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Proper Watering Techniques for National Water a Flower Day (May 30)

Although the history of the day is unknown, apparently someone decided that we all need a reminder to water our flowers, because May 30 is National Water a Flower Day!

watering flowers

Celebrate National Water a Flower Day

We all know that watering is good for the plants, but did you know that it provides benefits to you too? Caring for flowers and other plants reduces stress and helps improve our overall mental health. This means that plant care doubles as a form of self-care.

Proper watering techniques and tips

Whether you celebrate National Water a Flower Day by irrigating your own plants or offering to care for a neighbor’s, perhaps while they travel for the long Memorial Day weekend, the following tips may come in handy.

If YOU need to go on vacation, add one of these to your plants and enjoy your vacation knowing your plants are watered while you’re gone.

1. Water at the right time

When you water plants in the middle of the day, a lot of the water evaporates before reaching the roots, and you risk damaging the foliage. Instead, plan to water in the early morning or late evening to give the plants a chance to soak up the moisture before the sun does.

2. Keep the leaves dry

Always water at the base of the plant to avoid getting leaves wet. When exposed to direct sunlight, wet leaves can burn, and when left wet overnight, they might develop mold or disease. Plus, watering at the base of a plant ensures more water reaches the roots, rather than evaporating off of the foliage.

3. Keep the soil moist

Most flowers like to be kept evenly moist, but not wet. Regularly check the moisture level by gently pressing your finger an inch or two into the soil, and when it begins to feel dry, water deeply. For potted flowers, water should start seeping out of the drainage holes. Those in the ground typically need about an inch of water per week; native wildflowers, once established, do not need supplemental water.

4. Water thoroughly but less often

Except for some potted plants, flowers don’t need to be watered every day. Twice every week to ten days should be sufficient for well-draining soil, or once a week for soil that drains slowly. Water thoroughly to ensure moisture penetrates beyond the surface of the soil, aiming for about a half-inch of water each time. To determine what a half-inch of water looks like, set a rain gauge next to the plants when you water.

5. Distribute water evenly

I like to give a little water to each plant I can reach while standing in one spot, then go back and repeat the process, allowing each patch of soil to soak up the water before I give it more. It’s also important to not water on only one side of a plant, as this can lead to lopsided root growth.

6. Add a layer of mulch

To help keep the soil moist between waterings, add a thick layer of mulch around your plants. Mulch also prevents erosion and suppresses weeds that would otherwise use up water and nutrients intended for your plants. I recommend using a natural mulch like undyed woodchips, straw, pine straw, or chopped leaves.

Now that you know how to properly water plants, it’s time to take a mental break and show your flowers some love this National Water a Flower Day.

Proper Watering Techniques for National Water a Flower Day
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Serena Manickam is a freelance editor and writer and sustainable market gardener in rural Virginia. She holds a BA in environmental science and runs Fairydiddle Farm, a small market garden in which she grows no-spray produce and herbs to sell at a local farmer’s market.

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