The Worst Time To Water Plants (When Not To Water Plants)

Watering your plants is a great way to keep them happy and hydrated. Whether it’s your outdoor or indoor plants, it’s necessary to water them from time to time. However, watering involves more than grabbing a garden hose to hydrate your plants.

One thing to consider when hydrating your plants is timing. The time you choose to water can be a blessing or a curse to your plants. So, have you ever thought about the worst time to water plants? Read on to discover when not to water plants and more.

The Worst Times To Water Your Plants

If you have a fixed schedule, you probably water your indoor or outdoor plants irregularly. You water them in the evening, afternoon, or early morning when you can. And after all the sacrifice, you can’t figure out why the plants look unhealthy.

The main reason why your plants look the way they are is because of poor timing. Below are the two worst times you should not water your plants:


Midday hours are the hottest and the worst to water plants. During these hours, the blazing sun works hard to torment the soil and the plants.

Typically, the sun is a double-edged sword for plants. They need it for photosynthesis, but it can also dehydrate them. So, plants spend their midday converting sunlight and water into energy. They also protect themselves from sun damage.

Plants need to absorb water to stay hydrated. They take longer to absorb it than the sun takes to evaporate it. The water must seep deep into the ground for the roots to access it.

Unfortunately, much of it escapes through evaporation if you water during midday. Consequently, less water moves down through the soil to the roots.

Midday watering creates competition for water between the sun and plants, and the sun always wins. So, you don’t need to water your plants from 12 AM to 3 PM when temperatures are highest. And who wants to be under the scorching sun with a garden hose or watering can?

Some regions are usually windy during midday. If you use a sprinkler, the strong wind may spill water to unwanted areas instead of landing near the roots.


Another worst time to water plants is in the evening, especially if you do overhead watering. You may think this is the best time to allow plants to absorb water slowly. But the truth is that your plants can remain wet throughout the night and become susceptible to diseases.

Overhead watering in the late evening creates a humid environment that encourages fungal growth. The water lands on the leaves, creating wet spots. These spots are excellent environments for fungi to grow.

Moreover, the water tends to spend longer near the roots, creating a humid environment for mold growth. If the soil stays soggy for longer hours, the roots may begin to rot.

What if you must water your plants in the evening? In this case, you can look for irrigation methods that prevent water from landing on the leaves and stems. For example, try drip irrigation or use a watering can with a long spout. These methods deliver water straight to the soil and near the roots.

Watering straight to the roots is also a great way to reduce water loss. When done in the evening, it can prevent evaporation problems for plants growing in dry regions.

When To Water Your Plants

While watering your plants, there are two main rules you can follow:

  • Don’t water when the sun is blazing.
  • If you use overhead watering, ensure the leaves dry before nightfall.

For these rules to apply, you should look for the best time for watering the plants. So, when should you water plants?

Early Morning

The most appropriate time to water plants is early morning. And to be precise, get the job done from 5 AM to 10 AM.

During these hours, temperatures are low, and the wind is calm. Since it’s yet to be hot, there will be less evaporation. That means plants will have adequate time to absorb and store the water.

You can also use sprinklers without worrying that wind might spill water onto the walls, patio, or driveway. If you wet the foliage, it will dry before nightfall. Watering in the morning protects your plants against leaf spots, mildew, wilting, coils, rust, and anthracnose.

Morning watering can help mitigate the problem of waterlogging. After the plants absorb enough water, the rest will evaporate in the evening. This method helps prevent mold growth in the soil and root rot.

Late Afternoon

Late afternoon is another appropriate time to give your plants something to drink. It’s not the best time, but it should be ideal if you don’t water them in the morning. Of course, it’s necessary to keep your plants hydrated before midday.

Late afternoons allow your plants to absorb water because there’s less evaporation. However, if you wet your foliage, no sun will dry them. Avoid overhead watering that can leave the foliage wet till evening and nightfall.

What Else To Consider When Watering Plants?

Besides the best or worst time to water plants, there are several other things to consider to grow healthy-looking plants. Below are the tips for watering plants:

Inspect the Soil Moisture

Before watering your plants, you need to know whether they need to be hydrated. You can inspect the soil moisture by inserting your finger into the soil. If the soil is dry, your plants might be thirsty and should be watered. Conversely, you don’t need to water the plants if the soil feels wet.

A moisture meter can also help you check soil moisture. Inspecting moisture levels helps prevent overwatering and water clogging.

Water Less Frequently

The weather determines how often you should water your plants. If you live in dry climates, irrigate your plants at least twice weekly. However, check the soil to determine if you need to water them. Water slowly and deeply to ensure moisture reaches the roots.  

Remember that different plants might have varying water requirements. Some plants require more water than others; thus, they should be watered more frequently. You’ll need to water tropical houseplants more often than succulents.

Common sense comes in handy when determining how often to water the plants. If it’s the rainy season, your plants can do well with the rainwater.

Water Near the Roots

The best way to water near the roots is by using drip irrigation. However, if you use a sprinkler, garden hose, or watering can, ensure they point near the roots. This method allows the roots to access water for easy absorption.

Use Suitable Water

Before hydrating your plants, consider the type of water you have. You don’t want your plants to suffer due to the type of water used. Below are the most common types of water you can use to irrigate your plants:

  • Rainwater: This is the best type of water for irrigating plants. It’s rich in nitrogen and oxygen your plants require. You can harvest rainwater at home in rain barrels or a cistern.
  • Tap water: Tap water is another choice to irrigate your plants. However, most people dread using this water due to its high chlorine levels. The good news is that plants can handle chlorine in tap water.
  • Distilled water: Homeowners can use distilled water to hydrate their plants. Just note that it doesn’t have any minerals or contaminants.
  • Spring water: If you can access or buy spring water, use it to irrigate your plants. Spring water contains lots of minerals your plant requires for growth and development.

Wrapping Up

The worst time to water plants is midday and late evening. Midday watering causes more water to evaporate before absorption. On the other hand, watering the plants at night might increase the chances of water clogging, fungal diseases, root rot, and mold growth.

Irrigate your plants in the morning or late afternoon. Use the most suitable waring method to prevent overwatering, wetting foliage, and water wastage.