Here’s How to Tell if a Plant Is Overwatered or Underwatered

You should give your plants enough water to keep them growing healthy and beautiful. However, incorrect watering can do more harm than good to your beloved plants. 

You must be careful not to overwater or underwater your plant. In this article, as Coral Gables’ professional landscape design company, we’ll show you how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered. 

how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered

What’s Worse Between Overwatering and Underwatering? 

When it comes to watering your plant, you should know that overwatering is just as dangerous as underwatering. However, it all boils down to the length of exposure and water pressure: the longer the soil stays soggy or dry, the more your plant is likely to suffer. 

It’s also worth noting that different plants react to overwatering and underwatering differently. For instance, while desert and aerial plants can withstand relatively dry soil for a couple of weeks, the approach to watering your new trees may differ significantly, requiring careful attention to ensure their healthy growth and establishment. Additionally, invasive plants can exacerbate these issues by competing for water and nutrients, further stressing your plants.

On the other hand, most tropical houseplants can suffer both underwatering and overwatering. Now, let’s see how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered. 

Top Signs That a Plant Is Overwatered

Here are common features you’ll notice if your plant has received more water than it needs:

    • Color. When your plant is healthy, the leaves and stems will often exhibit a vivid green color. This shows the plant is getting sufficient nutrition through photosynthesis. However, if you notice dark brown spots, wilting, or any other discoloration, the plant could be experiencing rot that hampers oxygen supply and adversely impacts the stems and leaves. 
    • Leaves. Overwatered plant’s leaves and stems are often heavy and droopy. The stems may eventually break and die off.
    • Sunlight. Inadequate sunlight exposure and constantly wet soil will result in weak roots, and the plant’s health will deteriorate quite fast.
    • Growth. If your potted or outdoor plants exhibit signs of slow or stunted growth, it could be a result of overwatering. 

Common Signs of Underwatering Plants

The symptoms of underwatering are often more unforgiving and noticeable than those of overwatering. You won’t even need a moisture meter to know you have a problem. If you notice any of the following issues, your plant may not be receiving enough water: 

    • Folded or droopy leaves. Plants usually arch down or coil up their leaves when suffering from water stress. This helps them preserve the minute water molecules in the leaf cells. If you notice this issue, it indicates that something is amiss with the soil.
    • Yellowing. Interrupted water supply from the roots can often lead to yellow leaves of chlorosis. The problem worsens over time, leading to leaf browning.
    • Slow growth. Not giving your plants sufficient water can hamper their physiological activity and slow their growth.
    • Dry or light soil. If the soil feels dry and light, the chances are that it’s not getting enough water. 

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance

Still can’t figure out how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered? The experts at Nature’s Dream Landscape can help. Contact us at 305-874-7374 for an estimate or to learn about landscaping mistakes you should avoid in Coral Gables, FL.

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