Basic Watering Guidelines for New Plantings

All plantings should be watered (soaked) and then let to dry out. The drying out is essential. If you continually water before they are dry they can get "wet feet" and start rotting the bottom of the roots. This is the most common reason we replace plantings.

First Month Watering

Starting from the smallest plants first for the first 2 weeks:

  • Groundcover plants every day or every other day
  • Perennial plantings every other day to every 3-4 days
  • Shrubs once to twice a week to every 5-6 days
  • Trees Once every 5-7 days

From 2-4 weeks, just step everything back. Ex: instead of every day or 2, go to every other day to every 3-4 days ….. And so on.

After the First Month

After a month you want to step all the watering back:

  • Groundcover plants every other day to every 3-4 days
  • Perennial plantings once to twice a week to every 5-6 days
  • Shrubs once every 5-7 days
  • Trees once every 10-14 days

General Guidelines

These are general guidelines for the timing of watering. If it’s very warm out the timing should be a little more often, or if it’s cool or rainy a little less. Because over watering is bad, don’t hesitate to dig away some of the mulch and some soil to check the soils dampness.

Plants like to be soaked well and then dry out before the next watering.

These watering guidelines are critical to the success of your plantings so please be very conscious of this.  But do not worry, your plants are under warranty. Good luck and don’t hesitate to call or write with further questions.

Additional Resources

The Morton Arboretum website has great information on watering.

Lastly, we highly recommend root fertilization for all your new plantings. Bartlett Tree experts provide the best service we believe. If you’re interested, please email Skeet at He’s the best!