Every plant you may own needs water. How much and how often can differ greatly per situation and plant. Indoor plants tend to need less water than outdoor plants. Water can evaporate faster when in full sun, rather than in shade. And other factors can change what your plants require.

How does soil affect watering

Some soils hold on to water better than others. Sand, for example, does not hold onto water or nutrients very well and they tend to flow right through it. Clay, however, holds onto water and nutrients and drains very slowly, often creating waterlogged areas.
Plants usually don't like one extreme over the other, preferring a free draining soil, that still holds onto some water and nutrients. Claylike soils, whilst requiring much less water than sand, can create a situation where it's too wet. This can cause root rot, which is a hidden killer of many plants. A little known fact by new gardeners is that roots actually need oxygen as well. Naturally the ground has little pockets called soil pores, containing air and water.
Ideally you want a good potting mix that's light and fluffy. Free draining is a must.

Indoors VS Outdoors

The water requirements can differ greatly when growing indoors versus outdoors. Many factors exist that change what suit your situation best.
Indoor plants tend to need less water as there is less airflow and sunlight, lessening evaporation of water from the soil. One of your main struggles is ensuring your plants get enough light and don't get overwatered. Of course there are many handy tools to help with this. For sunlight there are grow lights, and for water you can invest in a soil moisture meter. Another way of testing whether your plant needs water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Depending on your pot, generally you stick your finger in until about the second knuckle and then pull it out again. If your finger comes out clean, it generally means the soil is dry and could use some water. If some soil sticks to your finger, it means the soil is still damp and does not yet require water. This technique suits both in and outdoor.
Your outdoor plants may require more frequent testing, and also depend on the weather outside, whereas climate indoors tends to be more controlled. On hot summer days your plant will require more water than on cool or winter days. Potted plants outdoor may even require water multiple times a day because it can dry out fairly quickly, compared to the ground as plant roots can dig deeper for water.

A big recommendation is to ensure your pots have drainage holes, that way you are less likely to overwater as it can drain out from the bottom.

Finger test - moisture meter.jpg

What time of the day

Opinions vary. It truly does depend on your situation and you'll learn over time what suits best. For most gardeners it's safe to say that watering in the morning is better than watering later in the day.

Watering in the morning
Pros: Allows water to soak deeply into the soil, with little water lost to evaporation. Also allows water to dry if it was on leaves. Allows plants to absorb water before it gets too hot.
Cons: -

Watering around midday
Pros: It's better to water a thirsty plant than to not water it at all.
Cons: More rapid evaporation. Can attract diseases and pests.

Watering at night
Pros: Next to no evaporation. Allows plants to get a good, long drink to recover
Cons: Wet soil can lead to root rot. Wet leaves can lead to diseases and more pests.

For example, here in tropical QLD, Australia, in Summer I tend to water my plants in the morning and at night. Watering in the morning makes that my plants can handle the heat without shrivelling up and dying under the scorching summer sun. Then a water at night helps them to have a good long drink after the day sun has completely dried out the soil again. On days where this isn't an option, I like to put my pots in saucers and water my plants until the saucers are full too. This works especially for smaller pots that dry out too quickly in hot, dry circumstances. On rainy and cooler days I will remove/empty the saucers, so the soil doesn't get boggy.

How much water

The amount can really change per plant. Some people like to go by the "inch rule" where you take the width of the pot and add enough water to fill up to an inch.

Personally, I would recommend a pot with drainage holes for beginners. Add a saucer underneath and water your plant. If there is a puddle in the saucer, you have watered too much. Adjust by watering less a next time. Over time this will become second nature. Ideally you want the soil to be moist all the way through, without water seeping out.

Do you have more knowledge on this? Kindly send your information to @Mandy Onderwater . Corrections, additions and questions are always welcome!
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