There are many reasons why consistently watering plants at night isn’t the best option. To start, watering the plants at night doesn’t give them a chance to fully absorb the water since there is no sun, which can lead to root rot and other problems. Another concern with watering the plants at night is that the temperature can freeze, which can cause the plant to fall over if the water turns to ice on the leaves.
However, if you need to water plants at night, your best option is a drip irrigation system. A drip irrigation system works perfectly for indoor and outdoor plants because it delivers water directly to the root system and limits the problem from excess moisture left on a plant.
So, why do people choose nighttime watering for plants? Is the occasional rainstorm at night something you should be concerned about for your plants? Here is the complete guide on why it is best to water plants in the early morning and more!
Why Do People Choose Nighttime Watering for Plants?
First, some gardeners or plant owners choose to water their plants at night because the plant will retain most of its water. If you water an outdoor or indoor plant during the day, especially during a hot summer month, it will lose more water due to the day’s heat through evaporation. The thought process behind night watering is that you can allow the plant to maintain more moisture, which is essential, especially during the summer.
Second, watering outdoor gardens or indoor plants at night matches our 9-5 work schedule. If you cannot give the plants morning watering, then the nighttime is the best option since the plants still need water to survive.
Third, some people use an automatic sprinkler at night to water their grass and outdoor garden. The evening watering schedule works excellent if you cannot get to your outdoor plants during the day, but excess watering can cause more harm than you might notice. For example, overwatering is common, especially at night. If you don’t allow the plants to fully absorb the water between watering schedules, you can harm the plants more.
What are the Reasons You Shouldn’t Water Plants at Night?
There are reasons why people water their houseplants at night. Some include how busy we are, while others are the plants will enjoy holding onto the water longer since it won’t evaporate as fast at night. Here are the concerns about plants’ evening and night watering.
Root Rot / Waterlog Issues
Watering indoor and outdoor potted plants at night can increase the chances of root rot. Even a little water left in mulch or soil consistently can damage the root systems, which can cause the plant to struggle to grow. Without the sun, or at least warmer weather to help absorb the water, you risk suffocating the plant through excess water.
Water Droplets Left on the Leaves
Watering a plant at night can cause problems with wet foliage, especially if you shower the plant quickly as you water your garden. Without the sun to help evaporate the damp leaves, they can rot or develop an infection. Plants that start developing diseases can wilt, which becomes a more complicated problem to fix.
Frozen Water Left on the Leaves
Watering an outdoor plant at night can cause problems if the temperature drops below freezing. Frozen water left on a plant can cause structural damage if the leaves can’t support the additional weight. Depending on how much water remains on the plant leaves and how cold the temperature gets, you can do permanent harm to your plant with night watering when it is cold.
Transpiration is Less Likely to Occur at Night
Plants have stomata, tiny holes that allow water vapor to pass through the plant’s leaves through transpiration. Transpiration is the water movement for photosynthesis and helps keep the plant cool. If you water the plant at night, it won’t absorb as much water, leading to pathogens since there is excess water left in and around the plant.
Any Concern if it Rains at Night in my Outdoor Garden?
Occasional night rain on your outdoor plants won’t become a problem unless the storm causes significant damage to the soil surface. Otherwise, a rainstorm at night does not become a concern for a plant because of how infrequently this happens. Instead, this post stresses why regular night watering shouldn’t be the go-to because of the long-term effects it can have on the plants.
What is the Best Time to Water Plants?
The best time to water your outdoor plants is early morning. The sun and warmer weather allow the moisture to absorb, gives the plant the best chance to go through photosynthesis, and reduce the risk of freezing if the temperature outside drops.
Watering your indoor plants early in the morning also works best if possible. Since your plants are familiar with direct light from a window or being in an area with indirect light, you want the water to absorb in a plant naturally. If you water the plant at night before you go to bed, you risk letting excess water sit at the bottom of the pot, which can cause issues with the root system.
What is a Good Water Option for Night Watering?
If watering the plants at night is still your best option, consider building a DIY drip irrigation system. The drip irrigation system gives the correct amount of water to the plants directly into the roots, which helps eliminate excess water. In addition to using less water and providing water to the plant roots, you limit any excess moisture that can go on the plant’s leaves, which would increase the chance of fungal diseases.
Conclusion: Is it ok to Water Plants at Night?
In summary, proper plant care suggests watering them in the early morning, not at night. Consistent night watering can lead to problems like powdery mildew developing on the leaves of a plant if there is excess water, root rot, and even the plant falling over if the water freezes on the leaves. Not to mention that plants don’t go through much transpiration during the night, so you are wasting water on them.
However, the occasional early evening, night watering, or rainstorm that goes by your outdoor garden should not concern you. If night watering still works best for your schedule during the day, then consider investing in a DIY drip irrigation system. A drip irrigation system provides water directly to the plant’s root system, limits excess water on leaves, and only provides a little water to the plant when it needs it the most.