Water with Purpose

Mark Peterson

It’s a no-brainer: All plants need water. But how much and how often varies from plant to plant. While there are various recommendations out there, we prefer to rely on scientifically based advice.

Knowing there can be slight variations based on soil, shade, slope, season and species, we encourage these water applications for the following plant types:

  • Lawns — A half-inch of water once a week is sufficient for lawn survival and modest growth.
  • Groundcover, perennials and shrubs — Plants such as jasmine, ivy, salvias, lantana, roses, yaupons and hollies do well with twice a month watering in the absence of rain. The amount is never to exceed 3/4 inch per square foot, or about 1/2 gallon per square foot, per watering event.
  • Trees — Established native and adapted non-native trees rarely need any supplemental irrigation. If one month significantly lacks normal rainfall, then the recommendation is 1 inch per square foot, or about 2/3 gallon per square foot, once per month.
  • Palms — Established palms only need water once a year, at most.

The proper use of recommended watering amounts and schedules will produce healthy plants and reward you with lower water bills.

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