Signs of Overwatering Houseplants:
- Wilting: Although it may seem contradictory, overwatered plants can display wilting. This occurs because excessively moist soil can lead to root rot, preventing the roots from taking up water properly.
- Yellowing leaves: Overwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow. The excess moisture disrupts the uptake of nutrients, leading to nutrient deficiencies and yellowing foliage.
- Leaf drop: If the roots are consistently saturated, overwatered plants may shed leaves as a survival mechanism. The plant sheds leaves to reduce water loss and stress.
- Mushy or discolored roots: Overwatering causes root rot, leading to mushy, brown, or black roots. Healthy roots should be firm and white.
- Fungus or mold growth: Excessive moisture creates a favorable environment for fungal or mold growth, leading to the appearance of white, green, or black mold on the soil surface or around the base of the plant.
Signs of Underwatering Houseplants:
- Wilting: Underwatered plants often wilt as they struggle to take up enough water for their needs. Unlike overwatered plants, their leaves typically droop or appear limp rather than being soft and overly moist.
- Dry soil: The soil may be dry and pulling away from the sides of the pot. Underwatered plants may cause the soil to become hard and compacted.
- Dry, crispy leaves: Insufficient water can cause the leaves to become dry, crispy, or brittle. They may also exhibit browning or yellowing, starting from the leaf edges or tips.
- Stunted growth: Underwatered plants often experience slower or stunted growth. The lack of water affects nutrient uptake, which in turn affects the plant’s overall development.
- Rapid weight loss: If you notice that the pot feels considerably lighter when you pick it up, it can indicate that the plant is not receiving enough water.
It’s important to note that some symptoms can overlap or be caused by other factors. When assessing the watering needs of your houseplants, consider multiple factors such as the plant species, environmental conditions, and soil moisture to make an accurate diagnosis. Adjust your watering routine accordingly to provide the appropriate amount of water for the specific needs of your plants.