Both potted plants and plants in a landscape or garden need three things to thrive: water, nutrients and sunlight. Of these three, water is the factor that you can most directly control. There are a number of tools you can use to make watering plants simpler.
Watering stakes come in a variety of shapes, from glass bulbs with a pipette to plastic tubes that attach to soda bottles to terra cotta stakes that ooze water. The concept behind watering stakes is that the water is held in a reservoir until the soil dries. The dry soil slowly absorbs the moisture from the watering stake and nurtures the plant. Glass and plastic watering stakes have some issues with clogging. This is not a problem with terracotta tubes, which distribute moisture throughout the porous surface of the stake.
Containerized plants that are indoors or on covered porches have no way of obtaining moisture other than from the person caring for the plant. Watering cans are specifically designed for watering container plants. The cans contain a holding chamber for water along with a spout and handle for ease of carrying and pouring the water. Some watering cans have a nozzle at the end of the spout to break the stream of water into a sprinkle to avoid damaging the plants under the pressure of the water stream.
A soaker hose is an improvement over traditional garden hoses or sprinkler systems. Soaker hoses have permeable walls that water can leak through. Landscapers and gardeners often arrange soaker hoses around plants on the surface of a planting bed, or weave the hoses under a mulch bed. Soaker hoses deliver a small amount of water directly to the root zone of plants. This is a more ecologically friendly method of water distribution, since gardeners lose less water to evaporation using this method.
Garden sprinklers are an effective means of watering a large strip of land such as a lawn, garden or flower bed. Sprinklers throw water into the air to fall onto the garden in a simulation of rain. A sprinkler system may be a permanent system consisting of buried hoses and sprinkler heads attached to a timer, as in the type used in lawns and on golf courses, or it may be a mobile system attached to a garden hose.