I have quite a few different kinds of plants and shrubs- Hosta, hydrangeas, day lilies, caladiums, azaleas, heuchera, lorapetalums, etc. They are shaded, semi-shaded and in the sun. I have set up a "drip" system on a timer and with adjustable heads, so I can vary the amount of water (but not the frequency) to each plant. Can you recommend a reference source where I can get precise information for watering? Most instructions I have seen are very vague.
Unfortunately I don’t think such a guide exists, since there are so many plants out there, and so many variables. Variables include the type of plant, the type of soil—rich, deep soil or pitiful rocky soil; slope of the yard, amount of sunlight or shade the plant gets, age of the plants, and plant spacing. Of the plants you mentioned, hydrangeas, hostas and azaleas would be the most water needy, but again amounts will vary by how much sunlight they receive, your soil, and how much space you have between plants. Caladiums will need more water in the sun than in the shade, and I find that loropetalums are pretty drought tolerant once established. Daylilies can definitely take dry conditions, but it will impact blooming. The key is to really learn your landscape. I have beds in full sun in which some plants wilt regardless of how much I water when temperatures exceed 100, and I have some old established beds with hollies, aucuba and camellias that seem to take what life throws at them.
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