Watering flowers and vegetables in a home landscape is often a confusing task for gardeners. Most experts agree that watering plants during the day when the sun is shining brightly onto the plants is not beneficial for the plants. When a gardener waters plants in the early morning hours, the crowns of the plants will be able to dry adequately during the day and this will decrease the chances of decay. If plants are wilting, however, and you feel you must water plants while the sun is shining, water carefully and minimally to avoid harming the plants.
Assess the plants carefully to determine whether you can delay watering until the following morning or the plant must have water immediately. If the plant is showing signs of severe stress, such as extreme wilting, you may need to water it minimally while the sun is shining. If you think the plant can tolerate waiting, do not water until the following morning.
Give the plant just enough water to minimize the stress and rejuvenate it until you can water it fully the next morning, if you think it cannot wait. Use the hose or the watering can to give several cups of water around the base of the plant so that it soaks directly into the roots. Do not get any water onto the foliage of the plants because sometimes this causes fungal infections or burning of the foliage as the water evaporates.
Wait up to 30 minutes to see if the plant revives with the water you gave it. This is usually a sufficient amount of time for the plant to stand erect again and to look healthier and perkier. If the plant is still showing signs of stress 30 minutes later, give a small amount of more water.
Provide a full and deep watering the following morning during the early hours of the day. Give water at the base of the plants, saturating the roots. Avoid drenching the foliage.