Giving your plants too much water is one of the biggest issues I see in landscapes today. The mistake of overwatering your plants is not easy to diagnose. In many instances too much water mimics the signs of too little water. Below are four signs you can easily recognize to determine if you are giving your landscape too much water.
Your plant is wilting but it looks like it has plenty of water
Roots are critical to plant life. They are the primary source for water, food and the intake of oxygen. The roots of the plant take up water but they also need air to breathe. Overwatering, in simple terms, drowns your plant. Oxygen fills the space between the particles of soil. Soil that is constantly wet won’t have enough air pockets and plants will not be able to breathe by taking up oxygen with their roots.
Leaves turn brown and wilt
Leaves turn brown and wilt when plants have too little and too much water. The biggest difference is too little water will result in the leaves feeling crispy when you hold them in your hand. Too much water and the leaves will feel soft and limp in your hand.
When roots of plants absorb more water than they can use, water pressure begins to build in the cells of the leaves. The cells will eventually burst, killing them and forming blisters and these areas will look like lesions. Once the blisters erupt, tan, brown or white warty growths begin to form where the blisters originally were. Plus you will see indentations forming directly above the growths on the top sides of the leaves.
Stunted slow growth with yellowing leaves is a symptom of overwatering. The other sign to observe during this condition is leaf fall. If you have yellowing leaves and old leaves as well as new leaves are falling at the same accelerated rate you are providing too much water.
Check your soil regularly. Don’t be afraid to push you finger into the soil and see how moist it is an inch or two down. If the soil is moist and you have some of the conditions above it’s an excellent sign to reduce your water. Also, many stores sell inexpensive but accurate moisture meters. You simply insert them in the root ball and they will tell you how much water is in the soil. This is a simple and inexpensive tool that will take much of the guess work out of watering your landscape. I hope these tips are helpful and please share a few of your own in the comments area below.