Throughout all my years working in garden centers, landscapes and my own gardens, I have watered many plants. Watering plants probably seems pretty straightforward and simple, but it is actually something I spend the most time training new workers on. One tool I find essential to proper watering practices is the water wand. What is a water wand? Continue reading for the answer and to learn how to use a watering wand in the garden.
What is a Water Wand?
Garden water wands are basically just as the name implies, a wand-like tool used to water plants. They are all generally designed to attach to the end of a hose, near their handle, and water then flows through the wand to a water breaker/sprinkler head where it is sprayed out in a rain-like shower to water plants. It’s a simple concept, but not so easy to describe.
Also called rain wands or a watering lance, garden water wands often have a rubber coated or wooden handle at their base. These handles may have a built in shut-off valve or trigger, or you may need to attach a shut-off valve, depending on which water wand you select.
Above the handle, there is shaft or wand, often made from aluminum, in which the water flows through. These wands come in different lengths, generally 10-48 inches (25-122 cm.) long. The length you choose should be based on your own watering needs. For example, a longer shaft is better for watering hanging baskets, while a shorter shaft is better in small spaces, like a balcony garden.
Near the end of the shaft or wand, there is usually a curve, most commonly at a 45-degree angle, but water wands specially made for watering hanging plants will have a much greater curve. At the end of the wand is the water breaker or sprinkler head. These are very similar to a shower head and come in different diameters for different uses. Some water wands do not have curved shafts, but instead they have adjustable heads.
Using Garden Water Wands
One of the benefits of using a water wand for plants is that its gentle rain-like spray does not blast and pulverize fragile seedlings, tender new growth or delicate flowers. The long wand also allows you to water plants at their root zone without bending, crouching or using a stepladder.
The rain-like spray can also give plants in very hot locations a cool shower to reduce transpiration and drying out. Water wands for plants are also effective for spraying off pests like mites and aphids without causing damage to the plant.