Beyond Landscaping


4 Signs You’re Over Watering Your Plants



Unfortunately, far too many people over water their lawns and landscape areas unintentionally with the hope of making them lush. This is due to lack of knowledge of the amount of water your plants and grass need to thrive. Over watering your plants makes them prone to damage by fungus, weeds, and disease.

The plant variety, soil type and environmental factors such as humidity significantly affect how much water your lawn needs. Recognizing the signs of over watering your plants and when it’s appropriate to water will help keep your outdoor plants healthy.

Here are 4 signs that will warn you your plants are over watered, and will probably require a watering routine change.

Young and old leaves falling off prematurely 

While yellowing and falling leaves are mainly associated with drought or under-watering, the simultaneous fall of both young and old leaves is a sign of over watering. Roots in over watered plants cannot absorb enough oxygen. Consequently, the root fibers die off, and this prevents the plant from receiving the moisture required to have healthy leaves. The leaves become dry, brown and discolored between the veins and along the edges.

You’ll notice that flower buds fail to open, leaves become yellow, wilted and fall off prematurely. To clarify, leaves from over watered plants will have a limp appearance while those from under-watered plants are dry and brittle.


Over watering plants can lead to the development of a thick layer of decomposed roots, plant material, and runners which form a thick mat or thatch, on the soil surface. Over watering hinders beneficial organisms from consuming the thatch layer. This promotes shallow root development, which builds up the thatch layer.

If the thatch grows more than a quarter inch thick, it prevents oxygen from reaching the grass and forms a welcome space for pests and fungus.

Edema – Death of plant cells

When you over water your plants, the roots will absorb water faster than needed by the plant. The increased water pressure will build up in the plant cells. The cells burst and die, forming blister-like regions on the underside of the leaves.

White, brown or tan warty growths will begin developing in the places where the blisters were before they erupted. Also, indentations appear on the top side of the leaves.

Over-growth of weeds

Over watering your lawns causes the growth of more weeds, such as yellow nutsedge. The rise of thick thatch growth, and grass that requires frequent mowing can be a sign that a lawn is over watered. To tackle the weed problem, water your lawn deeply but less frequently (one or two times per week).

Horticulturists recommend that you water your lawn deeply and infrequently to force your grass and plants to develop deep roots. The roots will allow the plants to access water for longer periods of time and survive through hot summers. When a lawn is over watered, shady areas of grass can become mossy due to lack of sunlight.

Over watering your plants also causes a thinning of their canopy, which encourages moss invasion. When using a sprinkler system, make sure run times to shady areas are reduced.

If you have questions about plant over watering and the needs of your lawn, please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help.