A common myth: Wilted plants always need more water…
FALSE! Plants often wilt due to heat… in nurseryman’s terms it is called a “heat wilt”. Leaves may go limp and wilt because they are losing water faster than they can replenish it. However, that doesn’t always mean the plant needs water. If the soil is moist, a plant that is wilted at 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon will be standing tall and strong by 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening. That plant doesn’t need water. Plants are a lot like people, if you spend much time in the sun on a hot summer day you’ll be a little wilted too… Sit under a shade tree and drink a glass of water or lemonade and you’ll perk back up!
It’s worth noting that an overwatered and under watered plant along with a plant suffering from heat wilt will look almost identical. So how do you know when to water? The simple answer to a complicated question is to water when the plant gets dry. There are exceptions to this rule but in general you should let plants dry out between watering. Feel the soil. If it feels dry give it a drink of water. If it feels wet, don’t water it.
Click here to read our Watering 101 for a more detailed explanation of watering!