4 Signs of Overwatering

 In Bradenton, Florida, Nature, Plants, Sarasota, Seasons, Uncategorized

4 Signs of Overwatering

sprinkler, signs of overwatering, brown grass, rocks, rain

Even if your irrigation should adjust to the rainy season, no system is foolproof.

Overwatering is a problem for many landscape plants.  Why?  Well, many of landscape plants do not tolerate having too much water.  According to scienceabc.com, excess water cuts off oxygen from the root system and essentially prevents plants from performing their essential functions.  Too much water also causes plant cells to swell, plants to wilt, roots to rot, and increased susceptibility to disease.  This is a significant problem during times when humidity is high and rainstorms are frequent.   Even if your irrigation should adjust to the rainy season, no system is foolproof.  So, it’s important to be aware of these 4 signs of overwatering.

Wilting or Brown Leaves (in moist soil)

If your plants are wilting, check to see if the surrounding soil is moist.  Similarly, if your leaves are brown, check the soil for moisture.  Why?  Well, this is one of the easiest signs of overwatering to spot.  If your plants are wilting or their leaves are turning brown, and the surrounding soil is moist, they are likely suffering from overwatering.  Remember, for most plants, only water when the surrounding soil is dry.

Root Rot

The US/IFAS website offers several ways to identify root rot:

  • Leaf yellowing or browning
  • Droopy foliage
  • Leaf drop
  • Leaf and stem wilting
  • Stem and limb die-back
  • Plant death

Both excess water and flooding are major causes of root rot.  While some plants can tolerate up to a week of flooding, they are still susceptible root rot.  Plants with root rot have slimy, decomposing roots.  These plants should be removed from your landscape or garden.


Edema occurs when a plant’s cells absorb too much water.  Greenhousemag.com explains that, edema causes the plant’s cells to swell or burst and create lesions or blisters.  The scarring that occurs can appear in the form of white or brown marks.  You may also see indentations on the top of the leaves.

signs of overwatering, powdery mildew, tomato leaf, plant disease

High humidity and overwatering promote growth of powdery mildew.


Always monitor your plants for any sign of disease.  Disease symptoms can include spots and discoloration.  In fact, many signs and symptoms of disease are identical to the ones mentioned for root rot.  Consult an expert if you think your signs of overwatering are related to disease.  Some disease are treated, and some may require removal from your landscape or garden.

Don’t Ignore Signs of Overwatering

If you see signs of overwatering, contact a professional.  Because many of the symptoms look similar, it is the best way to make sure you take the best course of action.  You can also take a few preventative steps like using compost to increase drainage.  After a heavy rain, once your soil has dried, be sure to replenish any lost topsoil or mulch.  This prevents erosion and protects root systems.

Compost, topsoil, and mulch are all available at 1 Stop Landscape Supply.  Click here to view our products!

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