Water and Plants : Signs, Effects and Tips to avoid Over Watering of Plants

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We all are aware of the fact that plants need water to grow. However, did you know that over watering can be harmful for the plants? We know that too little water can cause dehydration and eventually kill the plant but you will be surprised to know that too much water can also kill the plant.

Signs of over watered plants:

  • Dry young leaves
  • No new growth
  • Plant looks weak
  • Soil color becomes green due to algae growth
  • The bottom releases moldy odor
  • Stem becomes soft and tender

Effects of over watering

  • Suffocation: As every living being requires oxygen to sustain, plants also need it for their survival and growth. However, over watering makes the soil very loose and difficult to absorb the water. As a result the supply of oxygen to the roots is not enough and the plants begin to die.
  • Damaging the roots: Over watering causes the excess water to float. The roots of the plants are submerged in the water for a long time. This results in decaying the roots. Rotten roots are helpless as they can neither absorb the water nor can they supply enough oxygen to the plants.
  • Breakdown: Where there is water there is life. Excess water which is not absorbed in the soil causes fungus to grow and eventually affects the growth of the plant.

Tips to avoid over watering

  • Check the soil:

Examining the soil helps us to understand wether the soil is dry or crumbly or muddy. Understanding the texture of the soil prevents one from both over watering and under watering. However, if in doubt, follow:

Soil + dryness = water. Soil + wet = avoid watering.

  • Slowly:Poring the entire bucket of water in one go causes water runoff. On the other hand pouring it slowly helps it to get absorbed better in the soil. And one also understands the water requirement of the plant.
  • Deeply:While watering, water deeply so that not only the top layer of the soil get watered but also the roots of the plants are moist.
  • Time:Always prefer to water the plants early morning when the temperature is low. As watering in late morning when the heat is at peak causes too much evaporation. Also, watering late night in humid climate makes the plant more susceptible to diseases and fungal growth.


Plant affected due to over watering can be treated in following ways

  • Re-plant, the affected plant in fresh soil.
  • In the case, where roots are moist, wrap them in a sheet of paper and allow it to dry before repotting.
  • Clean the pot with warm water before replanting.
  • Trim down the rotten roots.
  • Cut off the dry stems.
  • Keep few pea gravel, pebbles or sand at the bottom to allow adequate outflow in future.

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