How do you know that you are overwatering or underwatering plants?
Or better put, when is it time to change your watering method or routine of plants? These are some questions that a gardener should answer with ease.
But it is not easy to be sure what the problem is when it comes to watering. Some signs of overwatering may also indicate underwatering. It is one of the dilemmas facing gardeners today. But everything comes clear when you take a closer look.
Signs and effects of overwatering on the roots
Overwatering is stopes plants from thriving. It causes poor aeration of soil. Heavily watered soil does not absorb adequate air. The soggy conditions are unhealthy for the survival of plants. To some plants, it is the cause of death.
It starts with rotting of roots and blackening of leaves. This happens because the plant is not able to access oxygen. Too much water closes the air spaces in the soil.
No respiration occurs, which is a threat to the plant. They are unable to use the sugars produced through photosynthesis.
Signs and effects of overwatering on the leaves
The leaves are among the easy to note signs of overwatered plants. Overwatering leads to unhealthy leaves. They turn yellow and pale. The Leaf tips turn dry quickly, especially of young plants. Edema of the leaves has also been associated with overwatering of plants.
The age of a plant plays a role in this. It determines how much overwatering can affect a plant. Younger plants turn brown faster on the leaves. Older plants may endure the overwatering for longer. But ultimately, they all start withering and dropping of leaves.
How does underwatering affect the leaves?
Major signs of underwatering are evident on the leaves of plants. The leaves become dehydrated and start to dry up. The leaves also look thin and papery. For some leafy plants, they do not produce enough leaves when underwatered.
As a sign of underwatering, some plants curl their leaves. Underwatered Calatheas are a great example. They curl their leaves inwards when underwatered. This is typically a natural response to conserve moisture.
How does underwatering affect the roots?
The roots of plants start to dry up quickly when underwatered. The little or no water does not serve the needs of the plant. A good sign of underwatered plants are the shallow roots. This is especially for plants that have deep roots.
Underwatered plants also tend to take up salts and chemicals from the soil. The roots turn in color and look unhealthy. They are also thin and do not spread evenly. Some roots curl and stop growing when underwatered.
Underwatering and overwatering effects on the growth of plants
Plants depend a lot on water for growth. It is through the water that plants access nutrients. When either underwatered of overwatered, stunted growth affects the plants. But the different effects overlap for both over and underwatering.
Both underwatering and overwatering causes nutritional deficiencies in plants. It may sound a little confusing, but the they all restrict natural growth.
The loss of leaves from the plants is a threat to its growth. It happens when the plants respond to a lot or water deficiency.
For both, wilting is a common sign. But the effects of wilting happen to be different. When overwatered wilting effects do not resolve.
The leaves continue to grow wilted. But luckily, when underwatered, wilting is corrected after enough water is provided.
Effect of overwatering and underwatering woody plants
Woody plants are a unique kind when it comes to identifying underwatering or overwatering. They should be treated differently in their care.
It is not right to either give them too much water of deny them enough. Eventually, the woody part is heavily affected by lack of or excessive water.
When underwatered, the woody plants can show in their backs. The back turn brown and wither away.
It draws a conclusion that when too much, the water for woody plants may be as bad as when not enough. They can both starve these plants to death.
The idea is to make sure that you monitor your plants. Rectify the watering practice whenever a problem with the plants is noted.
Signs of underwatering and overwatering on the soil
The most basic way of telling whether plants are watered of not is to observe the soil. The soil will show evidently how a gardener treats his plants.
A major sign of underwatered plants is the drying up of soil. Soil may also start to crack when underwatered.
When overwatered, the soil surface is always wet. The ground is very slippery to walk on. Most of the leaves on the ground are rotten following excessive wetness. Chances are that you can also smell the rotted substances in such a garden.
The pests introduce fungi that affects the health of leaves. The summation is that whether overwatered or underwatered, the plants lose health and can easily die.
Overall, you should see unto it that plants are well watered. If any signs of overwatering are noted, it is time to reduce the water.
It might also mean stopping for a while as you monitor the plants. Same case applies to underwatering. Always be on the look out to ensure that the plants get just enough.
Because all the signs seem similar. Going back to the basics is recommended. Use your observation to observe the soil.
Use your hands to feel the soil texture. It is the best way to know what ails the soil. it is only from here that solution can be identified and implemented.