Watering - Signs of Over Watering
We're probably all aware of the dangers of underwatering plants. You come back from vacation to find your plants clearly distressed. The leaves are wilted and perhaps starting to turn brown around the edges. A little water will bring them back to life if they're old enough, but younger plants may not bounce back. Bad plant parent!
Underwatering can be a problem, but in most cases when your plant is distressed it will be due to overwatering! Yes, roots need water, but they need oxygen as well to function properly. Consider this: when was the last time you saw a tree growing in the middle of a river? Plants that are consistently overwatered are in danger of developing root or stem rot, which can affect the overall health of the plant over time.
Compounding the problem is this: A plant suffering from overwatering may appear to actually need water. The leaves will wilt and turn yellow, sometimes dropping off. Someone seeing this might believe that the plant needs water and add to the problem. But once again, feeling the soil is the best way to avoid this. When in doubt: Soil + dry = water. Soil + wet = don't water.