Don’t drown your plants!

Have you ever bought a yard full of beautiful flowers in April, only to find they’re dead in June? You may be overwatering them!

When flowers wilt, it’s easy to assume they need more water. In fact, some of the signs of over watering look similar to the signs of under watering. But one of the most common killers of indoor and outdoor plants is overwatering. This is especially true for potted plants.

Roots do two things: they take in water, and they absorb oxygen. Overwatering means the roots can’t absorb oxygen and that actually rots the roots from within the soil.

So how much should you water? The obvious answer is that it depends.

And it does depend on the size of the pot, the age of the plant, whether it’s in a sunny spot or a shady one, and the type of plant. There are some tell-tale signs to see if you’re over watering, though. Do your potted plants have any of these signs?

  • Constantly wet soil
  • Yellowing of the lower stems and leaves
  • Wilting (over watered plants are yellowed and wilted, under watered ones are brown and wilted)
  • Rotting roots
  • No new growth, especially buds that don’t turn into flowers

How can you prevent over watering your plants?

  • Read the tags that come with your plants—they may not need as much water as you think!
  • Pay attention to the symptoms of overwatering once your plants are in soil.
  • Make sure there’s good drainage for potted plants.
  • Water less often in the spring than in the heat of summer, especially when there has been a lot of rainfall.

If you have over watered some of your plants this year, don’t worry! Let them dry out for a bit, and it’s likely they’ll spring right back to life.

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