How to Tell if a Plant is Overwatered or Underwatered

Knowing how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered is, together with the frequency with which the plants should be watered or how to water succulents, one of the most common doubts in relation to the issues that affect irrigation.

how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered

First of all, we are going to explain to you what are the signs that indicate that a succulent plant has excess watering, excess humidity and, therefore, is at risk of rot. Second, we will explain what procedure you should follow to solve it.

Later, we will explain how to identify the lack of water, the symptoms that a succulent that needs water presents to, finally, explain how you can solve the lack of water in your succulents or cactus.

We hope that this article helps you to be more clear about how to take care of your plants in the most appropriate way.

Overwatered Succulents

To know when a succulent has excess water, pay attention to some signs that probably indicate that a succulent plant has been watered excessively, such as:

  • the leaves turn yellow and translucent or transparent;
  • feel moist or mushy to the touch;
  • or the leaves come off easily after light contact with them.

How to Save Overwatered Succulents

In case you have overwatered your succulents, we at Succulent Alley always recommend increasing the interval between waterings and watering only when the substrate is almost dry.

In our article on how often to water succulents we share a series of tricks and, also, some variables that determine the irrigation needs of the plants. We recommend that you read it to learn more about watering succulents.

Only in the event that because of the conditions of the area where you live you know that the substrate of your succulent plant is not going to dry easily, you should transplant it to a totally dry substrate. Do not forget that, as we have explained many times, succulents suffer wounds when they are transplanted that make them more vulnerable to any type of disease or plague. Extreme caution is advised.

Underwatered Succulents

There are several unmistakable symptoms that a succulent with a lack of water has.

The lack of water in a succulent plant usually manifests itself in several ways, for example, the leaves begin to look wrinkled and dry.

Another symptom that can show the lack of watering in a succulent is that the leaves do not feel full or firm, that is, they are soft. This, as we said before, could also be a sign of excess water, so in that case, the rest of the symptoms that the plant presents must be addressed to determine if it suffers from excess or lack of irrigation.

As an additional note, one way to detect in rosette-shaped succulents that they are lacking in water is that they tend to close up.

How to Save Underwatered Succulents

In general, it is easier to revive a succulent lack of irrigation than one that has been overwatered. A quick and easy solution is, although it seems obvious, is to water it.

The problem is that succulents that have been exposed to a lack of water for too long have a point of no return after which they have no cure.

As we already explained when we talked about what succulents are, one of the characteristics that these types of plants have is the ability to store water, which means that they can withstand long periods without irrigation. If a succulent dies from dehydration it is because it has endured too long of a drought.

The moment you resume watering your succulents you will notice that the leaves begin to stop looking wrinkled, they look fuller and, in general, they will look better.

One Final Tip

Keep in mind that, depending on the degree of dehydration of the succulent plant, it will take more or less time to recover. It is not something immediate. Be patient and do not make the mistake of overwatering because you can drown the roots and create the opposite effect to that desired with an environment in which they rot due to excess water.

If you notice that your succulent is not improving, even though you have been taking proper care of it, perhaps you should consider trying “water therapy”.

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