When watering outside flowers, either in the ground or in pots, should the water be poured on the plant or on the ground around the plant? I water the soil around the plant, but my husband just pours it period. We obviously disagree, so can you solve the problem?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Bonnie: It is nice you and your husband share in the watering of your plants. I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but ideally we want to avoid the foliage and water only the soil when possible. This is not always easy to do. Containers are simpler when it comes to watering only the soil. We can hold the watering can or hose at the base of the plant, but in some cases overhead watering cannot be avoided. When we rely on the sprinkler or if we are watering a bed that a hose should not be dragged through, the foliage on our plants gets watered as well as the soil. Of course, Mother Nature is the best overhead waterer of all. The main reason we do not want to water the foliage is because it makes the plants more susceptible to mildew and other disease problems. This is especially true when we water in the late afternoon since the plants may not have time to absorb the moisture before nightfall. It is always best to water during the morning hours. Your plants are lucky to have two caring gardeners in the house!