Too Much Water: How to Know If You’re Overwatering Your Plants and How to Fix It

Michael Hatcher

Mar 22, 2017 10:43:55 AM

The stale brown color of plant leaves and the algae-green color of soil shouldn’t overshadow the vibrant colors you’ve planted around your green space this spring.

If they do, however, you could be overwatering your plants.

So how do you know how much to water your plants, the signs of too much water and what happens if they do get overwatered?

How to Know How Much to Water Your Plants

Take time to figure out how much to water your plants. Feel the surface of the soil before you add water. If it’s dry, then you will need to add water. For a more accurate answer, however, insert a spade into the soil and near the plant. Pull it back and examine the soil. Does it feel moist 6 to 12 inches deep? If so, your plant has enough water. If not, however, you will need to add water.


How to Know Your Plants Are Getting Too Much Water

Figure out if your plants are getting too much water by looking for the following symptoms:

  • Green soil, which is algae
  • New plant leaves are brown
  • No new plant growth
  • Rotted plant roots
  • Wilted plant leaves
  • Yellow lower plant leaves


How to Fix Your Plants that have Gotten Too Much Water

While your plant can still grow after being overwatered, it’s important to address the problem now to save your investment later. Address this problem on a nice Saturday morning or whenever you have a little bit of extra time. Take the plant out of your planter by tapping on each side of the pot and loosening the roots from the sides. Once out, place it on a wire mesh baking rack for several hours. This process will allow your plant to both dry out and breathe for a while.


When the effects of overwatering have been resolved consider these tips for watering your plants more wisely:

  • Mulch everything to reduce runoff.
  • Only water when needed.
  • Water in the mornings.
  • When you water, focus on the roots and not the leaves. To water this area more efficiently, use a soaker hose.

Don’t let the act of overwatering your plants negatively affect the curb appeal of your entire property and it’s landscaping. Figure out if you’re watering your plants too much and, if so, resolve the issue and begin practicing the healthier watering techniques mention above. 

Michael Hatcher

Written by Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is Founder and Chairman of Michael Hatcher & Associates.