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Overwatering house plants

By: Garden Gate staff
Overwatering house plants is just as bad as underwatering them. How do you tell if your plants are overwatered?

Overwatering house plants

overwatering house plants

Overwatering house plants is just as bad as underwatering them. How do you tell if your plants are overwatered? Start by checking the soil. If the soil feels wet to the touch and you haven’t recently watered it, it may have been overwatered. Smell the soil too. A fermenting or rotting smell might indicate that the roots are decomposing. Examine the roots. Healthy roots will be white or light yellow in color and firm. Damaged, rotting roots will be brown or black and soft.

The top of the plant might not look like it has too much water – in fact, it might be wilted. Wilted foliage is often a sign of too little water, but it can be a sign of too much as well. An overwatered plant that is wilted doesn’t have any living roots. Leaf tips or margins may also turn brown if the plant has been overwatered.

After checking the plant’s roots, you can decide what action needs to be taken. If the roots are reasonably healthy, then you need to allow the roots to dry out before you water again. Don’t allow the soil to dry so much that the plant then wilts. If the roots have begun to rot, then it is best to start over with a new plant. To ensure proper watering in the future, water only when the plant needs more water. Check soil moisture by touching it, using a moisture meter or by checking the weight of the pot. Never leave your plants sitting in water.

Published: Jan. 29, 2008
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