Photo: Debbie Wolfe
Regular watering is a must for a garden to flourish, and the right watering wand can make the process easier and more efficient. These extension tools attach to the end of a garden hose, allowing gardeners to treat plants to a rainlike shower. The gentle, even spray won’t damage tender seedlings, new shoots, or fragile flowers, allowing users to safely hydrate and protect prized plants.
The best watering wands are functional and sturdy, and they can include a variety of adjustable features to make it easier to water lawns and gardens. We rounded up some of the top performers to test in our garden. Read on to learn more about the features we prioritized and why we recommend them all.
- BEST OVERALL: Dramm 30-Inch One Touch Rain Wand
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Melnor RelaxGrip 8-Pattern Watering Extension Wand
- BEST MIDRANGE: Gilmour Watering Wand With Swivel Connect
- BEST FOR SMALL GARDENS: Green Mount 16″ Sprayer Wand With 8 Watering Patterns
- BEST REACH: Orbit 36-Inch SunMate Turret Wand with Ratcheting Head
- MOST ERGONOMIC: Orbit 14-Inch Pro Flo 7-Pattern Watering Wand
How We Tested the Best Watering Wands
With no setup involved, the best way to test these watering wands was by using them in a garden with real-life features and obstacles. We wielded these wands to maintain a landscape that includes conventional in-ground flower beds, a cluster of raised-bed vegetable gardens, hanging baskets, and an extensive mixed shrub and perennial border.
Weight was a nonfactor, as these wands all weighed within a few ounces of one another. We focused our note-taking and critique on perceived durability, ease of use, and usefulness of the water wand in specific settings. To make our lineup, each wand had to include an integrated water shut-off valve and, at a minimum, a shower-spray feature. Additional features such as variable spray settings and patterns, adjustable tilt angle, and comfort aids were considered in light of whether they accentuated or detracted from the main function of watering.
Our Top Picks
A watering wand is an affordable tool that makes gardening easier. We tested these handy rain wands on hanging baskets, potted plants, raised beds, and in-ground gardens. Read on and learn how they performed.
This sturdy 30-inch watering wand from Dramm is a gentle option for watering lawns and gardens. The simple design features a soft-spray shower head and a synthetic rubber handle with a smooth thumb-operated flow controller. The water wand provides an adjustable flow for deep watering of flower beds, shrubs, and container gardens.
The heavy-duty aluminum shaft is built to withstand frequent use, and this is the only watering wand we found with a replaceable shower head. Its length allows users to reach into hanging baskets or tucked-away garden corners with ease. Water flow starts and stops via a simple slide of the thumb, without any drips or leaks. The wand is also comfortable to hold; an ergonomic rubber grip fits nicely in the hand, and it’s insulated, so it won’t become uncomfortable to use in cold conditions.
In testing, we really liked the simplicity and durability of this Dramm watering wand. It felt more substantial than the others we tested, giving it a more balanced feel when connected to the garden hose with the water turned on. The smooth motion of the thumb controller made it easy to turn the water on and off as well as increase or decrease the flow for different applications.
Although the shower head has only a single basic spray pattern, it suited everything we needed to water in the garden. Also, we liked that the spray head is replaceable; should it break, instead of throwing the whole thing away, we could choose from several replacement spray heads with different spray settings in either plastic or aluminum housing. We consider the Dramm an outstanding tool for any gardener.
- Overall length: 30 inches
- Number of spray patterns: 1
- Flow controller: Thumb lever
- Heavy-duty aluminum construction is suitable for long-term use
- Few moving parts to break; lasts through heavy-duty use
- Replaceable shower head for a longer life with less waste
- Different spray patterns offer for watering large garden areas or hanging baskets
- Plastic shower head (cast aluminum is available as a replacement)
Get the Dramm watering wand on Amazon, Monster Gardens, or Dutch Garden Nursery.
Extendable from 33 to 48 inches long, the affordable Melnor RelaxGrip watering wand sprays large gardens and reaches high-hanging planters with ease. To help maintain a variety of plant types, it features an eight-pattern shower head to water tender shoots, delicate plants and flowers, and hardy roots.
This watering wand also features Melnor’s RelaxGrip handle to minimize stress on the wrist and hands. Turning on the water flow is easy with a thumb control. At the push of a lever, the wand starts spraying. Included with the wand is a QuickConnect adapter to make connecting and disconnecting from the hose a snap. This was the only wand we tested that included a quick coupler, and we found it to be a true convenience when watering large areas using different hoses. To get the most out of this feature, we recommend buying additional hose-end portions of the coupler for each hose.
This watering wand offered the most adjustability of the group as well. In addition to the choice of eight spray settings, the ratcheting spray head rotates nearly 180 degrees. This made it easy to rotate downward for hanging baskets or outward to direct the stream toward container gardens and ground-level plantings. The telescoping feature made it a breeze to reach hanging baskets and remote garden corners. A threaded nut secures the sliding shaft at any length between 33 and 48 inches.
Although the telescoping function worked quite well for us in the test setting, additional moving parts in general make us wonder whether the tool will hold up over time. We also noted that the head angle sometimes slipped out of place if the head was bumped while watering plants. The quality of the stream-pattern selector appeared to be on par with the others in our test group. For a price comparable to most of the others in our test group, Melnor’s super-adjustable watering wand solves a host of irrigation issues at a budget-friendly price.
- Overall length: Extendable from 33 inches to 48 inches
- Number of spray patterns: 8
- Flow controller: Thumb lever
- Telescoping wand extends from 33 to 48 inches for ample versatility
- Ratcheting shower head pivots 180 degrees
- 8 adjustable spray patterns for user-friendliness and convenience
- Easy to rotate downward for hanging baskets
- Lots of moving parts add potential for breakage
- Wand shaft is narrower, reduces water flow rate
Get the Melnor watering wand on Amazon or Hardware World.
At 14 inches long, this Gilmour watering wand is just the right size for compact spaces such as smaller in-ground flower beds, patio and balcony gardens, or home greenhouses. It features an ergonomic vinyl grip, thumb-operated flow control, and five spray-pattern selections. Its swivel-action hose connector ensures easy movement without twisting or kinking the hose.
In testing, the swivel connector meant a significant reduction in such common hose problems as kinking and twisting, which made it much easier to work among clustered plants and in enclosed spaces. The spray selector clicks securely in place, and the available patterns include the most practical options for gardening: center, full, shower, flat, and cone.
The Gilmour did feel somewhat less durable than the other wands we tested—the shaft and grip seemed almost too lightweight. But at its low price (as much as half of what we paid for the others), this little water wand was an excellent option as long as the incoming water pressure isn’t too forceful. Overall, Gilmour’s compact watering wand performed well on both container gardens and hanging baskets.
- Overall length: 14 inches
- Number of spray patterns: 5
- Flow controller: Thumb lever
- Swivel connector reduces hose kinks for user-friendliness
- 5 spray patterns integrated; suitable for lawns and delicate plants
- Thumb-lever flow controller for quick adjustment
- Lightweight, less durable materials may not provide the durability as some other watering wands
- Shorter reach than some comparable models
Get the Gilmour watering wand at Ace Hardware or Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
A short watering wand is a smart pick for patio planters and small gardens. This 16-inch watering wand from Green Mount fits a variety of features into its compact design.
The wand boasts eight adjustable spray patterns and a lever controller with a separate flow-control knob. Use the squeeze lever to turn the water on and the flow control knob to adjust the water pressure. For big jobs, a lever lock at the base of the handle eliminates the need to squeeze. The lightweight aluminum shaft is durable, and a slip-resistant handle adds to the wand’s comfort and stability.
In testing, we approved of the Green Mount watering wand’s compact stature and sturdy construction. It worked especially well in tight spaces where potted plants in front and behind could have easily been knocked over by a larger wand. Yet its unique flow control design was a bit overthought, in our opinion. A lockable squeeze lever turns water on and off, and a twist knob on the back of the handle can increase or decrease the flow rate. Most wands simply use a sliding thumb lever to perform the on-off, lock, and flow-control functions. Only a long-term test would reveal which design is more durable.
One outstanding point with this wand was the spray pattern selector. It worked similarly to the others, but it snapped in place much more securely than the competition. Overall, the Green Mount proved to be a durable, comfortable compact option that suits small garden spaces.
- Overall length: 16 inches
- Number of spray patterns: 8
- Flow controller: Lockable grip lever and flow control knob
- Compact size maneuvers easily in tight spaces; suitable for smaller backyards and gardens
- 8 spray patterns from which to choose for versatility
- Flow control is separate from the trigger mechanism
- Durable construction lasts for years of use
- Short reach and slower flow rate than comparable options
- More moving parts increase breaking potential
Get the Green Mount watering wand on Amazon or Green Mount.
Gardeners with plants in hard-to-reach spots will want to consider this 36-inch watering wand from Orbit. The long shaft can reach hanging baskets, shrubs, and tucked-away spots in crowded gardens. With nine spray options and a pivoting spray head, this extended sprayer is a versatile pick for large gardens. The spray head rotates 180 degrees so users can water plants near the roots as well as overhead planters without crouching or stretching.
The durable build combines an aluminum shaft with a plastic watering head and handle. For ease of use, the handle features a fireman-grip control lever. With a smooth push, it allows users to adjust the water flow with less hand fatigue.
We were impressed by the combination of extended reach, pivoting head, and oversize control lever. An average-size gardener can easily water more than 110 square feet without moving. The adjustable head angle worked well for both hanging baskets and ground-level watering at the base of garden plants and beneath shrubs. The oversize control lever worked like a charm even when wearing gloves.
Nine spray patterns seemed a bit excessive since we mostly use the shower feature, and occasionally a few others. The spray pattern selector had a bit of wiggle when a pattern was set, but it held and sprayed as expected with no leaks. The rotating head sometimes came out of position when bumped into a hanging basket or potted plant. Still, with its excellent reach and easy-to-use controls, this wand would work well for those with larger garden spaces and varied plantings.
- Overall length: 36 inches
- Number of spray patterns: 9
- Flow controller: Fireman lever
- Longer reach than most wands; perfect for larger backyards and lawns
- Adjustable spray-head angle provides ample versatility and reach where needed
- Easy-to-use fireman lever control valve
- Spray head can get knocked out of position
- Plastic spray head and pattern selector seem a little weak
Get the Orbit SunMate watering wand at Amazon, Big Frog Supply, or L&M Fleet Supply.
An ergonomic handle makes a watering wand easier to hold and use. This 14-inch watering wand from Orbit features a D-shaped grip for a sturdier hold. The handle also has a nonslip and soft diamond-pattern texture that combine to ensure the sprayer sits comfortably in hand and won’t slip from a gardener’s grip. The trigger design cuts back on hand fatigue as well. Instead of a squeeze trigger, this wand has a smooth thumb-control knob to adjust the water flow easily.
Hands down, this compact Orbit watering wand was the most comfortable model in our test group. The grip offered a level of cushion and slip resistance that the others did not, and the slight bend in the shaft helped to counteract the pull of the hose behind for a more favorable watering angle, especially for flower gardens and other in-ground plantings. The thumb-operated flow-control lever moved smoother and easier than the rest of the test group too, making it simple to increase the flow for a garden bed or decrease for a hanging basket.
There are seven spray patterns from which to choose, including a light mist, full stream, or targeted jet. To switch between the spray patterns, use the soft-touch dial guard, which rotates smoothly even when wet. We appreciated the overall durability of this wand—it was one of the sturdiest tested—and the D-shaped handle made it ideal to hang on a hook for storage. This model is great choice for compact gardens or in-ground beds of any size.
- Overall length: 14 inches
- Number of spray patterns: 7
- Flow controller: Thumb lever
- Extra-comfortable grip prevents hand fatigue while in use
- Easiest operating thumb controller we tested
- 7 spray patterns for user-friendliness and versatility
- Balanced design is easy to use
- Shorter reach than most of the others
- Fixed head angle is not curved for watering hanging plants
Get the Orbit Pro Flow watering wand at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co., or Fleet Farm.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Watering Wand
A watering wand turns a standard garden hose into a gentle sprayer. Beyond their delicate sprinkle, these tools provide a longer reach to water plants without having to crouch or use a step ladder. Watering wands come in an array of styles and sizes. When choosing the best watering wand for their needs, gardeners will want to consider the material, size, spray pattern, handle, hose connection, and any adjustable features that make watering easier.
Most watering wands are made of metal, plastic, or a combination of both materials. Metal is commonly used for the wand shaft and is a durable option. Though metal wands can bend, ding, or dent, they are less likely to snap or crack than plastic parts. They also aren’t as affected by cold or hot weather fluctuations. However, metal is heavier and can make the wand somewhat unwieldy to use. These options also tend to be more expensive than plastic watering wands.
Plastic is a cost-friendly and lightweight material. Affordable plastic wands may have decent durability, but they are more prone to breaking than metal. Plastic does not handle temperature changes well and can crack or snap in extreme conditions.
The handles on watering wands come in plastic or metal and can feature ergonomic designs and nonslip rubber grips.
Weight and Shaft Length
Watering wands range from 10 inches to upward of 40 inches long. It is best to choose a length based on the size of the space and a gardener’s needs. A short wand should do just fine for watering planters on a small balcony, whereas a long wand is better for watering low roots or hanging baskets. To water hard-to-reach plants, consider a wand with a telescoping handle or an extension option. These allow the user to adjust the length of the shaft for a variety of jobs.
A heavy watering wand can be hard on the hand and wrist, so shoppers will want to consider the weight. For watering a few patio plants, weight might be less of a concern, but for folks with larger gardens or hand mobility concerns, a lightweight watering wand is best. Wands with plastic parts tend to be lighter than all-metal options.
Curved Shaft vs. Adjustable Head
To create the perfect rainfall effect, watering wands have a curve at the end of the shaft. Most wand shafts curve at a 45-degree angle at the watering head to create a downward rainfall effect. These wands are great for general-purpose watering. For maintaining wall gardens or overhead planters, some wands have a sharper curve, which is helpful for accessing plants that are higher up.
Gardeners who want to water from a range of angles will want to consider a wand with a pivoting head instead of a curved shaft. A pivoting head lets the user adjust the angle of the wand to handle a variety of watering jobs.
Watering wands can be limited to a single-spray pattern, or they can have a variety of options. Common spray patterns include mist, shower, fan, cone, and jet.
Adjustable wand sprayers often have a dial to control spray patterns, ranging from a fine, saturating mist to a targeted jet. Spray options let users target different types of plants and can be helpful for other household tasks. A lighter spray is ideal for fragile flowers and delicate plants, while harder streams can help tackle other chores such as hosing down a car or rinsing an outdoor deck.
Models with adjustable spray options can be more expensive than simpler wands. If gardeners plan to use a wand only for watering hardy plants, then a single-spray pattern should suffice.
Using a watering wand for long periods of time can be tough on the hands. An ergonomic shape and soft grip can cut down on hand soreness. Nonslip materials or ribbed grips can make a wet handle easier and safer to hold.
A built-in shut-off valve is a convenient and water-saving feature to consider. It allows the user to shut off the water directly on the handle instead of at the faucet. Shut-off valves are typically controlled by a squeeze trigger, push lever, or button. They also include adjustment or lock features to keep the water flowing.
For those with arthritis or hand-mobility concerns, squeeze triggers can be challenging, especially for long periods of time. Push levers or one-touch buttons tend to be easier on the hands.
The hose connection is one of the most important parts of a watering wand. Shoppers will want to look for well-made fittings to prevent leaks—a leaky connection is inconvenient, messy, and affects water flow.
Most watering wands connect to standard garden hoses with a threaded fitting. Metal fittings are more reliable and durable than plastic fittings, which can crack if they are twisted too far.
For even more convenience, some watering wands feature a quick-connect system to attach to a hose with a snap. Install the hose connection to the end of a standard garden hose and the wand can easily connect without the twisting and turning.
We recommend upgrading from a plain hose nozzle to a watering wand because these gardening tools make it more convenient to spray outdoor plants with a gentle shower. For more information on these tools, shoppers will want to consider the answers to the following frequently asked questions about the best watering wands.
Q. Why use a watering wand?
A watering wand is an affordable tool that makes watering more convenient and better for plants. Wand heads create a rainlike spray that won’t damage fragile growth, which is a softer and more diffuse spray than regular spray nozzles. They also provide a farther reach, making it easier to water at the bottom of plants or reach hanging baskets without crouching or getting a step ladder.
Q. How often should gardens be watered?
One to two watering sessions a week is sufficient for most gardens, but frequency depends on weather and the type of plant. During peak heat or wind, plants dry out faster. Container plants also can dry out more quickly than those growing in the ground.
Q. Where should a watering wand be stored?
It is best to store a watering wand indoors, perhaps in a shed or garage. Ideally, store the wand out of areas with vast temperature changes or direct sunlight, both of which can wear down or break plastic parts.
Q. How long will my watering wand last?
A high-quality watering wand can last for many years, keeping a garden green and lush through several growing seasons.
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