We all know that without enough water, plants will eventually shrivel and die. But did you know that you can actually overwater your plants? Adding too much water to potted plants or flowerbeds can cause just as much damage as a drought. Find out how to avoid overwatering your plants so they can continue to thrive and add beauty to your outdoor space.
Learn the Common Signs of Overwatering
Believe it or not, the signs of overwatering can look quite similar to those of under-watering. The leaves of the plant may begin turning brown and wilting. The plant may look soggy and sagging, and it may develop swollen blisters full of moisture caused by overly stressed cells. These may turn into white scar-like markings or dark lesions. Eventually, the plant can even develop root rot.
Don't let these symptoms trick you into watering the plants even more! This is where knowledge and research come into play.
Know Your Plants
One important way to prevent overwatering is to know your plants. Some plants, like aloe, spider plants, and ponytail palms, don't need much water at all. Others, like the philodendron or bird of paradise plants, have moderate watering needs. And some have very high moisture requirements; these would include the African violent, dieffenbachia, or maidenhair fern.
Research each plant before you install it in your garden or flowerbeds, and keep a journal, electronic file, or a paper chart that includes all the types of plants you have in your outdoor space, along with notations about the water needs and fertilization requirements of each one. That way you'll have a handy reference guide for how often and how heavily you should water each plant in your landscape.
Change the Soil
Sometimes, overwatering may not actually be your fault. It could be that the soil around the plant is retaining too much moisture and not draining well, so that even if you're adhering to the recommended watering schedule for that type of plant, it is sitting in overly moist soil.
Consider adding grittier soil with more sand and less clay. Kurtz Bros. offers a broad range of soil types on our website, so you can easily order the kind you need.
Repot or Move the Plant
When you're dealing with potted plants, you may want to swap out the one you're using for something with better moisture evaporation, like an unglazed or terracotta pot. Be sure your pot has drainage holes. If the plant is in a wet area of your yard, move it to a spot that has better drainage. Once it has been moved or repotted, ensure that you don't overwater it in its new space.
If drainage issues are a problem in your yard, contact Kurtz Bros., Inc. We are happy to help out with new landscaping ideas and guidance for better stormwater management in your yard. Get in touch with us online or by phone, or browse our blog for helpful gardening and landscaping supplies and strategies.