Most of us have pretty busy morning routines. Whether it is walking your dog or getting ready for work, there are a lot of things to do in the morning, so who’s mad to add plant watering to the list when you can do it in the evening? They wouldn’t mind, right? Well, not quite.
So, should you water indoor plants at night? Truth to be told, watering plants at night can be harmful to your dear green friends and if you turn it into a habit, you might even push them closer to root rot and fungal diseases. When there is no light, the water is not likely to evaporate on time and too much moisture can damage your plants.
In this insightful guide, I will explain which is the ideal watering time and why, and I’ll tell you how to establish a proper watering schedule. Also, I’ll help you solve the most common doubts you may have about indoor plant watering.
Can I Water My Indoor Plants at Night?
As I said previously, it can be very harmful to them.
When you complete this task at night, you probably go to sleep soon after and you don’t leave the lights on, right?
Well, when it is dark and you decide to water plants at night, the liquid that you gave them will not be able to spread nicely and evenly throughout the soil. Your plant won’t be able to “drink” completely as there isn’t enough light and warmth.
“But there is moonlight”, you might say. “My room is pretty light even in the night! Why would watering plants at night be such a bad idea?”
Even if it is so, my dear, that light isn’t nearly as bright and warm as the sunlight and it won’t really help with evaporation.
Thus, diseases that occur when there is too much moisture. It can harm your plants, sometimes even beyond repair.
Let’s take a look at what watering indoor plants at night only can cause.
Problems That Happen When Watering Plants at Night
As I said, there are some very serious issues that watering your plants at night exclusively can cause, so let’s learn what these are so you can understand the harm you can be causing with this habit.
1. Fungal Spreading
Fungi and bacteria are organisms that grow best in wet and moist places.
If the soil of your plant is constantly wet, fungi can target it and they will actually rather enjoy spending time there.
And, if these develop in big numbers, they can damage your plants so much that they can even kill them!
Especially in those cases when your plant is already damaged, whatever it might be.
2. Root Rot Due to Overwatering
Sunlight is one of the most important factors in the life of a healthy plant.
They need it to make food, they need it to breathe, and they need it to get rid of excess water.
With sunlight and its warmth, the plant will absorb the water faster and what isn’t absorbed will quickly evaporate.
Without the warmth that the light provides, none of this would be possible and your plants will be closer to get damaged due to excess liquid.
And if you continue to water them at night time after time, and it keeps staying moist during the night, and it gets waterlogged, one day, you’ll have to deal with quite a serious issue- root rotting.
And it will be eating your plant from inside, and you might not even know it.
With fungi and other pathogens, the problems could be visible on the surface of the soil, and when you have root rot, well… You won’t even have a clue that your plant has got it and that you need to help it somehow.
And when you realize it, perhaps it’ll be too late to save it!
This final problem that I’m going to warn you about isn’t very likely to occur when you water plants indoors, even in the night time, but there is no harm in knowing more about it.
Should you water plants at night during colder months, and leave them without natural source of light (or artificial), and/or heating, it might happen so that the water in the soil freezes.
This “fake frost” can cause the roots to freeze as well, meaning that they won’t be able to absorb nutrients from the water and the soil, thus leaving your beloved plant vulnerable and eventually even dead, especially if the freezing keeps repeating.
When to Water Indoor Plants
Now that I’ve revealed to you that watering at night can be seriously harmful to your plants, the natural question comes to mind – when is actually the optimal time to water plants indoor?
To answer this shortly, I will say just two words – early morning!
Well, before I elaborate on the matter, let me tell you what processes happen during daytime watering.
What Happens When Your Plants Are Watered during Daytime
No matter how dark your home may be, even your indoor plants must be getting some light, right?
Naturally, or they wouldn’t be able to grow or even survive, for that matter.
Even if they don’t get that much of natural light, you surely have some kind of artificial lighting that can promote faster growth and development.
So, what is it that happens a plant is watered during daylight?
The plant can absorb water slowly, allowing it to “spread out” evenly. As it reaches the roots in the amount that the plant needs, the rest disappears into the thin air – evaporates.
Now, during watering, it is possible that some sprinkles of water end up the leaves.
This is no big deal, but if the leaves keep getting wet and staying that way for long, they, too, might start to rot.
But if you pour water during the day, there will be enough time for the surface of the plant to dry as well, leaving it to rest during the night well-fed and safe.
And that’s why it is of high importance for a plant to have enough light after watering.
Now, it can be the case that you are absent from home during the day and you can only water your plants early in the morning. But there isn’t enough light in your room at that time of the day.
Do not despair!
Grow lights can save the day, and if you’re not completely sure which one of how to choose, take a look at my guide on choosing artificial light and some reviews.
Why Should You Water Houseplants in the Early Morning
Well, I don’t mean to say that you should get up at 5 a.m. to give the precious liquid to your plants, but the morning is much better than the noon and especially better than night.
And even though this initial part of the day is usually our busiest, if we want our plants to thrive, we should make some room for this simple chore.
Let me tell you why:
First of all, when you water your plant at the noon or during other, warmer parts of the day, the water you give to your plants can quickly evaporate before your plant gets the chance to absorb the nutrients fully.
And if you water it in the morning, there will not be that much heat and the plant will have more than enough time to absorb the needed amount of water before the rest starts to evaporate.
If you, however, do so during the night, the water will not be able to evaporate at all, thus creating waterlogs that can cause severe diseases to your plants.
We all know that sometimes a few sprinkles of water can end up on the foliage, right?
Well, if watering is done in the morning, there will be enough time for those sprinkles to dry out.
But if you water your plant during the day, when the sunlight is too hot, and some drops end up on the foliage where the sun hits it – well, let me warn you- your plant might get burnt.
And scorched plants are not a happy sight, I would say.
Furthermore, if you water them at night and the foliage doesn’t get dry, some bacteria or fungi might start to develop on the surface of your plant and damage it in that way.
3. Expelling Excess Water
Every plant has these tiny holes called stomata and plants use these to do some kind of breathing.
Stomata open and close and this process, they pass and release water vapor.
This process is called transpiration and it is closest to human breathing.
However, plants need light to complete this process successfully, and without it, excess water can’t evaporate thru stomata.
That is why night-time watering is far away from beneficial for your plant. But when this is done in the morning, there will be enough time for stomata to do their magic and get rid of all that excess water.
4. Water Absorption
Another important thing is that your plants “drink” the precious liquid and all the nutrients from it more quickly during the daytime.
In the night time, all the liquid and much-needed nutrients can get lost in the soil.
And in the morning, the plants will be wide awake and ready to take all that they need before the water gets out of roots’ reach.
Moreover, the air will still not be too hot for all the water to evaporate immediately, so there will be plenty of this valuable drink for your beloved green friends.
As the day gets hotter and the air with it, the evaporation process will begin, but the plants will already have taken all that they need in order to produce energy for themselves.
And finally, when the night comes, the plants will be ready to sleep and all of the excess liquid will have evaporated.
Logically, there will be no chance for root rotting and fungi to appear and ruin your beloved green friends.
Hope my guide helped you understand why the best time to water indoor plants is when you get up.
If you want to share more useful tips with me on the matter, feel free to hit the comment section below. I can’t wait to hear from you!
1. Is It Better to Water Plants at Night or Morning?
It is always better to do this in the morning as the light and warmth of the sunlight which a plant receives during the daylight will help in spreading the liquid through the soil and the excessive amount of liquid will evaporate.
However, if the watering is done at night, especially if you do it more often, some problems like fungal growth and root rot might occur. Needless to say, these can not only damage, but can even kill your plant.
2. Is It Ok to Water Plants at Night?
Even though this isn’t really advisable, you should remember that your plant has its specific demands and needs as well and if it is thirsty, give it water, whenever that might be.
That’s the only scenario in which watering plants at night is justified.
A plant need this valuable liquid to grow and if it looks kinda wilted to you, it’s thirsty, so water it, even if it is evening.
But don’t make a habit out of it as adding water to your plants at night too often can cause numerous problems and damages to your plants.
3. Can You Water Plants at Night?
As I have already explained, if your plants are overly thirsty, even in the daytime is over, give it to them.
Still, you will need to be particularly careful in order to minimize potential problems that night-time watering might cause.
First of all, you will have to pay extra attention not to get any liquid on the foliage.
Water only the roots and avoid wetting the foliage where the pools of water might be created.
Next, watering plants at night only when they are really thirsty. If you are not sure and the soil is not completely dry, better skip it.
Watering at night in combination excessive watering can be lethal to your green friends.
4. When Do Plants Best Absorb Water?
In the early morning, which is why this is ideal time to give them the precious liquid.
During this part of the day, they are wide awake and ready to take the nutrients, so the earlier in the morning you water your plants – the better.
In the morning, the roots are ready to “feed” and the air isn’t too hot for the water to evaporate immediately, so it would be best if you could schedule watering for the earliest part of the day.
5. Should Watering in The Night Be Done during Hot Weather?
We all know how hot summers can be in some areas, so it could come to your mind that it is better to rearrange watering by moving this task to be done the evening, when the air is cooler and the water will not be able to evaporate.
Well, this might not be the smartest thing to do.
Yes, the idea is proper, but still…
Plants need sunlight to absorb water, so watering them at night time, even during hotter days, will not be the smartest choice as you can lead your plants towards the issues that we’ve already discussed.
So, instead of watering your plants at night time or during hot days when the liquid could evaporate quickly, thus endangering their health and life, after all, you should water your plants in the morning.
This will give them enough time to absorb all the liquid they need, along with nutrients, before the air becomes overly hot and the water starts to evaporate.