How to Use Drip Irrigation on Perennial Flowers


Drip irrigation is used to apply water directly to the root zone of a perennial plant. The amount of water that is applied is controlled with a timer and a regulator. Drip irrigation is used to save water and to avoid watering undesirable plants, which occurs when using overhead or broadcast watering methods. It can be used to water trees, shrubs, vegetable plants and perennials. However, with each type of plant the set up of the drip irrigation system is different.

Step 1

Locate a standard garden water valve with a threaded outlet suitable to attach a water hose that is near the perennial bed.

Step 2

Screw the backflow preventer on to the water valve. This is to prevent old water that has left the system from backing up into the lines that run into the house or the municipal water supply. Next, attach the pressure regulator so that the amount of water flowing is equalized with other outlets if you have more than one system in place. If the system is attached to the home water supply, the regulator also prevents water pressure fluctuations inside the home when the system comes on.

Step 3

Attach the timer to the pressure regulator. Next, screw on the filter and then the tubing adapter. All preceding parts screw on one after the other and are easily removed for maintenance.

Step 4

Measure the distance to your bed to determine the amount of tubing you need to bring water to all perennials you wish to irrigate. The tubing should run from the outlet and along the perennials next to each plant's root zone, with 12 inches left over so that you can cover the end with soil or mulch to keep the tubing in place. Cut the tubing to the correct length and place the end cap over the end of the tubing to be buried in the ground.

Step 5

Attach the other end of the tubing to the tubing adapter below the filter. Then, locate the place beside each perennial plant where you would like to add an emitter. Make a hole in each desired location along the drip irrigation tubing with a drip irrigation hole puncher.

Step 6

Push the pointed end of the emitter into the hole. The emitter will self-seal so that it will not leak. Test the line to be sure all emitters are working properly, and set the timer as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Backflow preventer
  • Pressure regulator
  • Timer
  • Filter
  • Tubing adapter
  • Tubing
  • End cap for tubing
  • Emitters
  • Tubing hole puncher


  • University of Rhode Island: Drip Irrigation for the Home Garden
  • Urban Farmer Store: Introduction to Drip Irrigation
Keywords: drip irrigation, perennial irrigation, drip irrigation plan

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.