Watering bird of Paradise Shrubs - Knowledgebase Question

Laveen, Ar
Avatar for tempefrances
Question by tempefrances
July 8, 2010
Ihave two bird of paradise shrubs which I planted on the east side of my house two years ago. I live in arizona where the summer temp is avg 105. I noticed yellow leaves on the shrubs .I water avg three times per week for apx 1 minute each. Do you think I am OVER waterting OR UNDER watering the yellow leaves are trying to tell me something.

Answer from NGA
July 8, 2010
You didn't mention whether you are watering by hand or by a drip system and that will make a difference. Watering by hand for about a minute might be enough if you have the hose on full bore and your soil drains fast enough for the water to percolate down into the soil rather than draining off. If you're using a drip system, even with a large emitter than delivers 2 gallons per minute, you wont be delivering enough water if you water for one minute 3 times per week. The goal is to water slowly for a long enough period of time to thoroughly wet the entire root systems of your plant. The size of the root system may be large or small, depending upon the size of the plant. You can guess at the size of the root system - 12-18 inches deep and about as wide as the plant. Water as usual and then poke a stick or metal rod down into the soil. It will slide easily into moist soil but will be hard to push into dry soil. If the water does not penetrate down to 18 inches, you'll need to keep the water on longer so it can get down to thoroughly wet the root mass. Hope this helps you determine the water needs of your plants.

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