Watering Guidelines for New Plantings

Read our information below on our recommended watering guidelines for new plantings.

  • Over watering can damage plants as much as under watering. Finding a moisture balance will assure better plant health.
  • Water the root zone (soil around the roots of plants), not the foliage. If foliage is watered, it is at risk of scorch in the sun, as well as bacterial and fungal diseases.
  • Water should drain into the soil, not run off. Creating basins of soil or mulch around new plants will permit water to be captured near the root zone of plants and it will penetrate the soil in that area with less run off.
  • Watering root zones of plants may be done when convenient.
  • Use your finger to check moisture in the soil to a depth of 2”. If your watering routine has been consistent and the soil is moist to the 2” depth then watering should not be needed at this time. Check daily, conditions will change.
  • The soils in this local area consist of mostly clay soils and shale/sandy soils. Shale/sandy soils will crumble apart easily when squeezed in your hand when moist or wet.
  • Clay soils retain moisture longer than shale soils. Clay soils will clump into a sticky ball when squeezed in your hand when moist or wet.

The following are guides for watering quantity and frequency:

Plant Size:

Perennials and Groundcovers

Small Shrubs

Large Shrubs

Trees up to a 3” caliper

Water Quantity:

2 – 4 gallons per each plant

4 – 6 gallons per each plant

8 – 10 gallons per each plant

12-16 gallons per each plant

Average Watering Frequency for Clay Soils:

Every 3 – 4 days (once per day)

Every 4 – 5 days (once per day)

Every 6 – 7 days (once per day)

Every 6 – 7 days (once per day)

Average Watering Frequency for Shale/Sandy Soil:

Every 2 – 3 days (once per day)

Every 3 – 4 days (once per day)

Every 5 – 6 days (once per day)

Every 5 – 6 days (once per day)


Note: To calculate the length of time to water with your garden hose, multiply the (time it takes to fill a gallon container with the water faucet set at low to medium) X (the amount listed above).

Annuals and Perennials may require more frequent watering after initial instillation. This may change after the plants are more established in their soil environment.

We often overlook our plants watering needs during the hot summer months when they need watering the most. If you will be away during a prolonged period please make arrangements for watering.