Watering Indian Hawthorn

Watering a new plant is one of the most important factors in determining if it thrives or if it fails. Although Indian Hawthorn develops drought tolerance over time, it still needs a consistent watering schedule to successfully establish itself in the garden. Helping the shrub establish a strong root system will set the plant up for long-term success. Underwatered roots shrivel and are not able to take up the moisture and nutrients the plant needs to thrive. Overwatered roots can rot and are susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases present in the soil. 


How To Tell If Indian Hawthorn Needs to be Watered

Broadleaf evergreen shrubs do not always show immediate signs of wilting like deciduous shrubs do. Drooping leaves and underdeveloped flowers are the main symptoms of dehydration. The edges and tips of leaves may become brown and have a crisp feel when the shrubs are severely under-watered. By contrast, if leaves appear to be yellowing or brown, the shrub could be suffering from too much water because of bad drainage or too much supplemental watering. 

How Often To Water Indian Hawthorn

Newly planted shrubs will require watering 2-3 times a week. At the time of planting, soak the rootball to hydrate the roots. This also helps to loosen up pot-bound roots. Water in the plant after planting to saturate the soil and fill in any air gaps. Provide approximately 1 inch of water a week, between natural rain and supplemental watering. This means you need about 0.62 gallons of water per square foot of soil. Watering with soaker hoses or drip irrigation is the most efficient method and helps to keep the foliage from getting wet. Overhead watering can quickly spread fungal or bacterial diseases. 

After the first one or two growing seasons, most shrubs are fully established, meaning new growth is healthy and the roots are growing well. This is the time when supplemental watering can be reduced. If natural rain is not forecasted, water once a week with ½ -1 inch of water. Mulching the root zone annually will help the soil remain moist longer and cooler, which helps the roots work more efficiently. 

Container-grown Indian Hawthorn will require more supplemental watering. Allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between watering sessions. Direct water at the soil and root zone to avoid wetting the foliage. Continue watering until liquid begins to run from the bottom of the pot, letting you know that all of the potting mix has been fully saturated. 

Best Time To Water Indian Hawthorn

The best time to water any landscape plants is early in the day. This allows the foliage to fully dry before nightfall. During the early morning hours, the soil is cooler from nighttime temperatures and better able to absorb water. Watering will need to be continued during the winter if daytime temperatures are regularly above 45 degrees F, although the watering frequency can be reduced. 

How to Water Indian Hawthorn

Step 1 - Soak the rootball at the time of planting

This will help the root system settle in. Also, water the shrub in well after planting to ensure that any large air gaps fill in with soil. 

Step 2 - Water new shrubs 2-3 times a week until established

Divide the watering into longer sessions during the week to encourage the roots to grow deeper, leading to a more drought-tolerant plant. 

Step 3 - Reduce supplemental watering after the shrubs are established

Overwatering mature shrubs increases their susceptibility to fungal or bacterial root rots.

Step 4 - Water with a soaker hose or drip irrigation system 

Overhead watering quickly spreads any bacterial or fungal leaf spot spores present on the plant. Drip irrigation also helps to keep weeds to a minimum because only a small area of the soil surface is watered. 

Indian Hawthorn Watering Tips

  • Provide 1 inch of water per week (~1 gallon)
  • Water early in the day to protect foliage from diseases
  • Mulch with finely shredded arborist chips or organic compost to improve moisture retention in the soil
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 Author Robbin Small - Published 6-08-2023