Signs That You Are Giving Your Plants Too Much Water

Giving your garden plants the right amount of water


Garden plants can give that WOW with their beauty and charm, Just yesterday I visited a local plant nursery to pick up a few plants for a garden project ( marigolds, pintas, and periwinkles) and was so amazed by the many plant’s species that was on display as they showed off their beauty. Garden plants can bring such a pleasant change.

Have you ever visited your plant’s nursery and couldn’t resist as your eyes caught a particular plant. You could not deny but reach with such joy as you signal for help from your nurseryman letting him know this is the plant that you want to take home, it was love at first sight. Reaching to the counter with cash, credit card, or checkbook in hand you paid for it, what a delight you are now the sole owner of this plant and you know just where to put it.

You also purchase a brand new decorative container because the container that you have at home is all worn out and will not do your new-found love justice.  Reaching home you get right to work installing this beauty in the container and placed the container just outside your front door entrance for both neighbors, family, and friends not only to see but to enjoy. Your plant is admired and you are receiving so many compliments for it making you so proud, this was worth the investment you tell yourself as happy thoughts race through your mind, then one day out of the blue your plant does not look as lush and happy as it once did when you brought it home, is it homesick, did it miss its previous home ( your local plant nursery ) or is there more.

Maybe if I sing or talk to it that might help but all the talking or singing to it as a bird does it no good, I know maybe it may need some water but wait I have been watering this beauty every day since I brought it home I know maybe I was not giving it sufficient water so you give it more water and instead of it improving it continues to decline at this point you don’t know what to do so you call your nurseryman and tell him about this particular plant which you purchased from him and how you have been watering it since the day you brought it home only to hear the reason why your plant is responding like that is that you are giving it to much water.

Signs that you are giving your plants too much water

Does this story describes you or have you been in a similar position? I mean one of the requirements of a plant is water, even a kindergartener knows that, and while you are right about what you said the truth of the matter is no matter how much a plant may love water (high maintenance plant ) even plants can get more than their shear which will lead to problems.

Knowing how much water to give your garden plant is so important many a plant have been killed simply because the question was never asked about the water requirements. The last thing you want is to invest both time and money and then all of your efforts go down the drain when asking that simple question could have kept your plant lush and healthy keeping a smile on your face.

Signs of overwatering garden plants

Here a few signs to look for, careful attention should be given because some symptoms can be somewhat similar therefore a thorough inspection is a must.

1. When a plant shows signs of wilting it can be overwater or a lack of water, therefore, check the soil well to determine your findings. Use your finger or a soil probe and dig about three inches or more into the soil. There are also soil moisture meters that can help with this, these devices can be purchased from your plant nursery or garden center

2. The leaves turning yellow is also another sign of a lack of water, plants that are attacked by insects also have yellow leaves because of the insect sucking the plant’s fluids. A plant that is nitrogen deficient will also develop yellow leaves, the only difference is when a plant is getting too much water the leaves will turn yellow then drop. In the case of nitrogen deficiency, the leaves though yellow will remain attached to your plant again do a thorough inspection

3. Plant leaf drop can also be a clear indication that your garden plant is getting too much water, leaf drop can also mean there is an insect problem again this is where proper inspection comes in.

4. A plant’s leaf will also wilt and turn brown because it is either getting too much water or not enough water. If your garden plant is getting too much water the leaves will turn brown but it will be soft and mushy if too little water the leaves will not only turn brown but it will be crispy and brittle to the touch.

5. Overwatering can cause a plant to be stunted.

6. Too much water will cause your plant’s roots to rot when this happens and if quick action is not taken your plant will be lost.

7. Too much water will push oxygen out of the soil which is not good for plant life.

8. Another sign of giving your plant too much water is a foul odor because of decaying roots, stems, or leaves.

9. Overwatering can also cause fungus to appear on the soils’ surface. Many of these fungi take on the appearance of mushrooms.

10. If your plant leaves that were once erected begin to drop it just may be caused by overwatering.

11. Mildew and mold are also influenced by overwatering.

The final word

Plants need water just like all living things what we must remember is that just as we have a limit with the intaking of water so do plants so before you purchase a plant get to know all about the care that plant including its watering needs because many have had the unpleasant experience of killing their plant by overwatering but the good news is this does not have to be you so let’s do all that we can to keep our garden plants healthy and thriving including giving them the right amount of water.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

12 thoughts on “Signs That You Are Giving Your Plants Too Much Water”

  1. Whether a plant is planted in the garden or potted will also determine watering requirements. Garden soil tends to retain water longer than the material in a pot. We had record-setting amounts of rain last year. This lead to a drainage problem in our gardens and lawn, especially our lawn. We went weeks without the lawn drying out, which caused problems for the grassroots. 

    • Hello, Glen so happy to see you and I am so sorry to hear what happen. Water can be good and bad depending on the amount that is being used. Heavy rains can do a number, especially with soils that drain slow. Hopefully, everything worked out for you and I hope you don’t have to experience this again. All the best to you and have a good day.

  2. I must say that this article helped me a lot. Just like I said in your previous article regarding petunias, my wife and I have a big garden full of flowers and I experienced rooting some of my plants and now I think it is because of overwatering. Just asking, if I plant it in the dry ground would it recover?

    • Hello, Daniel so sorry to hear about your plants that are drying. Removing your plant can cause more issue like loss of roots. With a plant that is in a container, this would be much easier but a plant that is planted in the ground especially if it has been there for some time can cause issues.

      What you can do is to discontinue watering, to allow the soil to dry out. Depending on what kind of plant you have why not pay your garden nursery a visit and have a talk with someone there who can recommend a fungicide that you can use in treating your plant beside a few other things. Hope this help and I would love to know how it goes. All the best to you and have a good day.

  3. Hi Norman, 
    OMG, what a great article about over watering. I am thankful for coming across your article time, as it has shown the exact reason why my rose bushes are stunted.
    Following your advice, I should reduce watering from daily to once every few days to see any improvement. (I watered daily because I loved watering and spending time with roses)
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.
    Best wishes in writing more for us

    • Hello skmalka so happy to see you, water plays a very important part in the life of a plant’s life but the flip side of the coin is just as a lack of water can cause plant issues so do overwatering, therefore, it is good to know your plants water requirement in order for your plant to continue to grow healthy and happy. I am so happy that I could help and please let me know how it goes. All the best to you and have a good day.

  4. Hi Norman!

    Valuable tips in this post as well. It is great to know that giving to much water to flowers can harm them. I saw many times flowers without enough water, but never with too much of it. I don’t count here the flowers destroyed because of the heavy rain. 

    Water is an essential living factor for humans, so for the plants. But, as you mentioned, “don’t kill the flower” with too much of the water.

    Thanks for letting me learn more about the flowers proper “nutrition” praxis!

    Best reagrds,

    • Hello Igor, water plays an important part in the life of a plant but too much of it is not good. So happy that I could help. All the best to you and have a good day.

  5. Hello. My mother has lots of plants she likes having a garden and taking care of it.

    I went sometimes with her to the nursery to buy quite lots of plants (up to 7 different plants). I can admit that it makes a difference having a garden with plants and having no plants. It smells different and it is more happy environment.

    Sometimes i noticed that some plants were “broken” (Well i don’t know much about them that’s what my mom said).

    Even though i don’t attent to them in a daily basis it feels bad to hear that. Sometimes i might water them if my mom goes away for some time.

    Now that i read this article, i would know better about this condition of insufficient watering (Well when you buy a plant it doesn’t have a tag saying how much water it needs or other useful information).

    • Hello so happy to see you. Connecting with nature by installing plants is so amazing. But plants do have their requirements or needs in order to survive and if we don’t know what those requirements are those beautiful plants will die. So when purchasing plants ask your nurseryman about the care of that plant to keep it growing beautifully. Thanks so much for sharing, all the best to you and have a good day.

  6. I fell in love with the Tulips when I was very young and it has remained my most loved plant. I am glad I stumbled upon your article on how to plant and take care of them.

    Knowing I can actually plant it indoors really has me excited and I can’t wait to try the process out.

    But I got a bit confused at step four, where you said something about adding water if they seem dry

    my question is, should this be done during the period they are refrigerated or when we get them out?

    Woudn’t want to make any mistakes on this one at all.

    Hope to her from you soon.


    • Hello Queen so nice to meet you and I am so happy to help. Tulips are really amazing in their array of colors. Adding a little water to them at the first sighting of them being dry will help. So happy that I could help and please let me know how it goes. All the best to you and have a good day.


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