Striking the Balance: The Impact of Over and Under Watering on Root Zone Oxygen Levels, and how WeightSense can help

As gardeners, farmers, and plant enthusiasts, we often pay close attention to sunlight, water, and nutrients when tending to our plants. However, one crucial factor that often goes unnoticed is the availability of oxygen in the root zone. The root zone is where a plant's roots reside and absorb essential nutrients and water from the soil. Insufficient oxygen levels in this zone can have severe consequences, including the onset and progression of plant diseases. In the realm of plant health, the importance of a well-nourished root system cannot be overstated.In this blog, we will explore the relationship between the lack of oxygen in the root zone and the development of diseases in plants.

Roots, just like any other living organism, require oxygen to survive and function optimally. Oxygen plays a crucial role in several fundamental processes within the root system, including respiration and energy production. By absorbing oxygen through their root tissues, plants generate energy to drive metabolic activities necessary for growth and development.

How over/under watering events cause Plant Diseases:

  1. When oxygen levels in the root zone are low, anaerobic conditions can develop. Anaerobic bacteria and fungi thrive in environments with limited oxygen, and this can lead to root rot diseases. Root rot pathogens attack and decay the roots, impeding the plant's ability to absorb water and nutrients effectively. 

  1. Pythium and Phytophthora are waterborne pathogens that cause damping-off, root and stem rots, and other diseases. These pathogens are commonly found in waterlogged or poorly drained soils, where oxygen levels are low. Excess water displaces the air pockets in the soil, creating an environment conducive to the growth of these destructive organisms. 

  1. Nematodes are microscopic worm-like organisms that can cause significant damage to plant roots. Some nematodes are opportunistic pathogens, exploiting weakened or stressed plants. Oxygen deprivation in the root zone can weaken the plant's defense mechanisms, making it more susceptible to nematode infestations.

  1. Certain fungal pathogens, such as Fusarium and Verticillium species, thrive in low-oxygen environments. These fungi can cause wilting, yellowing, and necrosis in plant tissues. When oxygen levels are restricted, plants may experience decreased root function and compromised defense mechanisms, making them more susceptible to fungal attacks. 
  2. When plants experience prolonged periods of insufficient water, their roots become stressed and less efficient at absorbing nutrients. This stress weakens the plant's overall defense mechanisms, making it more susceptible to disease and pest infestations.

Preventing Oxygen Deprivation in the Root Zone:

  1. Avoid over/under watering events and aim for a watering schedule that allows the soil to dry out slightly between watering sessions. This practice promotes the diffusion of oxygen into the root zone and discourages the growth of anaerobic pathogens. Monitor soil moisture levels and adjust irrigation practices accordingly.

  1. Different plants have varying water needs. Research the specific requirements of your plants, taking into account factors like species, stage of growth, and environmental conditions. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to watering and consider WeightSense™. 

Striking the balance is critical - WeightSense™ can play a big part by eliminating the inconsistency in watering. WeightSense will develop specific “programs” that trick root growth while preserving the health of the plant.  Adopt a watering routine that allows the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. This practice promotes healthy root growth and encourages oxygen diffusion within the root zone. Monitor your plants' water requirements, considering factors such as plant type, weather conditions, and soil moisture levels.


The root zone of plants plays a crucial role in their overall health and productivity. Oxygen deprivation in the root zone can lead to a range of diseases and impairments that comprise a plant's vitality. By understanding the causes and consequences of oxygen deficiency, gardeners and farmers can implement preventive measures to ensure a well-aerated and healthy root system. Promoting proper drainage, avoiding overwatering, and maintaining optimal planting depth are key practices to mitigate the risks associated with oxygen deprivation and foster robust plant growth.