Is It Possible to Over Water Peas?

Pea plants are often backyard gardeners’ first veggie. They’re simple to grow, grow a high yield and have a short non-committal season. However, as far as watering goes, some may wonder if they’re doing too much.

It’s possible to over water peas. All plants have a moisture level that they prefer, and pea plants prefer moist soil that doesn’t dry out. You’ll know you’ve overwatered if your soil remains moist or gets muddy after a day or two and the plant doesn’t seem to be doing well.

Pea plants are small and look fragile, but they’re a moderately resilient plant. Below, I’ll talk about how much you should water your pea plant and other preferences this garden staple has. Then, I’ll discuss some of the signs of overwatering and discuss some helpful tools for determining moisture.

How Much Should I Water My Pea Plant?

It’s the beginning of Spring or the end of Summer, and you’re getting ready to water your annual pea plant. You may remember how prone pea plants are to fungus and mold from previous seasons and wonder if this has anything to do with your watering.

You should water your pea plants once a week and try to water enough that it’s getting one inch deep. Pea plants do best in moist seasons, like Spring and Fall, so they may already get a lot of water from above. Be attentive and watch for signs of dryness or overwatering.

So, the short answer is yes, you can overwater your plants. But you can overwater anything! The context of your watering is more important than the amount you’re watering.

Overwatering might cause molding and fungus, but so could proximity to other moldy plants. Watering your pea plants and avoiding disease will be easier if you also have all of the other ideal conditions right.

Ideal Conditions for Pea Plants

Pea plants are a cool weather plant, so you’re better off planning for them in the Spring or late Summer, just before fall. They do well in cool weather but won’t do great in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius).

This will look different for different regions. While some of us have a few months where we can plant peas successfully, warmer climate zones may only have a few weeks where our pea plants thrive.

Look for a place in your garden that gets full sun, as pea plants require. Make sure the soil you’re planting in drains well, and it isn’t at risk of compaction or waterlogging.

Water, Sunlight, and pH of Pea Plants

You’ll want to soak the soil your pea plants are living in so that the water can get to its roots, but remember: pea plant roots are shallow. You don’t need to overdo it to get the job done. Pea plants, and any other plant for that matter, don’t appreciate overwatering. Your pea plants will struggle if they’re underwatered, too. 

Most of the time, your plants will tell you how they’re doing with water. If they don’t dry up by the end of the day, you’re likely over-watering them. If they seem dry and the soil becomes sandy or dry, they’re probably sucking up the water faster than you can water them. Let this be your guide for watering.

When you water, use a sprayer or a gentle mist if possible. As your pea plants climb towards the sky, you want to be kinder to them, so they don’t snap. Additionally, opt for morning waters, so they can dry by the afternoon to prevent mold.

As for soil, you can keep it at that basic, slightly acidic level most plants like. This will be between 6.0-6.8 on the pH scale. Additionally, check for nutrients. Your pea plant will enjoy low phosphorus soil or no phosphorus soil, but you can still compost or fertilize as usual.

Make sure to watch for weeds! Pea plants are fragile, so you’ll want to go through and weed your garden as often as possible.

Signs of a Healthy Pea Plant

Pea plants grow up, not out. If your pea plants are reaching high to the sky and climbing whatever structure you created for them happily, you’ve got a happy pea plant. Look at this video to see just how pea plants grow:

Though the environment yours grows in will likely be different, look for the universal signs of a healthy plant. Your plant’s coloring, strength, and size should be typical of pea plants.

Signs Your Pea-Plant Is Struggling

If your pea plant is wilting, discolored, or moldy, then you might have a problem. Pea plants will notoriously get mold or fungal diseases from overwatering, and underwatering can cause them to wilt. Additionally, soil that doesn’t drain well will cause root rot, which will result in a plant that completely topples over.

How Do I Know if I Am Overwatering My Pea Plants?

With all that being said, you may still be curious about the signs and symptoms of an overwatered pea plant. Luckily, the signs aren’t that unique from other garden plants.

You’ll know you’re overwatering your pea plants if the soil and plant are moist after a prolonged period, even with proper sunlight. Overwatered peas will sag and look wilty, but the soil will still be moist. You might also find your soil has become compacted or waterlogged if you’re overwatering.

If you notice something about your pea plants, remember that there are other reasons beyond watering. Sure, watering can make plants wilt or mold, but so can pH or sunlight. Below, I’ll talk about some of my favorite tools and hacks for ensuring your garden always maintains the proper moisture level.

Dirt Tests

The soil texture indicates how much water your pea plants are sucking up. Compaction or waterlogging are not good signs. You can test the soil for moisture with a toothpick or bamboo stick. All you’ve to do is stick the stick into the soil and pull it back out. If it’s muddy or completely covered in soil, you’re watering too much. If it’s completely dry, your dirt needs some moisture.

If you’re going through a cycle of waterlogging and compaction, then you might want to invest in an irrigation system. There are likely multiple factors contributing to this soil condition, and getting ahead of the curve will ensure your next season’s crop doesn’t succumb to the same fate.

Moisture Meters

Moisture meters seem high-tech, but they’re pretty straightforward to use. Like the stick test above, you’re just going to stick the rods of the moisture meter into the dirt. This time, you’ll leave it in for a few minutes and come back to see the results. The moisture meter interacts with the soil to determine how much water is getting down towards the roots. Newer models also can tell you the pH of the soil and how much sunlight is reaching your pea plant.

Moisture meters are a garden must-have, whether you’re only growing one crop or you’ve got a full backyard farm going on. I’ve listed a few of my favorite options below.

Irrigation or Drainage Systems

I mentioned a little earlier that an irrigation system might do you some good. Sometimes, when we water with the hose or a watering can, we have no idea how much we are actually watering. You can find an irrigation system that interacts directly with the moisture of your soil or one that waters a certain amount on a timer. This is a great alternative for gardeners who’d rather have the sprinkler do all the watering.

You can get an irrigation system professionally installed or set one up yourself from the internet. They can be as complex or as simple as you’d like and often just hook up to something your hose would hook up to anyways.

Additionally, as we’ve mentioned, pea plants like drained soil. If you have noticed some waterlogging or compaction, there’s a chance your soil isn’t draining well. A drainage system can be a little more difficult to set up, but it’s worth it. This video shows a simple drainage and irrigation system you can create before you begin gardening in a gardening box:

Don’t give up if you’re already well into your pea-growing season! Just adjust your watering patterns accordingly and try to add mulch or compost to soak up any excess water.

Final Thoughts

Your pea plants prefer water, sunlight, and pH, and if you want a high yield, you’ll follow it. Peas prefer wet soil to dry soil, but over-watering can still cause some hard-to-repair damage. I’d highly suggest getting a moisture meter or working with an irrigation system to ensure your plants are getting what they need.

Pairing your gut instinct with the proper protocols for growing vegetables will serve you and your entire garden well. If something looks off, it’s probably because it is!

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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