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Watering Guidelines for New Perennials and Shrubs


Landscaping is a big investment. If you hire a reputable landscape design-build firm to create your plan there is an excellent chance your plants will do well in their chosen locations. …But just because you paid someone to put the right plants in the right places does not mean you are done once the installation is complete. Plants are living things and they need water to survive much like you and I.
Knowing how much to water and when can be a challenge for some.
- If you water too much the roots will rot and the plant will die.
- If you water too little the roots will harden off and the plant will die.


When your plants are first installed, the soil used to back fill inside of the hole around the new plant is loose and will hold water like a pot. Your plant will slowly absorb and use this water over the next 24 hours. After a few weeks the soil around your new plant will start to settle and you will not need to water as much. Once your plant is watered in (meaning the loose soil used to backfill has settled) you could reduce how much you water.
Here is a basic guideline to watering new flowers and shrubs


With a shower nozzle on your hose -

Week 1
- Water perennials 30 seconds one time per day for the first week
- Water shrubs 60 seconds one time per day for the first week
Week 2, 3, and 4
- Water perennials 30 seconds one time every other day
- Water shrubs 60 seconds one time every other day
After the first month
- Water perennials 30 seconds one time per week
- Water shrubs 60 seconds one time per week
After the second month if there has not been any rain in over 2 weeks
- Water perennials 30 seconds one time per week
- Water shrubs 60 seconds one time per week


Below are some cut away illustrations that explain how water moves through the soil in the first weeks after planting before the soil has settled.


new plant watering
new plant watering
new plant watering
new plant watering


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Article and Illustrations provided by Scott Flanagan

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Scott Flanagan Landscape    708.460.5884    sfl@scottflanaganlandscape.com
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