Watering can

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Assorted watering cans made of metal

A watering can (or watering pot) is a portable container, usually with a handle and a funnel, used to water plants by hand. It has been in use since at least A.D. 79 and has since seen many improvements in design. Apart from watering plants, it has varied uses, as it is a fairly versatile tool.

The capacity of the container can be anywhere from 0.5 litres (for indoor household plants) to 10 litres (for general garden use). It is usually made of metal, ceramic or plastic. At the end of the spout, a "rose" (a device, like a cap, with small holes) can be placed to break up the stream of water into droplets, to avoid excessive water pressure on the soil or on delicate plants.

Water pot, excavated at Villa of the Papyri, ca. A.D. 79.


The term "watering can" first appeared in 1692, in the diary of keen cottage gardener Lord Timothy George of Cornwall.[1] Before then, it was known as a "watering pot".[2]

In 1886 the "Haws" watering can was patented by John Haws. The patent read "This new invention forms a watering pot that is much easier to carry and tip, and at the same time being much cleaner, and more adapted for use than any other put before the public."[3]

The shower head end is called a rose, rose head, rosette, or sprinkler head.[4][5]

Modern uses[edit]

Watering cans are used by gardeners for watering plants, by road workers to apply bitumen to asphalt, as ornaments, and regularly in symbolic art pieces.

In popular culture[edit]



  1. ^ Bourne, Val (2011). The ten-minute gardener's vegetable growing diary. Great Britain: Transworld. p. 12. ISBN 978-0593066713.
  2. ^ "Watering Pot - Definitions". Fine Dictionary. Retrieved 27 July 2021.
  3. ^ Fone, Martin (13 November 2021). "Who invented the watering can?". Curious Questions. Country Life. Future plc. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  4. ^ Reeve, Jackie (17 September 2021). "Our Favorite Watering Cans". Wirecutter. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  5. ^ Farris, Emily (1 June 2022). "The Best Watering Can for All Your Gardening Needs". Epicurious. Condé Nast. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  6. ^ A Girl with a Watering Can

Media related to Watering can at Wikimedia Commons

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