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Signs of Over & Under Watering Plants

Signs of Over & Under Watering Plants

When it comes to watering our plants, it's natural to wish for a single, golden rule that could be applied across the board, with all plants. While this would make everything a whole lot easier, it is certainly not the case.

There are many variables that can affect how thirsty a plant is. From environmental causes like drafts, humidity, air-conditioning and heating to pot-related factors like how porous it is and the size of the pot itself.

One of the most important things you can learn as a plant parent is how to read the signs. What is your plant trying to tell you? Learning how your plants communicate their needs will help you tailor their care. Below are some of the most common signs that plants exhibit when their watering needs are not being met: 

    Signs of Overwatering: 

    • Musty smell
    • Soil that never dries out
    • Small insects (like flies or gnats) on the soil of the surface
    • Bottom leaves turning yellow
    • Bottom leaves turning brown
    • Mushy leaves or mushy spots. 

    Signs of Underwatering

    • Drooping
    • Shriveling
    • Leaf tips of edges that are crispy and brown
    • Leaves in the middle or near the top that are yellowing. 

    ATTENTION! As a caveat, a plant that needs to be repotted because it is root-bound or has nutrient-poor soil could exhibit the same signs as underwatering. If you haven't changed your watering schedule and your plant exhibits these signs, either repot with organic all-purpose potting soil and water with bacterial inoculant, or just break up the first inch or so of soil with your fingers or a fork and mix in a little fresh potting soil to tide the plant over until you can.

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