What You Need to Know About Overwatering Your Plants

by Robert Canning on January 14, 2022

Leaving your precious plants unwatered can result in discoloured leaves and limp-looking branches. It is easy to think the quickest solution would be to drown their pots in much-needed hydration, but did you know there are dangers to overwatering your plants? 

If you’ve done this and ruined some of your precious petunias, there’s no need to visit your local floral shop yet. Here’s what you need to know on the topic so you can prevent it from happening ever again.

Overwatering Contributes to Moisture Stress

Moisture stress is a condition where a plant cannot adapt to the changes in weather and temperature that directly affect soil moisture. It is not only intense drought that causes this, but also overwatering!

Overwatering contributes to moisture stress because the plant cannot adapt to the shifts in temperature and moisture. If you’ve gone an extra day or two without hydrating your plants, this means an increase in temperature and a decrease in humidity. 

Therefore, the leaves’ veins do not get the nutrients needed for photosynthesis from the soil, causing wilting and changes in colour. 

However, water compensation does not reverse moisture stress’s effects. Signs of this include the following:

  • Browning or yellowing leaves.

  • Wilting despite moist soil.

  • Water-logged leaves, a sign of oedema.

  • A surprisingly heavy pot.

In case of emergencies, remember these tips, so you don’t have to seek a floral shop for help:

  • Don’t water your plant for a day or two.

  • Move your plant to a hotter location, so the excess moisture evaporates.

  • Move your plant to a pot with better drainage.

  • Remove the excess water by tipping the pot.

Prevent Overwatering with These Insights

There are four easy insights to remember when watering your plants to ensure they get the optimal amount of hydration and nutrients. Follow them below for even better results:

  • Employ the Finger Test: Did you know that just one human finger can prevent overwatering? This is called the finger test, and you should do it more often with your plants to keep them happy and healthy! 

Gently open up the soil around your plant and stick a finger into the top one to two inches of soil. Your finger should feel moist. If it doesn’t, it’s probably time for a watering!

  • Drain Away Excess Moisture: Leftover moisture on the roots can cause fungal and mould growths, blocking their access to vital nutrients the rest of the plant needs. As mentioned above, tip the pot on one side to let all the remaining water out, especially if your pot only has one drain hole on the lowest side. 

You can also prevent this by moving your plant to a pot with drain holes at the very bottom to ensure all moisture drains downwards and does not remain on the roots.

  • Water at the Right Time: It seems more sensical to water plants in the late afternoons to evenings to maximise the moisture and nutrients it absorbs. That's a bad idea, as the cool evening breeze promotes moisture and root rot. 

Watering them in the morning is much better because it allows enough time for excess moisture to evaporate.

  • Know Your Plants’ Needs: Plants need water, but the amount required depends on the plant, where it's from, and how it's watered. You can't just water any plant the same way. Double-check with your local floral shop to know just how much and how often you need to water your plants.

One Last Thing

If your plants continue to wilt or discolour despite practising what you’ve learned above, then there’s no need to worry, as that’s natural seasonal changes taking place. Let the seasons occur, prune when necessary, and follow the above tips to ensure your plants always stay healthy, blooming, and flowering with the right amounts of water.

Preparing for a wedding or an office event and need to know what flowers are best and how you can keep them in great shape ‘til then? Contact Upscale & Posh today! We’re a British, family-owned, 5-star rated floral shop that provides affordable, same-day delivery in Dubai and the UAE. Chat with us now, and our in-house florist will help you craft styled bouquets for your special occasion!


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