Diseases Diseases

How To Tell When Your Plants Have Been Watered Too Much

Introduction

Plants require three elements in order to thrive: water, sunlight and fertilizer. Sometimes it can be tricky to know just how much your plant needs to be watered though. So, while you may be thinking that you’re taking good care of your plant, you may actually killing it with kindness by giving it too much water. Whenever your plant is watered too much, it can be harmed just as much as if your plant is watered too little. This is why you need to pay attention to the clear signals that your plant gives you in regard to its watering needs.

Step 1

Whenever your plant begins suddenly, gradually dropping its leaves, adjust how much it is watered. This could be a sign that your plant is getting too much water or that it is stressed due to cold drafts, not enough water or another sudden change in its environment. You will have to do some trial and error to find out precisely what your plant is trying to tell you.

Step 2

Look for any changes in the leaves’ coloring. Too much water can cause the leaves to turn a pale green color. This can also make the tips of the leaves turn brown. Brown tips tend to be especially noticeable in indoor plants that have been given too much water.

Step 3

If your plant is looking wilted, then you should reassess its needs. However, wilt can indicate that your plant has been watered too much or that it has been watered too little. Wilt will usually begin at the top of your plant but if you don’t resolve the problem your plant will continue to wilt all the way through.

Step 4

A plant that has mushy stems needs to be tended to quickly. This is a definite sign that your plant is being watered too much. In this case your plant probably has root rot, which is something that will quickly kill the plant. Those plants that are kept in a container that doesn’t have any drainage holes is particularly susceptible to root rot. Many plants will also develop root rot whenever they are watered too much during cool weather. For this reason, you will want to cut back on watering in winter months. During this time it is especially important to only sparingly water your plants. While the soil needs to be kept slightly moist, you don’t want it to be drenched, nor do you want it to become completely dry. In the case of root rot, you will want to completely stop watering the plant and move it to a dry location until it is completely dried out.

Step 5

Keep in mind that most plants should be watered deeply so as to saturate the soil around its roots. This is something that should only be done after the soil has completely dried out between each watering. You will know that this has happened because the top of the soil will feel dry whenever you touch it. Of course, you should realize that both cacti and succulents do require a lot less water. You never want to saturate their water even when it feels dry.

By Brenda Hoffman, published at 02/20/2012
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