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How To Tell If A Plant Is Overwatered Or Underwatered

November 30, 2022 2 min read

How To Tell If A Plant Is Overwatered Or Underwatered

How NOT To Send Your Plants To An Early Grave
Watering | Serial Plant Killer 101

So, you’re struggling with your house plants. Maybe you got a bit over-excited at the nursery and now you have a whole bunch of plants that aren’t too happy. It's alright, we’ve all been thereBut just so you don’t become a serial plant killer, we’ve created a quick rundown of house plant golden rules that you can follow so your plants not only survive but thrive!  

Golden Rule Number One: Don’t Overwater or Underwater!

This was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn when I first started taking care of house plants because overwater and underwatering basically have the same symptoms. I would get so confused about what my plant was trying to tell me. So, I made a Venn diagram to show you where the cross-over lies and what some key differences are.

Still confused? As you can see there are a lot of crossovers when it comes to what overwatering and underwatering look like but don’t stress! There are some ways you can differentiate between these overlapping symptoms.

Generally, most of the symptoms in the middle of the diagram, especially wilting and drooping leaves will improve once the plant is watered meaning that you have been underwatering your plant.  Adding in some of our Indoor Plant Food is going to help give your tired plant some extra love.  

However, if your plant has symptoms of both overwatering and underwatering, it is probably safe to say it is being overwatered.

This is because the damage of overwatering is caused by prolonged wet conditions but they can still persist even after the soil has dried out. Overwatering happens when the soil isn’t properly aerated due to wet and soggy conditions. The easiest way to think about this is that your plant needs to be able to breathe. If the roots can’t access oxygen this stops the rest of your plant from getting the nutrients that it needs.

To avoid this here are some ways to prevent overwatering:

🪴 Make sure your plant has good lighting. This can help to dry out the soil and the plants make better use of water and nutrients when in better conditions. Our Grow Lights are a great way to ensure your plants get the light they need.

🪴 Ensure good drainage. This can be done by using well-draining soil and making sure your pot has drainage holes.

🪴 Always check the soil before watering. Check the dampness, the weight of the pot and any signs of watering stress.

And that’s it! You have completed your first Serial Plant Killer 101 course. Follow along to learn more in our newsletter or on our socials at @Urbanplantgrowers.

By Charlotte Sheridan

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