!

Overall these kits are easy to install, use, and are MUST-HAVES if you garden with any sort of planters because they will significantly cut down on your watering chores.

To accommodate the drip system and still be able to use a garden hose, I use these two or four-way hose splitters too. This addition to my gardens has quite literally changed my gardening life with how well they bloom and grow. So I can’t recommend these enough.

front of farmhouse with lots of pretty flowers in the gardens

Plant Watering Wisdom: Each Flower Has Its Preference

Did you know that sunflowers, roses, and petunias are water guzzlers, while lavender and sedum autumn joy are drought-tolerant champions? Thus, different flower types have varying water requirements. To avoid underwatering or overwatering your precious blooms, group them based on their watering needs. You can find this information on plant tags and plant descriptions for the flowers you plant.

Location, Location, Location: Watering Based on the Big Picture

Environmental factors like sunlight, wind, and humidity can greatly affect how much or how little you need to water. Plants basking in full sun will dry out much faster than their shade-loving buddies. Similarly, windy or humid days might require adjustments too. Your garden is a microclimate, so observe and adapt your watering based on its unique needs. Walk and enjoy your flower gardens every day so you can learn what they need as it grows so your blooms thrive!

front porch planters and hanging baskets with pretty flowers

How to Water Plants: Target the Roots, Not the Foliage – Watering Wisdom in Action

Here’s a golden rule: aim for the roots, not the foliage. This is why drip irrigation and soaker hoses work so well. Overhead watering can encourage fungal diseases. Instead, use watering cans, soaker hoses, or drip irrigation systems to deliver water directly to the root zone. Think of it as a targeted spa treatment for your thirsty plants. Trust me, they’ll appreciate the precision!

One of the reasons you don’t want to water from above is because when the foliage stays wet and the sun goes down, that water does not evaporate as well which causes fungal problems. The same goes for the soil. When plants sit in wet soggy soil overnight it encourages pest and disease problems.

In addition to watering the base of plants, it’s also really important to water in the earlier part of the day instead of later in the day. It is better for your flower garden and plants because they will have a chance to dry out before nightfall when the temperatures cool.

zinnia flowers in the cottage garden
Zinnia flowers in the cottage garden

Bloom with Confidence

By understanding your soil, respecting the seasons, and catering to individual plant needs, you’ll become a watering master! Close observation and experimentation are key to learning what works best for you and your garden. So keep and eye on your garden and adjust your approach when necessary. How we water flower beds in May will look different from how we water them in July.

If you ever have questions, my social media channels and website are always open for your gardening inquiries! Happy Gardening!

More About Watering Your Flower Garden

How often do you water your flower gardens? Have you ever used drip irrigation before? I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

butterfly on gomphrena in zone 6a new jersey garden
Gomphrena Truffala Pink Flowers with Swallowtail Butterfly and Abelia

Garden Supplies I Use

Since I’ve been gardening for well over twenty-five years, I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. Here are some of my favorites that I use in no particular order.

dahlia kogane fubuki in the potager garden

Click here to shop my favorite garden supplies!

Buy My Book

Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.

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picture of beautiful cottage garden flowers
daffodil garden in early spring

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variety of vibrant dahlia flowers in a colorful cut flower garden

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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

stacy ling cutting dahlias in her garden

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  1. Good morning, why do you hang the little clay pots in your garden? Is this a welcome for insects or just decorative? It looks cute, but just wondering?
    Have a wonderful day…

    1. Hey there Shirley! They help me see the green garden stakes while I’m working so I don’t injure an eye, they look cute and they also organically collect earwigs to keep them from eating my plants! xo