You will be surprised, but plants are much more likely to suffer from excess than from insufficient watering. Novice gardeners often make this mistake and, fearing for their plants, too often water them. Excessive watering negatively affects plants, since it interferes with normal gas exchange, including interfering with the exchange of oxygen, and does not allow plants to absorb the necessary nutrients. The good news is that you can easily deal with this problem. Evaluate how much your plants have been affected and use our little tricks to bring them back to life.
Diseases due to lack of moisture
A plant suffering from a lack of water is immediately visible - it has a lethargic appearance, drooping, ready to fall, leaves, buds are falling, and not having time to blossom. Indoor flowers, growing with a constant lack of water, lag behind in growth, bloom with fewer peduncles.
Due to the lack of water, the edges of the leaves in some plants - spathiphyllum, dracaena, chrysanthemum - turn yellow and shriveled, dry up, in the azalea and ficus of Benjamin, the leaves fall en masse with a lack of moisture.
In arrowroots, as a result of improper irrigation, it is very often possible to observe twisting of leaf plates along the central vein. The reason is excessive air dryness, insufficient moisture in the soil and placement of the plant in a draft.
From watering deficiency in some plants, alocasia, for example, dry dark brown spots or dots in the central part of the leaf appear, and the edges darken.
Insufficiency of watering plants is transferred in different ways. Most with the loss of 2-3% moisture rapidly fade, and fuchsia calmly tolerates 38% loss of water in the leaves.
Indoor plants also react painfully to the absence of spraying in very dry air. The leaf plates of camellia, terry begonias, rubber tree, gloxinia, and most orchids turn yellow and dry on the edges.
Insufficiency of moisture favors the defeat of home plants by phytophilic ticks.
What excess watering leads to
Excessive watering also causes painful phenomena in a houseplant, appearing due to the limited access of oxygen to the roots. There is a displacement of air from the soil by excess moisture and, as a result, decay of the root system and the death of the entire plant.
Hummosis of tulips comes from waterlogged soil, and in combination with high temperature there is the so-called “blindness” of forcing daffodils and tulips, drying of gladioli bulbs in summer.
From excessive watering, mold appears on the soil, leading not only to rotting of the root system, but also to leaf decay.
Violation of irrigation regimes contributes to the rupture of the stem in chrysanthemum and tulips, the fall of buds in camellia and begonias, twisting and drying of gloxinia leaves.
On the long leaf plates of the sansevier from oversupply of watering, caked spots appear, spreading throughout the sheet.
With excessive spraying, there is a sampling of leaves and stems, as well as roll-shaped growths in begonias, kalanchoe, cyclamens, geraniums - symptoms of dropsy, cacti develop vitreous from high humidity.
Excessive moisture is the reason for a sharp drop of leaves with poinsettia. The phenomenon of fasciation in lilies is observed - the transformation of the stem into a ribbon-like form. From excess moisture, the floral organs of plants can turn into vegetative ones.
The leaves of Uzambara violet suffer from cold water, yellow depressed spots appear on them - signs of yellow ring blotch.
Improper watering of plants, in particular an excess of moisture creates favorable conditions for the development of most fungal diseases - blacklegs, powdery and downy mildew, anthracnose, and others.
When caring for indoor flowers, it is necessary first of all to determine the optimal irrigation regime, corresponding to the agricultural technique of growing each particular house plant.
Symptoms of waterlogging colors
How to understand that before us is a plant suffering from waterlogging? Falling leaves is one of the symptoms. In a number of plants, such as citrus fruits, they fall off in the literal sense - they darken and fall off. In others, for example, in the aroid (aglaonema, dieffenbachia) or arrowroot, they darken, but still hold on to the stems for a long time. In plants forming leaf rosettes or pseudo rosettes (yucca, dracaena), the leaves do not immediately darken, but first discolor and become pale yellow. But in other cases, a characteristic difference between leaves dying from waterlogging is darkening of the leaf. The leaf does not just turn yellow, it just darkens, the color becomes a healthy juicy green muddy swamp hue, and gradually turns into brown. If waterlogging was preceded by overdrying, then the leaf first turns yellow, then the leaf petiole and the leaf itself darken.
When the plant does not have enough water, the leaves always turn yellow, while the leaf tissues may lose their elasticity, droop, and may remain dry. After watering, turgor is restored, the leaves become elastic again. If there is insufficient nutrition, mesylchial chlorosis may occur, the leaves do not wilt, continue to grow, but become smaller. With waterlogging, the leaves may lose their elasticity, droop, but after watering, the elasticity is not restored, and the darkening of the leaves, on the contrary, increases. Sometimes the leaves can fall even without darkening - still green. But leaf fall can also occur from watering with cold water. Ideally, the temperature of the water for irrigation should be 2-3 ° C higher than the temperature in the room, but not lower than 22 ° C. Cold water is not absorbed by the roots, causes the death of the suction roots from hypothermia, and, as a result, leaves fall.
As for water hardness, it cannot be the reason for sudden falling of leaves and death of a plant. If you water the plants with hard water, even the most capricious, sensitive to excess salts, the plants will not begin to lose leaves en masse. All the damage manifests itself gradually: at first chlorotic spots appear, the tips or edges of the leaves turn brown, one or two leaves turn yellow, new leaves grow small and the plant looks oppressed, but the leaves do not fall.
In the case of mass leaf fall, when the leaves do not fall off one after another, but immediately by dozens, the reasons may be the following: sharp hypothermia (for example, when transporting home), watering with concentrated fertilizer (burning roots), severe overdrying, and only hygrophytes and mesogyrophytes fly around en masse (and there are not many), and waterlogging. Naturally, the first two reasons can be easily calculated, and it is also possible to distinguish overdry from overmoistening, but for this the plant needs to be removed from the pot. It is not always possible to touch the soil with a finger at a depth (for example, the roots have grown strongly), and only by taking the plant out of the pot can you establish whether the earth is moist inside the root coma.
Some gardeners pull to the last, not wanting to take out a plant and inspect the roots. They are either selflessly confident that there was no waterlogging, or they are afraid that an unplanned transplant will damage the plant. But if there is even the slightest suspicion of waterlogging, you should not even doubt it - take out and inspect the roots. Sometimes the root system of plants grows in this way: at the top, the roots are not dense, the soil dries easily between them, and in the lower part of the pot the roots twist a tight ring, entanglement of the roots makes it difficult to dry and the soil dries for a very long time. This is especially aggravated by the fact that the holes at the bottom of the pot are small, clogged with pebbles or grains of earth.
There is also a deplorable symptom characteristic of severe prolonged waterlogging - darkening, blackening and wilting of the tops of the shoots. If a similar picture has occurred, then the matter is already very much neglected, often it is simply impossible to save the plant. If the tops of all the shoots have rotted (yellowed or darkened), then there is nothing to save. A similar picture is possible only with a strong hypothermia of the roots, and never occurs during overdrying. When drying, wilting begins with old leaves, from the lower shoots, the trunk is exposed from below. With waterlogging, the leaves wither in any part of the crown, but more often from above, from the tops of the shoots.
And of course, any softening of the stems or leaves of plants with fleshy parts of the body, and these are yucca, dracaena, dieffenbachia, any succulents (crassulaceae, adeniums, etc.), cacti are a sure sign of excess moisture.
Another symptom that is not entirely true and does not always indicate a specific plant, but still makes you think - the presence of mushroom mosquitoes. If a swarm of midges takes off from the pot, it means that you watered the flowers too abundantly, maybe it was once or twice, or it may have become a habit to water excessively. Unlike mosquitoes, podura (columbola) are white or dirty gray insects, about 1-2 mm, jumping over the surface of the earth in a pot - a sure sign that the flower is filled more than once.
Measures to save flooded plants
When you nevertheless established that the plant was flooded, urgent need to take action. If you establish the fact of waterlogging after you took the plant out of the pot, then you have a transplant. If the fact of waterlogging was determined by indirect signs (falling of leaves, damp earth to the touch), then the need for transplantation depends on the severity of the situation.
- If the plant has lost one or two leaves, or one branch has withered in a mighty crown, and the soil in the pot is quite light, then you can not transplant the plant, but only loosen the soil. After watering, especially plentiful, the soil spreads, and after drying, a dense crust forms on its surface. If this crust is not destroyed, the roots suffer from a lack of air. If planting seeds is watered, then the seedlings may not reach the surface of the earth and die from hypoxia.
- If the pot has small drainage holes, you can expand them or increase their number without removing the plant from the pot using a knife heated on the stove.
- Personally, I never try to just loosen the earth, it is not too reliable and justified in cases where a flooded plant in a very large pot, transplantation is difficult, or when the plant is transferred from a cold room to a warm one, and the very increase in temperature will accelerate the drying of the earth.
- In all other cases, it is better to transplant the plant.
So, you take the plant out of the pot, and you need to determine the condition of the earth and roots. Is the earth still wet and how much? Count the last time you watered how much it dried. Sometimes a person is convinced that the earth has long been dry, a week has passed, say, after watering, and upon examination it turns out that the earth is still very damp inside the pot. Then try to remember what the weather was like, how it happened that the soil did not have time to dry out! It is important to at least try to analyze in order to prevent this, or to calculate which plants could still be flooded. In some people, bays occur systematically over and over again. This suggests that we need to fundamentally revise the care system: it is possible to change the soil in the pots to a more structured, loose, increase drainage holes, add more drainage to the bottom of the pot, pour less water, move the plants to a warmer room, or water less often when the earth dries out more. Sometimes you need to literally clap your hands so that they do not rise with a watering can above the plant ahead of time.
Inspect the roots. The rotten ones can be seen right away - they are stratified, if you grab the spine with two fingers and pull it, the skin slides off from it - it is brown or dark gray, under it remains a bundle of vessels that looks like a wire, a hard rod. If such a stratification occurred, the root is rotten. Healthy roots do not exfoliate if held on the surface with your fingers, the top layer will not peel off. In some cases, the roots do not delaminate, the fleshy, juicy roots rot completely, and this is also evident right away - they are dark, dirty gray or brown in color, sometimes softened. Often, healthy and rotten roots can be identified by contrast in appearance, some light, white, light brown, others dark, not only from the outside, but also at a breakage or cliff places.
There are cases when rotten roots easily break off and when the plants are taken out of the pot, they fall off together with the ground. If you did not find any definitely rotten roots, but the earth and the root ball are moist, you need to dry them. To do this, get wet measles lump in any hygroscopic material: in a heap of old newspapers, in a roll of toilet paper. You can even put a plant with an open root system (without a pot) to dry for several hours.
Having found rotten roots, you need to cut them, no matter how many they are. This is a source of infection, there is nothing to regret. We cut everything down to healthy tissue. If the roots are fleshy, juicy, watery, it is advisable to sprinkle the places of cuts with charcoal (wood, birch) or sulfur powder (sold in pet stores). If there is neither one nor the other, interpret the activated carbon tablet. If there are very few roots left, much less than there were, you need to transplant the plant into a smaller pot.
I have already said that in itself a too spacious pot, not filled with roots, does not contribute to the rapid growth of plants, and in some cases even harms. In a spacious pot, pour the plant easier than the lung. And even if you carefully water it, the plant seeks to build up the root system, to master a large surface of the earth, and only then enhances the growth of the ground part.
So, you need to pick up the pot for the root lump remaining after removing the rot. In this case, the rule will be effective: a smaller pot is better than a larger one. It’s okay if the pot is small, healthy roots will grow, they will let you know from the drainage holes, and you just transfer the plant to a larger pot and that’s it. During the growing season, you can transplant plants at any time and more than once. Most plants, if they become ill after a transplant, stop growing, this is most often due to improper care after a transplant, and not from root injuries.
After transplantation, you can not put plants in the sun, even the most photophilous, they should stay under shading for a week. You can not water the plants on the same day, especially those that are reanimated from overflowing - these generally after 2-3 days to water the first time. You can not fertilize transplanted plants for 1-1.5 months. And when transplanting patients (including those poured), you cannot add dry fertilizers (no manure, no litter, or granular fertilizers). Do not clog the transplanted plant in a plastic bag. This same package sometimes becomes a real evil. The fact is that transplanted plants devoid of watering must be placed in high humidity in the first days. And many seek to put the plant in a bag and tie stronger. In this case, the importance, of course, increases. But reduced access to oxygen. As we remember, the plant breathes both roots and leaves, if the plant was flooded, it especially needs fresh air, and if pathogenic microorganisms developed on it - various spots of fungal or bacterial origin, then it just needs fresh air!
Here you can do this: place the plant in a transparent bag, straighten its edges, but do not tie. If the weather is very hot, then you can spray 1-2 times a day, if the plants do not tolerate water on the leaves, then just put the pot on a wide tray with water on an inverted saucer.
If the plant has rotten tops, shoot ends, they must be cut to healthy tissues. If possible, at the same time and cut the plant - cut healthy branches for rooting in order to be able to save at least something, if the bay has already led to irreversible consequences. Sometimes it happens that the roots rot completely, but some of the shoots still keep awake until they fade (this is temporary) and cuttings can still be cut from them. In some cases, when the roots are rotted, toxins (the aforementioned marsh gases, products of the activity of bacteria and fungi) and cuttings, even healthy-looking ones, do not take root, they are already doomed.
After transplantation, the flooded plant can be sprayed with growth stimulants (epin or amulet), only in the dark (in the light, most stimulants decompose). If the leaves have dark spots, rotted tops of shoots, it is advisable to spray the plant with a fungicide, or add fungicide to the water for irrigation. Of the fungicides suitable: Fundazole, Maxim, Hom, Oksikhom (and other copper-containing preparations). 3-4 days after transplanting into fresh, dry soil, the plant can be watered with a solution of zircon.
If the plant turned out to be flooded with a wide rosette of leaves, in the form of a funnel, like in the bromeliads, then it is necessary to dry the base of the leaves. To do this, you first need to turn the plant down with the leaves. When the water drains, pour 2-3 tablets of crushed activated carbon into the outlet. After 3-5 minutes, carefully remove it with a soft fluffy brush. Many bromeliads rot when they are watered through a rosette of leaves in winter. Carefully read the recommendations for growing a particular plant, and especially winter care.
Another important point: after the bay, the soil in the pot becomes acidic: the roots of the plants continue to emit carbon dioxide, humus renewal slows down, and humic acids accumulate, which increases the acidity of the soil, many nutrients turn into a form that is not digestible by plants. For example, iron goes into an oxidized form (F3 +), from which a rusty-brown crust forms on the surface of the earth. Oxidized iron is not absorbed, as a result, the plant shows all the signs of its deficiency - strong chlorosis. This is especially noticeable on fruit plants: there are signs of a deficiency of calcium, iron, nitrogen. At this stage, some gardeners do not pay attention to the condition of the soil, and are in a hurry to treat the effect, not the cause. As a result, the plant continues to suffer, turn yellow. At times he feels better (for example, after spraying with ferovite), and after applying fertilizers to the soil - even worse.
In such a situation, the only way out is to completely replace the land. And if you are in a hurry to apply fertilizer, then it is advisable to rinse the roots when transplanting under a stream of warm water. Then dry, remove rotten, sprinkle with charcoal and plant in fresh, dry soil.
If a white or red salt crust forms on the surface of the earth, this is a signal: the earth dries for a long time! Such a salt crust must be removed, replace the topsoil with a fresh one.