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How to water plants: Over and Under Watering

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

If you’re new to horticulture, you may be asking yourself a million questions about how to water plants. For instance, how much should you water plants? And are you supposed to water your plants every day? What kind of water do you water plants with?

Given there’s a ton of plant species out there, it isn’t hard to believe that they all require different amounts of water to be their healthiest. Although listing exact measurements for every known plant would be very entertaining, and not arduous at all, it would be much more practical to delineate signs of both over-watered and under-watered plants, so you can take the right steps toward rehabilitating your plant.

How to water plants: Underwatering

So, underwatering, what are the do’s and don'ts? It’s quite simple. Remember to water your plants! In all seriousness, oftentimes, that could very likely be the reason as to why your plants are feeling a bit parched. But what if you are diligent about nourishing your nature babies and you just can’t tell whether or not your plants are under watered? I’m glad you asked.

Under Watering Indicators: There are some key signs of an underwatered plant, which include wilting, sluggish growth, a dry/stiff stem, soil shriveling together, and leaves falling off.

Resuscitating under watered plants: Water it! Check if the stem and roots are still alive, if they are then there’s a chance your plant will survive! This plant needs major TLC. Lightly fertilize and research any specific plant needs.

How to water plants: Overwatering

Conversely, it is also possible to overwater plants. Anything in excess is harmful, right? So, how do you stop overwatering plants? Stop waterboarding your plants! You don’t even drink that much water, for Pete’s sake. Honestly, though, our nature babies are responsive, they’ll let you know how much water is too much. How? Keep reading.

Over Watering Indicators: By having yellowing, limp edges; a pungent, foul odor in the soil; fungus, mildew, or mold on the plant itself or the soil; a soft stem; leaf blisters; leaves falling despite wet soil.

Resuscitating over-watered plants: Remove them from the over-watered environment it is currently in. Whether it is potted or in the ground, drain the plant’s soil by removing it from the soil, rinsing it, and drying it before repotting/planting it. Remove any unhealthy roots. Planting over watered plants in soil that contains 1% hydrogen peroxide is often recommended, to help the plant oxygenate.

How to water plants properly recap

In general, there may be a specific, ideal amount of water to provide your plants, but there’s always some wiggle room. A tad bit of research and moderation always goes a long way. Now that you know the do’s and don'ts of how to water plants, you may be ready to add another baby to your collection. Check out Planted Casa, a plant nursery in Miami and with an online delivery service, for your next plant purchase!

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