Five Signs You've Been Overwatering Your Plant

Five Signs You've Been Overwatering Your Plant

Do your plants keep dying despite your constant care and attention? If you’re a beginner plant parent and find that your plants are struggling with wilting, brown spots, or yellowing tips you may be overnurting your plants.   Shocking we know! But certain types of plants are fickle and prefer a little bit more independence when it comes to their care.   Everyone makes mistakes when taking care of plants for the first time. Each plant also requires different levels of care, and it can be daunting to a beginner plant parent. Some are guilty of giving their plants too much “love” by overwatering. But worry no more. If you tend to overwater your plants, here are some telltale signs you should watch out for.   

Signs Of Overwatering Your Plants

1) Yellowing or browning of the leaves The most common sign of an overwatered plant is the yellowing of leaves. Sometimes when your plant's leaves begin to grow limp or the tips begin it brown it may be a sign that your plant has Indoor houseplant with yellowing and wilted leaves from overwatering.been overwatered. If you’re not careful in choosing a planter or pot for your plant you may find that the soil remains wet and causes the roots to rot. Wilting and browning leaves are an easy indicator of overwatering but can also easily be remedied. So long as your plant's roots have not begun to oversaturate and rot you can just wait for your plant's soil to completely dry each time before watering again. Plants often need to be watered less during the winter months as well so keep a watchful eye on your plant's behavior without giving into temptation and watering too often.    2) Squishy stems Apart from the leaves, you should also check the stems of your plants. When overwatered, the plant cells become swollen and eventually burst. This will result in squishy stems — equivalent to edema in humans.  If your plants don’t have stems (rosettes and aloes), check the base of the plant. If they turn mushy and unstable and smell rotten, your plant is overwatered. You should also check for scars and bruises in your plants, which is where the plant cells already burst from too much water.    3) Dropping new and old leaves Wilting and dropping of leaves is normal in plants. It’s their way to keep themselves healthy. They must let go of the old leaves to make way for the new shoots. However, dropping both new and old leaves is not normal.  When new plant parents see that their plant babies are dropping way too many leaves. They immediately go overboard with watering to try to “save” them. Before doing this, check the first couple of inches of the soil first. If it’s still wet, your plant is overwatered.    4) Root rot Roots are the first organs to be affected when a plant is overwatered. Apart from nutrition and water, roots also need proper aeration. Dense, wet soil will drown the roots prohibiting them to Damp wet roots from a strawberry plant that has been overwatered.“breathe.”  When this happens, the soil will attract fungi that can latch to your plant roots. This will cause the roots to turn grey and slimy, so they can’t absorb food and water for the plant anymore. Making sure that you have a pot or planter with a drainage hole can help mitigate the chances of overwatering.    5) Fungus or molds growth on top of the soil Wet soil attracts a variety of pests, including fungi and insects. If the fungi already form a white mycelium on the topsoil, that means they’re already affected by a lot of plant roots below the soil. You need to remove as much of the fungi as you can before replacing your plant back in its pot.   

How To Save An Overwatered Plant

For mildly overwatered plants, simply stop watering for the next few weeks and wait for your plant to recover. Make sure no puddle of water is accumulating on the base of the pot or in the drainage tray.   Check the soil moisture at the root level using a moisture meter, and make sure it is dry before watering the plant again. If you don’t have a moisture meter, use your finger to check a couple of inches from the topsoil.    If your plant exhibits all five symptoms of overwatering, replace the soil immediately. Remove the plant from the soil and trim the infected roots and leaves. White and sturdy roots are healthy while greyish brown and mushy ones are not. If there is fungal growth, use an alcohol wipe after each cut to avoid the spread of the infection. Wash and disinfect the pot and use fresh soil when repotting, and make sure excess water flows through the drainage holes.    Remember that each plant requires different amounts and frequency of watering. You can check out a variety of easy to care plants in our indoor houseplant section and find care guides on each page. We also carry a variety of different pots and planters in styles for every kind of plant parent. Looking for air-purifying plants? We carry those too! Whether you’re looking for assorted succulents for a project or cute gifts for the holidays, PlantX has something for everyone.