The misconception of 'overwatering'

April 29, 2022

The misconception of 'overwatering'


Overwatering is a common phrase thrown around in the plant world. It leaves permanent leaf damage and can be fatal, so it is understandable that plant lovers are cautious when it comes to watering, but it is often misunderstood. Overwatering implies too much water, which tends to cause people to water little amounts frequently, when really, it is not necessarily how much water you are using (if the water is freely draining from the pot) but how often you are watering it. Hopefully, I can break it down for you in this blog.  

Soil spaces and why they are important  

If you imagine the soil as little particles, and in between each particle there are spaces of air, when you water your plant these spaces of air fill with water and the roots can have a drink. As the soil dries, the spaces fill with air again. This is an important process as the air is just as important as water for the roots to respire (breathe). This allows them to grow and continue absorbing nutrients. If the soil is constantly saturated the plant cannot respire which leads to root death (the dreaded root rot).  

Watering well 

(The following advice is for plants in grow pots/nursery pots. Not direct planted in cover pots, I will discuss that in another blog.)

The risk with watering little amounts frequently is that the water is not reaching all the roots, causing poor root development.  

The best way to overcome this frequent problem is by perfecting your watering schedule which is easily done with the GrowProbe. When you have probed the pot and established the soil is dry it is time to water. Remove the grow pot from the cover pot and place it in a sink or somewhere for the water to drain and water until it is flowing from the bottom of the pot. Allow any excess water to drain to prevent it from pooling. I usually do this by giving the plant a gentle shake.

Otherwise, you can give bottom watering a-go. I will discuss different methods of watering in another blog  

Learning how to correctly water your plants is the first step in plant care and is the main factor in whether your plant thrives or dies. GrowProbe is the tool that will help you identify the best time to water. It is not necessarily how much water you give but the timing in when you water. 

Written by Shayna Robinson

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