Five Signs You’re Overwatering Your Winter Houseplants

While we wait for conditions to green up outdoors, many of us focus on the greenery we keep inside our homes.

As mentioned two weeks ago, houseplants can be touchy. Watering is necessary, but only to a degree. Ironically, more houseplants die from overwatering than underwatering.

Here are five symptoms that you’re drowning a plant:

  • Leaves fall off at the slightest contact
  • Leaves droop or develop soft brown spots
  • Leaves are yellow or wilted
  • Mold appears on flowers, stalks, stems or on the soil surface
  • The pot emits a foul odor, indicating possible root rot and decay

See any of these? Might be time to pull back on the H2O, and give the plant a breather.

Watering houseplants in Elm Grove and Brookfield, WI

Conversely, a plant not getting enough water often has brown, dried leaf tips. So how much water is enough?

Many variables exist: light, potting soil and room temperature, for starters. Some plants need water every few days; others can go more than a week.

A plant enjoying bright light is probably growing more, and needs more water. A warm or very dry room makes a plant thirstier.

Try this test: Press a finger into the soil an inch. If it’s dry, water until the excess comes through the pot’s bottom drain holes. If the pot is in a pan or saucer, discard the extra water right away. Resting a plant in a tray of water creates root rot (you know, the ugly smell).

If the soil is excessively dried out, break it up. Doing so ensures that water gets evenly distributed.

You might not think that watering houseplants would be so complicated. Remember, though, that indoor plants are entirely dependent on you for needed moisture. We’re still some time away from outdoor landscaping in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI - at this time of year, your houseplants might be the only green game going.

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