Hands-Off Hydration For Your Flower Garden: How To Choose The Best Irrigation System For Delicate Flowers

A flower garden adds beauty to your property, but watering your plants by hand is often a nuisance — this is especially true if you live in a hot area, as you'll often need to water them very early in the morning. An automated irrigation system allows you easily keep your flowers hydrated without your intervention, but not all of them are suitable for flower gardens.

Impact sprinklers that are designed to water large sections of lawn are a poor choice for flower beds — the high-pressure water from an impact sprinkler can destroy blossoming flowers, even if they're placed far away from your flower garden. You'll need to use a different system to water your flower beds. Read more for a description of irrigation systems that are suitable for flowers and some help in choosing the right one to match the layout of your flower garden.


Micro-sprinklers are a great way to water a large flower bed with plants that are spaced irregularly. They saturate large areas of your flower bed with water, which keeps all of your flowers well-hydrated. They stream of water is directed outward rather than upward, which keeps water off of the foliage of your flowers — this helps to reduce the risk of pests and disease. Micro-sprinklers also use a gentle, low-pressure stream of water that won't tear apart blossoming flowers.

The main disadvantage of using micro-sprinklers for your flower garden is the high rate of water evaporation. Water from micro-sprinklers won't penetrate as deeply into the soil compared to a drip irrigation system or soaker hose system, which means that sunlight will cause much of it to evaporate — you'll need to use more water in order to adequately hydrate your flowers.

Drip Irrigation System

A drip irrigation system consists of drip emitters attached to an underground hose. An emitter is placed adjacent to each flower in your garden, where it will provide the soil with a small, steady stream of water. The water penetrates deeply into the soil, which reduces the rate at which it evaporates and allows you to keep your flowers hydrated using less water. It also encourages your flowers grow deep roots — this can help them become more resistant to becoming damaged by high winds.

If you have a mixture of smaller flowers and large, flowering shrubs in your flower garden, a drip irrigation system allows you to keep them all adequately watered by placing more emitters near the shrubs that require more water. This makes a drip irrigation system a good choice for gardeners who have a mixture of plants in their flower gardens.

Soaker Hoses

Soaker hoses are made of a permeable material that allows water to slowly leak from the hose. You simply run the soaker hose through your garden and connect it to a timer, and it will periodically fill with water and act like a drip irrigation system. You may have to loop the soaker hose around large shrubs in order to provide them with adequate water.

One downside of using a soaker hose to water your flower garden is that they attract pests — the water that beads on the side of a soaker hose provides them with a very easy source of water. Worse, mice or rats can chew through the soaker hose in search of more water, ruining it. To avoid this problem, purchase a soaker hose that can be installed underground and bury it with six inches of soil.

Which one is the most suitable way to water your flower garden? If you have a large flower garden with plants that are spaced unevenly, micro-sprinklers are often the best choice — they're easier to install, since you'll be able to water it with fewer sprinkler heads compared to the number of drip emitters or soaker hoses you'd need for a large garden. For smaller gardens, a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose are both excellent choices that save on water compared to using micro-sprinklers. If you're having trouble deciding, call an irrigation system installation company and describe the layout of your flower garden — they can tell you which is the best choice based on its size and the water needs of your flowers.