As we all know, plants (like all living things) need water to survive. But did you know that you can actually damage your plant by watering it too much? How to know when to stop watering a plant is an important skill to master, in order to help them maintain the best health.
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How To Know When To Stop Watering A Plant
Obviously, you want to love and care for your plants by making sure they have enough to drink, right?
But, you can kill with kindness too! Overwatering can do just as much – if not more – damage to your plant than underwatering.
If you are looking for signs that your plant has had enough, then read on:
- Wilting. If your plant is showing signs of droopy leaves, check your watering schedule first of all.
- Brown spots on leaves. When a plant is stressed, the leaves are the first things to go!
- Leaves dropping. Once the plant progresses from withdrawing support for the leaves, they can actually start to drop off from the main plant.
- Stems dying. The plant will show its distress by drawing supplies back into the main plant, so stems can often start to drop off.
- Roots rotting. If you are able to get a look at the roots and you notice mushy or moldy patches, your plant may be too far gone to save.
- Plant death. If overwatering continues, your plant will give up and die, unable to survive in constant wet.
If you notice any of the above signs on your plant, chances are you are giving it too much water.
Stop watering immediately, repot the plant in dry soil if necessary, and hold off on the watering until the plant shows signs of recovery.
How Do I Make Sure I Don’t Overwater My Plants?
The first thing to remember is that all plants have different watering requirements – some like to be bone dry, others like constant moisture.
You will need to discover your individual plant’s requirements before you work out how much water you should be giving each one.
A good rule of thumb is to keep an eye on the soil. If it is dry and shriveling up, it’s probably time to get the watering can out.
If the soil is damp to the touch, then your plant definitely doesn’t need any more watering and you should give it a break for a few days.
If you are guilty of constantly overwatering your plants, you could choose to go down another route entirely, and invest in self watering pots.
These clever little things will allow your plants to only take up the water they need, rather than relying on you to do it for them.
Another option is a watering globe – similar to the self waterers, these release water when the plant needs it and will prevent any overwatering issues.
This article tells you all about watering – from frequency to methods and everything in between!
How Do You Tell If You’re Not Watering A Plant Enough?
As with overwatering, there are also signs from your plant that it is not getting enough water:
- Wilting. When a plant has drooping leaves or is starting to die back, this may mean that it needs more water.
- Dry soil. If the soil around the plant has dried out fully, your plant is definitely telling you it needs a drink.
- Dry and dead leaf tips. If a plant is not getting enough to drink, it will remove support from the outer leaves to preserve the main plant.
- Slow growth. An underwatered plant will not grow as well as a plant which has adequate water, so if it is slowing down then this may be a sign for more to drink.
As with everything to do with plants, they are all different, and each will have different water requirements.
Check your individual plant’s needs before you break out the watering can, and keep an eye out for the signs of over or underwatering.
This video will show you signs of your plants not getting enough water, and the best way to water them:
Should I Water Plants Everyday?
Some plants like more water than others, but as a general rule no plant will enjoy sitting around in sodden soil for too long.
If you are watering your plants every day, you are almost certainly watering too much!
Some plants do like to be kept consistently moist, it’s true, and it is possible that this type may like a little drink on the daily.
But even with this type, you will need to make sure that you are not overwatering and flooding your precious green babies!
Unless your area is going through a long period of very hot weather, you should not be watering your plants daily.
In fact, this can cause them a lot of issues! The only exceptions are very large plants that live outside during a heatwave – these may like more water than others.
The best advice we can give you is to learn the individual requirements of your plants, keep an eye on the weather, and make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely.
Watching the plant itself for signs of over or under watering is also the best thing you can do for your plants – you can always adjust your watering schedule.
How Do I Know If My Soil Is Waterlogged?
Waterlogged soil is pretty easy to determine; it shows itself in several ways:
- It is wet to the touch. If the surface of the soil is wet when you touch it, chances are it is wet all the way to the roots.
- You spot mold. Mold is attracted to damp, warm conditions, and soggy soil can attract it like a magnet.
- Your plant is looking sick. A waterlogged plant will show its displeasure by drooping, shedding leaves and even giving up and dying.
- There are insects. Certain critters, particularly fungus gnats, are attracted to wet soil. These are definitely not what you want around your plant!
Keeping your soil in a happy medium – not too wet and not too dry – is the best option to keep your plants happy and healthy.
Watering your plants to keep them healthy is an essential thing – as is NOT watering them too much so that they get sick!
Once you’ve figured out the perfect balance for each individual plant, they will reward you with strong, healthy growth.