How To Know If You Are Overwatering Tomato Plants In Pots

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

Tomatoes are one of the most popular plants to grow as they are easy to grow and produce an abundance of fruit. Another great thing about them is you can grow them in pots, which is ideal if you are limited on space. However, it is important to know if you are overwatering tomato plants in pots.

Growing plants in pots is a great option if you live in an apartment or you are limited on space in your garden. It is key to properly water your tomato plants to ensure they will grow healthy. Though overwatering is common, there are ways you can still save your plant from dying from too much water.

How Often Should You Water Tomato Plants In Pots?

In general, tomato plants need one inch of water per week in order to be healthy. When watering a tomato plant in a pot, water the plant slowly until the water just begins to come out of the drainage holes. By doing so, it will help prevent root rot and other problems within the plant.

The best way to tell if your tomato plant needs more water is to check the soil. Stick your finger approximately two inches down into the pot of soil. If the soil is dry, it is time to water your plant, if it is wet, then you don’t need to water yet.

How Often Should You Water Tomato Plants In Pots

Can You Overwater Tomato Plants?

So, can a tomato plant have too much water? Though tomato plants need a lot of water to thrive, you can overwater them if you aren’t careful. If you continue to water your tomato plant while the soil is still wet, you can overwater your plant.

What Are The Signs Of Overwatered Tomatoes?

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes beginner gardeners make. They are eager for their plant to grow so they keep watering it, not realizing that too much water can actually be a problem. Fortunately, there are some signs to tell if you have given your plants too much water that will help you save your tomatoes before it is too late.

Dull Appearance

The vine and leaves of the tomato plant should be bright green in color. If you notice that they are dull and even turning brown, this is a sign that you have been giving your plant too much water.

Cracked Fruit

When ripe, the fruit of tomato should be firm, with just a bit of give when you squeeze it gently. It should have a bright color, whether that is red or orange, depending on the variety. If the fruit is cracked when ripe, this is a sign of too much water.

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Overwatering Tomato Plants In Pots

Rotting Roots

If the soil becomes too saturated, the roots will begin to drown, rot and die. The soil can not handle the excess of water and it will begin to affect the root system of the plant.

Blisters Or Bumps on Leaves

When a tomato plant receives too much water, blisters and bumps may begin to appear on the lower leaves. This condition, known as Edema, is derived from the malabsorption of water. In addition, you may notice that the plant feels wet and will begin to wilt.

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Mold Or Mildew Growth

Excess moisture on your plant can lead to mold or mildew growth. It commonly happens when your plant is unable to process the amount of water it is receiving. Mold and mildew can spread and have devastating effects on your garden.

How Do You Save an Overwatered Tomato Plant?

Fortunately, it is often not too late to save your plant if you have been overwatering. With the right steps, you can save your plant and get it back to being healthy.

Eliminate Standing Water

Standing water can be a big problem for your tomato plant. This can lead to root rot and mold/mildew growth, along with other problems. Make sure that your pot has good drainage so water doesn’t build up and be sure to remove any standing water from your pot right away.

Relocate Plant

In some cases, it is best to relocate your plant entirely. Move it to a pot with proper drainage and soil that isn’t too wet, that also has the popular nutrients it needs. In addition, make sure your plant is somewhere where it can get plenty of sunlight as well.

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Treat the Roots

If the roots have been oversaturated, they will need some help. Remove any dirt that is on the hair and lateral branches of the plant and then proceed to cut off any spoiled or unhealthy root. Be sure to sanitize your garden tools so you don’t spread any diseases among your plants.

Dry Out the Soil

Allow your soil to fully dry out before watering again and if need be, dig up the plant and let it dry out as well. You don’t want to leave your soil oversaturated and cause more problems for your tomato plant.

Dry Out the Soil

Change Your Watering Routine

Be sure to come up with a new watering routine if you have been overwatering. Check the soil before watering to ensure that your plant actually does need to be watered again.

Water slowly and don’t just dump a pot of water on your plants. Invest in a good watering can or irrigation system in order to best water your plants. In addition, make sure the overflow water drains out and doesn’t become stagnant in the pot.


How often do you water tomatoes in pots?

Tomatoes like their soil moist, but too much water can lead to root rot. Tomatoes are also sensitive to cold temperatures. If your tomatoes are getting more than 5 inches of rain a week, you should probably move them to a protected area. The best way to water tomatoes is by hand.

Most experts recommend watering your tomato plants every day or two. While there is no harm in watering them more often than this, it is better to err on the side of caution. The amount of water needed depends on the type of plant, but for most varieties of tomatoes, 1/3 cup of water per plant is usually enough. If you notice that your tomato plants are looking particularly thirsty, you may need to increase the amount of water that you give them.

The general rule is that you need to give them one inch of water per week per every square meter.

I use a big, heavy hand watering can with a very fine spray that gives me plenty of control over where I'm watering. You can also use a hose and nozzle, but I think the spray is better because you can water any part of the plant, not just the soil around the roots. 

Can you overwater tomato plants in pots?

You can, and so it's a good idea to keep an eye on the soil. You want to be sure that it stays moist but not soggy, and you'll need to make sure you get a good root-to-soil contact.

Tomatoes, like most other plants, need to be watered regularly. A plant that is not watered properly will often show signs of stress, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth. However, this is a topic that has been the subject of much debate in the gardening world.

Overwatering causes the roots to rot and die back. The leaves will wilt. Soak the pot in water for at least 15 minutes before filling it with soil. Water the plant once or twice a week. If you are growing in a garden, remember that the soil may be dry and need watering more often. If you don't have time to water, use a soaker hose.

Will Overwatered tomato plants recover?

It's hard for tomatoes to recover in this situation. The stems will often not regrow after being killed by over watering. You can either let them dry out or harvest them. If you want to harvest them, just cut them off at the soil line, remove the seeds and compost them.

What time of day should you water tomato plants?

I've found that watering in the morning works best. However, I find that it's best to water only once a day, even if your plants are small.

What do under watered plants look like?

This is what a typical "under watered" plant looks like. Notice the poor growth, the smaller leaves, and the yellowed/browned leaves on the lower part of the plant. Underwatering is the single most important cause of poor plant health.

No More Overwatering Tomato Plants In Pots

Many beginner gardeners become eager and will accidentally overwater their tomato plants, incidentally causing them harm. This can lead to cracked fruit, root rot, Edema, a dull appearance, and even mild/mildew growth. Fortunately, you can still save the plant by treating the plant, drying the soil, relocating it, eliminating standing water, and changing your watering routine.

Do you have any questions regarding overwatering tomato plants in pots? If so, please ask any questions regarding tomato plants, overwatering, and how to properly water your plant in the comment section down below.

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