How To Stop Overwatering Your Plants
Updated: Mar 4
We have all overwatered a plant, It's apart of the experience. There is nothing wrong with it, but let's learn how to save ourselves...and our plants. Here are some fail-proof tips on how to stop drowning your plants!
Water When The Plant Needs It
Stop watering on a schedule!! It doesn't work and can cause you to overwater your plant.
I'm gonna be honest with you, I barely water my plants. I allow the plant to tell me when they need to be watered. That can mean a finger testing the soil, or looking at the plant's overall appearance.
How To Do The Finger Test: If you are unsure of when you watered last or just want to check on your plant's water level. Simply stick your finger in the soil usually up to your first knuckle. If the soil sticks to your finger or feels moist, wait to water. If the soil feels dry and falls off your finger, then water.
You can also use a bamboo skewer or a knitting needle if you don't want to get your hands dirty.
This is one of the easiest ways I test my water levels. I don't have a moisture meter...I just use my finger and it hasn't failed me yet.
Looking at Plant Ques: If your plant's leaves are drooping or the leaves seem dehydrated or shriveled, then water. A lot of times your plants will tell you when they need to be watered, so listen to them!
As The Seasons Change, So Should Your Watering
As you may know, in the winter we get less sunlight (sucks I know). That causes plants to be less active than they are in the spring/summer. Meaning they are not drinking or needing as much water. In the spring and summer, the weather is warmer and the sun is hotter causing your plant's soil to dry quicker. So water more in the spring and summer than in the winter. Remember to water when the soil is dry or when the plant needs it.
Drainage! Drainage! Drainage!
We need to start using pots with drainage holes! Drainage is so important when it comes to watering your plant. If your planter doesn't have drainage there is no airflow, the water sits in the pot for too long, or pools at the bottom of the planter. This is just a recipe for root rot.
If your planter doesn't have drainage you can either drill a hole in the planter or use a nursery pot (that has drainage) and place it inside of the planter that doesn't have drainage (Featured above).
Side Note: I don't know who started this, but don't put rocks at the bottom of your planter. When you water, it will pool at the bottom of the container. Eventually, your roots will grow around the rocks and will sit in that pool of water.
Choose The Right Sized Planter
When you are looking to repot your plant be sure to choose the right sized planter. If you give your plant too much room the roots won't be able to absorb all of the water. Usually, if your planter is too big, the bottom of the planter stays wet for too long. If the roots aren't able to reach the bottom of the planter they won't be able to absorb all of the water. The top of the soil will be dry, but the bottom won't. So if you water it again it can lead to overwatering.
Remember that overwatering and root rot are apart of the process. If you happen to overwater, don't worry it can be fixed. You can always propagate and start over. Don't give up on that plant. I believe in you :)!
As always y'all happy planting,