Overwatering vs. Underwatering (and how to treat both)

The latest in plant care tips for keeping your foliage happy and healthy, brought to you by premium plant delivery service Léon & George.

Improper watering is the leading killer of houseplants. And if you have a variety of plants in your indoor jungle, understanding what watering techniques work for each plant can be a real challenge - especially since symptoms of overwatering and underwatering can look very similar. Here are some general things to watch out for to determine if your watering needs adjustments.

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Signs of Overwatering:

Browning edges can indicate too much water. A plant pushes water through to the edge of its leaves, and if given in excess, this can cause veins at the edges to burst, which leads to browning.   

Wilting can go both ways, plants wilt when they’re thirsty and when they’re overwatered. If you notice wilting, check the moisture of the soil.

Pests are another sign of overwatering as many insects thrive in damp places. Check for pooling water underneath your plant.


Photo by  Léon & George

Signs of Underwatering:

Drooping leaves that look completely lifeless can be a sign of underwatering. 

Soil pulling away from the outsides of the pot is another indicator that your plant may be underwatered. If you notice this happening, try shortening the length of time between waterings.

Drying out too quickly could mean that your plant may need to be repotted. If your plants’ pot is too small to support the amount of water it needs to thrive, this can inhibit future growth and be detrimental to your plant in the long run. Consider repotting your plant after the first year of ownership.

To keep things simple, water your plant the same amount each week - about 2 cups for plants 2-3ft tall and 3 cups for plants 3-6ft tall.

Keep plants happy and healthy by observing and listening to what it is they’re trying to tell you. And remember, the amount of water your plants need will change depending on the season and the conditions in their environment.

Need additional help caring for your greens? Exclusive for Léon & George customers, our plant doctors are available 24/7 for any questions about keeping your plants happy and healthy! Email us anytime at plantdoctor@leonandgeorge.com  



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