How to Automatically Water a Shrub


Those who have trouble walking, lifting or carrying may find it difficult to water shrubs by unrolling and holding a hose or by using a watering can. These gardeners can set up a drip irrigation system for automatic shrub watering. Not only does drip irrigation allow for watering without labor, it conserves water resources by directing water at the plant roots, so shrubs receive adequate resources and you save money on your water bill.

Step 1

Screw the backflow preventer onto your outdoor faucet. Attach the pressure regulator to the backflow preventer, then attach the filter. Next attach the tubing adapter so you can connect the end of the irrigation tubing to the water supply. All of these parts screw on.

Step 2

Run a string along the path you want to use for your drip irrigation system. Then step back and examine it, making any adjustment. The irrigation tubing needs to run near the shrub's root ball to operate properly. You can connect several garden shrubs along one irrigation line, or connect a shrub and a flower bed.

Step 3

Connect the tubing to the adapter then lay out the tubing along the route you constructed. Stake down the tubing with metal garden stakes so it won't move, using one stake every 2 feet.

Step 4

Puncture the irrigation tubing with a pocket knife near the shrub plant's root ball. Slip a drip emitter into the hole you created. Colorado State University Extension advises using two 1 gallon-per-hour emitters for a shrub, spaced 12 inches from the base of the trunk. Shrubs over 5 feet tall need three emitters instead of two.

Step 5

Turn the drip irrigation system on to automatically water the shrub by opening the faucet valve. This automatic watering system requires no manual labor. When you're satisfied with the amount of water, turn off the system by shutting off the faucet.

Things You'll Need

  • Backflow preventer
  • Pressure regulator
  • Filter
  • Tubing adapter
  • String
  • Irrigation tubing
  • Metal garden stakes
  • Pocket knife
  • Drip emitters


  • Utah State University: Efficient Irrigation of Trees and Shrubs
  • Irrigation Tutorials: Drip Irrigation System Design
  • Colorado State University Extension: Drip Irrigation for Home Gardeners
Keywords: drip irrigation system, automatic shrub watering, shrub watering system

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.