Dannywoo Garden is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

How Long Can Outdoor Plants Go Without Water

Plants, like all living things, require water to survive. Plants are thirsty as well. Plants cannot survive without water, but the amount of water they require to stay alive varies greatly.

The length of time a plant can survive without water is determined by a variety of factors, including the plant’s species and size, rate of growth, soil type, whether it is in a container or on the ground, light intensity, and so on.

Plants can usually go for up to 7 days without water. However, the type and maturity level of your plants may influence how long they can go without water.

Variables That May Affect Plants Water Demand

The nature of crops, soil type, climatic factors, the effect of irrigation nature, pests and diseases, and so on are some of the most important factors affecting the demand for water for plants.

Nature of Plants

Plants that need more water, such as fruiting vegetables and flowering plants, will need to be watered more frequently than drought-tolerant plants. The demand for water is also determined by the stage for development.

The size of the plant will also determine how long it can go without water. Because larger plants require more water, they will need to be watered more frequently than smaller plants.

Plants require more water as they mature to maintain the turgor pressure that keeps the cell firm and gives plant structures their distinctive shape.

Larger leaves also mean more surface area available for water loss through transpiration.

Soil Type

Aside from the plant, external factors such as the soil should be considered. How often you need to water your plants is determined by the water retention capacity of your soil.

How well a soil can hold water is determined by its texture, composition, and amount of organic material.

Smaller particles in silt and clay soil have a larger surface area than larger sand particles. This allows the soil to hold more water, which allows plants to go longer between waterings.

Climatic Factors

Because there is more evapo­ration during the summer, plants sown in the summer require more water than plants sown in the winter. Similarly, the amount of humidity has an impact on water demand.

During rainy seasons, the demand for water decreases. Evaporation is accelerated by the wind. Winds that are less strong will reduce demand. The length of the day, as well as direct and indirect sun rays, have an impact on water demand.

Evaporation will increase as temperatures rise, resulting in a greater demand for water.

Effect of Irrigation Nature

The irrigation system has a direct impact on water demand. The drams’ water leakage inflow system necessitates more water.

Drip irrigation or spray system uses 60 to 70 % less water than a traditional irrigation system.

Water demand is influenced by the water supply system that transports water from the source to the fields. Water is lost due to leakage and seepage in drains.

Pests and Diseases

Various diseases have an impact on water demand because diseased plants do not grow, despite the fact that they require a consistent supply of water.

Water demand is also influenced by the quality of irrigation water used in plants, agricultural practices, and soil preparation methods. As a result, the demand for water is directly affected by a mix of agricultural types and irrigation sources.

Weather In Your Area

The amount of water you need to give your plant is affected by its location. If the plant is left outside in hot weather, it will require significantly more water. However, if the weather is cool, you won’t need to water the plant as frequently.

Warm-season plants require a lot more moisture because the heat dries out the soil faster. This will not be an issue when growing cool-season plants because the soil will retain moisture for a much longer period of time.

As the roots can’t spread as far in a container, the plant will require more water. In search of moisture, the plant growing outside can spread its roots deep into the ground.

Season Of The Year

This has two effects on plants’ ability to retain water. Water evaporation from the soil is rapid in the summer, and the soil does not stay moist for long.

Watering is, therefore, necessary for plants that require their soil to be moist at all times. In the winter or during the rainy season, the soil may not dry out as quickly, allowing the plant to survive for longer periods of time without being watered.

The fact that some plants have a growing season and a dormant season also influences their watering requirements.

The plant will require more water and attention during the growing season than during the dormant season. During the dormant season, the plant prefers to be left alone.

Plant Type

The type of plant you’re growing is the most important factor in determining how long it will survive without water.

Succulents, such as cacti, can go for months or even years without needing to be watered. If the succulents are kept outside, they will last for two years without needing to be watered.

Some plants are drought-tolerant, which means they will survive without water for weeks. Plants go dormant when they aren’t getting enough water. They go dormant to survive droughts, but if you water them, they’ll live longer.

Plants Size and Growth

Your plant’s size will determine how long it can go without being watered. Because the larger plant has more foliage, it will require significantly more water to produce food for growth and maintenance.

The amount of water a plant requires is also determined by its age. Because the plant is still a seedling, it will require more frequent watering while it grows.

Because it is better at absorbing and managing water as it matures, the plant will require less frequent watering as it grows older and matures.

Is Your Plant Really Dead?

Plants are fickle and less active during the winter. Many plants go dormant in extreme weather, such as freezing temperatures, and then emerge when conditions are more favorable for growth.

A plant’s leaves fall off while it is dormant, making it appear dead.

Plants go dormant in response to adverse growing conditions, such as when trees or perennial garden plants go dormant in the winter, or when turfgrass in a lawn goes dormant during a period of intense heat or drought.

It’s important to remember that plants aren’t dead at this time; they’re just in a state of dormancy. While the outer leaves and above-ground foliage of the perennial plant may have died back, life still exists in the roots and core of the plant.

How to Revive A Dormant Plant

To get a plant to go dormant, you usually don’t have to do much. This is something that usually happens on its own. Foliage growth may be limited or even cease once a plant has gone dormant, but the roots will continue to grow and thrive.

As a result, fall is often the best and most preferable season for transplanting. Outdoor plants in the ground will not require assistance, but outdoor potted plants may require relocation depending on the climate and type of plant.

Plants can take weeks to come out of dormancy in the spring, depending on your location.

Bring a dormant plant back into indirect light to resurrect it indoors. To encourage new growth, give it a good watering and a boost of fertilizer.

No potted plants should be moved back outside until the threat of frost or freezing temperatures has passed.

A Rule of Thumb Plant Watering Schedule

The best time to water is early in the morning while it’s still cool, as this prepares the plants for a hot day, but with a busy schedule, this isn’t always possible.

Late afternoon or early evening is the second-best time. Watering in the late evening after dark, unless you’re using drip irrigation or a soaker hose, isn’t a good idea because the leaves won’t be able to dry out, allowing fungi to spread.

Spray as little water on the leaves as possible and aim your watering can or hose at the soil. Don’t water the plants from above. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are ideal for this, as they save water.

There are exceptions to the rule of watering in the early morning and early evening. Drought stress is evident if your plants appear wilted. In this case, don’t put off watering them. Do it now, even if it’s a hot afternoon.

Container plants, on the other hand, require significantly more water than plants in the ground. They should be watered on a daily basis, even twice a day on hot days, until the drain holes are completely dry.

Final Verdict

Outdoor container plants require more water than those kept indoors. This is often because of the very fact that higher temperatures, direct sunlight, and wind quickly dry the soil. Here are some helpful tips for watering your potted plants.

Water outdoor potted plants with a drip irrigation system. this enables for gradual, even watering, allowing the soil to soak up the water before it runs through the pot and out the drainage holes.

Apply water early within the morning or late within the evening when temperatures are cooler and therefore the moisture won’t be cooked off before it reaches the roots.

Know your plants and provides them enough water on an everyday basis. Take a step back if you think that you are going too far. Once you’ve worked out a way to water your plants, it’s pretty simple.


Q. Is it necessary to water plants every day?

A: Most plants are harmed by daily watering because it promotes the growth of fungus and root rot. Water deeply but less frequently instead.

Q. Is it possible for plants to recover from a lack of water?

A: Plants will recover if you give them enough deep watering according to their watering schedule.

Q. When is the best time to water plants?

A: The best time to water is early in the morning while it’s still cool, as this prepares the plants for a hot day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top