Plant Water Needs

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with how much water your plants need. Plants selected using the Garden Gallery, Garden Tours, and Plants features of this website have specified water requirements. To determine the water requirement category of an existing plant go to the Main Menu and click on Plants, then click on "Culture" to find the plant's water needs. While this website has an extensive plant list, it is not a complete list. Consult the internet, library, plant societies or clubs, and local nurseries for information on plants that are not included.

Follow your Citys watering schedule:

For Fresno (also in Spanish and Hmong)

If you are not subject to a City watering schedule you should water plants before 9:00 AM and after 6:00 PM.

Below are rules of thumb for watering in a Mediterranean climate. These rules of thumb should not take the place of conducting your own visual assessment of the health and vigor of your plants.


Romneya coulteri - Matilija Poppy

A matilija poppy once established does not need extra watering.


1. Water plants before 9:00 a.m or after 6:00 p.m. or according to your city’s watering schedule.
2. "Very low water use" plants can survive on one weekly or bi-weekly soaking during a dry summer.  A very few truly native species of plants can survive in our region without summer water but most prefer some water at least every two weeks.
3. An 800-square-foot lawn uses 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of water per month depending on the turf/grass type and climate.
4. Many annuals, as well as fruits and vegetables, require moist soil throughout the growing season to produce a good crop.
5. Water young plants often, their root systems tend to dry out quickly. Older plants have established root systems with plenty of root hairs (the organs that collect most of the water for the plant); they do not need as much water as younger plants.
6. Under hot, dry, and/or windy conditions plants use water rapidly. Young or shallow-rooted plants may need extra water, as they cannot absorb enough water to keep foliage from wilting.
7. Early morning before 6:00 a.m is the best time to water to keep your landscaping healthy and disease free.
8. Select plants by their water needs. Group them together by irrigation stations (valves) so all plants served by each station get the proper amount of water. This reduces water waste.


Knowing the water requirements of different plants becomes crucial during hot summer months. A few general rules:


High water-use plants, such as turf, will need watering 3 times per week. Turf is shallow-rooted and fast growing, requiring frequent irrigation.
Moderate water-use plants (everyday ornamentals) need watering 2 times per week.
Low water-use plants, such as Mediterranean and many California natives, need only 1 watering day per week.
Very low water-use plants will need no more than 1 watering day every other week.


For more tips on watering schedules, go to the Watering Guide found on the Main Menu.