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The Effect of Too Much Water on Garden Plants

by Otehlia Cassidy
  • Overview

    Watering plants
    Water can be as damaging for plants as it is necessary. Though all plants require water to conduct photosynthesis (converting light energy to sugar), too much water can kill a plant.
  • Flow

    In a healthy plant, water is taken up by the root system and pulled throughout the plant's xylem (water-conducting) cells. The water evaporates through very small openings in the leaves, called stomata.
  • Gas Exchange

    In addition to taking up water, plants take in gases, such as nitrogen, through their roots. When the ground is saturated, the roots cannot absorb the gas or "breath." The roots suffocate.
  • Signs

    Some signs that your plant is getting too much water include: wilting, rotting roots, spotted leaves, stunted plants and dropping leaves.
  • Prevention/Solution

    Putting the plant in loose, well-drained soil can prevent over watering. Before planting, dig a hole twice the size of the plant's root ball; fill it with loose, organic soil.
  • Proper Watering

    Garden plants should be watered daily when first planted, soaking them well to encourage deep root growth. After that, check the soil before watering. If it is wet from recent rain, hold off on watering. If it is dry and cracked, you waited too long.

    References & Resources