How can I tell if I’m overwatering my plants?
One of the biggest fears for gardeners all over the world is the idea of overwatering. We know that our plants need hydration, but some of our fragile foliage can get angry if we give them too much h20. This anger only escalates if the drainage in their setting is poor.
So, we already know the signs of when our plants are drying out. But how do we tell if our plants are getting too much water?
The answer is simpler than you may believe. Here are some signs you should look out for:
Yellow or droopy leaves
Now, I know what you're thinking, “my plant's leaves also go yellow when they don’t have enough water.” While this is true, it’s more important that you focus on the texture of these leaves.
Underwatered leaves are usually dry and crispy. They will be crunchy to the touch and usually break when held. On the other hand, overwatered leaves are usually soft, cold and heavy. They are moist to the touch and don’t break when pressure is placed on them.
All in all, testing the texture on these coloured leaves is one of the easiest telltale signs.
A mushy base
Continuing with the texture of things, if your plant base or roots are starting to look mushy, you are likely overwatering your plant. This mushiness can sometimes be categorised by a dark brown or purple colour to the stem.
There’s no need to panic if this is the case. Just suspend all activities with the watering can. If possible, move your plant to a sunny spot. But, if your plant is in a garden bed, the water will naturally drain within a few days, so it should restore itself within a week or two.
A build-up of mould
In worst-case scenarios, plants may develop mould on their roots due to overwatering. This may not become visible at first, but you will start to notice its surface on the soil when digging or tending to your garden.
In this situation, you will need to isolate the plant and discard it. While some mould can disappear on its own, it’s usually not worth the risk of infecting other plants in your garden.
Be sure to wash any gardening tools that may have come in contact with the mould to avoid the spread of viruses.
While overwatering is a scary concept and can easily impact many beginner gardeners, it’s important to not let mistakes ruin your gardening experience. Remember, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again.