Watering schedules… underwatering vs overwatering

under watered droop

Drooping leaves….?  Dampening off?

Perhaps you’ve been overwatering?

Have you by contrast ever let them get so dry that they droop like the thirsty plant above? Don’t worry, a good drink of pH’d water (no nutrients) and she fully recovered perking right back up.

Neither is ideal, however overwatering is by far the most common mistake beginners make when starting to grow.

So how much is too much? And how much is too little? Very few push the limits of under-watering to the point of a plant drooping, where as so many over water and essentially drown their plants.

Signs of overwatering:

  • Curled/claw leaves that are firm
  • heavy leaves almost unable to hold their own weight

Causes of overwatering

  • pot size is too large for how frequently you’re watering. The larger the pot, the less frequently you will need to water.
  • not enough drainage, cannabis do not like wet feet!
  • not enough dry time in-between waterings

Signs of under watering:

  • drooping/wilting leaves that are limp.
  • water/fan leaves seem to become limp first, in extreme dehydration a plant will sacrifice the water leaf’s moisture to survive leaving the water leaf dry and crisp. Having seen this happen, I truly prefer calling the fan leaves water leaves.

Causes of under watering:

  • pot size too small for how frequently you’re watering. The smaller the pot, the faster it will dry out.
  • fabric pots that air prune are all the rage, that said they dry out much faster in-between waterings when compared to the traditional plastic pot with drainage.


So…. Why feed just straight water when watering a plant that is dehydrated thirsty? Adding any nutrients to the rehydration of a wilting dry plant may cause nutrient burn as it will suck up all those nutrients quickly with the necessary water vs being absorbed over time.

So… How often should I water?

Let me start with the beginning: seedlings require very little water! I’m talking a few ml per day, and often get drowned out by new inexperienced growers.

For established plants, I’m a fan of using weight as my guide. Heavy pots are wet, and dry pots are light. I do suggest letting your pots somewhat dry out in-between waterings, not to the extent of the dehydrated drooping plant at the top of this post (don’t worry, no plants were harmed).

I have a schedule, water Wednesday’s and fertilizer Friday. If a plant is not making it to the next watering day, I get it wet!

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