During the long, hot summer months, you may be tempted to increase the amount of water you give your plants. While it is natural to worry about underwatering your plants, you can overwater them and damage them that way as well. Overwatering is a common problem and can be fixed with a few adjustments to your watering habits. If you spot any of the signs of damage below, it can indicate that you are overwatering your plants and that you may still have time to rescue them.
Leaves Turn Brown and Wilt
While you may know that depriving your plants of water can lead the leaves to brown and wilt, overwatering your plants can lead to the same result. The primary difference, however, is that while underwatered leaves feel dry and crispy, overwatered leaves will feel soft and limp.
Plant Leaves Swell
Water pressure will begin to build in the cells of plant leaves when the roots absorb more water than they can use. Plant cells eventually die and burst, forming blisters and areas that look like lesions on the plant. Ultimately, these lesions will turn to dark or white scar tissue, and indentations may form on the top sides of leaves.
Stunted Growth and Yellowing Leaves
If your plants are experiencing stunted slow growth and yellowing leaves, you may be overwatering your plants. If these yellowing leaves are falling off along with new growth, you are overwatering.
Plants not only show signs of overwatering in their leaves but in their roots as well. When soil is dense with water, it limits the roots’ ability to breathe, which can lead to the roots drowning and beginning to rot. Root rot is a fungal disease that turns roots gray, brown, or slimy and eventually causes the plant to wilt. If root rot develops, it is best to remove the plant from its garden bed before it can spread the disease.
What To Do Next
If overwatering your plants is a consistent issue, you can try to select plants that require more water. This way, your overwatering habits suit the plants. Sedge, rose mallow, hibiscus, swamp azaleas, and viburnum can all withstand a heavy dose of water. On the other hand, you can select plants that don’t require much water at all, so you don’t feel anxious about how much water you have given them and can monitor them less frequently. Deer grass, aloes, and succulents could all be good choices.
If you want to maintain your garden as it is, you must be sure not to water your plants unless their soil is dry to the touch. Plants can withstand a lot more than we think, and overwatering your plants is not always necessary to help them survive the summer.
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