Do you have overwatered your plants? Or worried about the dying plant because of overwatering? Don’t worry, overwatering doesn’t have to mean the end of your beloved green friends! It is a day-to-day mistake that can happen.
In this article, we’ll go over some simple steps to fix an overwatered plant along with some signs of it and prevention hacks! So, let’s get started!
How to know if you have overwatered your plants?
If you are in a hurry, it’s pretty common not to be much careful about certain things. Spraying or pouring adequate water on plants is one of them. Thus you may unfortunately overwater your delicate plants by providing more water than demanded.
Anyway, you can easily find out if your plants have been overwatered or not. If your observation says,
- the potting soil does not dry out even after a long break of water-spray
- The topsoil appears muddy
- The bottom remains wet for a long time
Then consider it as your bad luck. You have overwatered your loving plant.
Let me share you an interesting technique to know if you have overwatered your plant or not!
You can check the soil moisture level by sticking a finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels constantly wet or moist, then it’s a sign of overwatering!
You can also use a water meter. Such a moisture meter ranges from 0-10. So take a water meter and put it in the soil at the root level. If the meter shows up to ten values, then the soil is overwatered!
7 Signs or Symptoms of Overwatered Plants
If your delicate plant has been overwatered, then it will show some visible symptoms. You can easily understand your plants’ condition by knowing those signs. So, let’s go down to know the 7 symptoms of overwatering:
Yellowing leaves are one of the most visible symptoms of overwatering. When you overwater a plant, the extra water becomes deposited at the bottom. So, the bottom soil becomes wet and the roots can’t absorb enough oxygen.
In this situation, yellowing starts from the bottom of the plant and keeps moving upwards. Eventually, you see leaves of yellow shades!
2. Brown spots on leaves
This is another common symptom of overwatering. Brown spots appear on leaves that are waterlogged. So, if you overwater a plant, brown splotches will develop on the leaves of that plant.
One more thing! Brown spots may result from underwatering also. Hence carefully observe the plant to differentiate whether it’s over watering or not. If you find brown splotches in the middle of leaves with a yellow covering, then it is surely overwatering.
3. Wilted leaves
Wilting leaves is another symptom of overwatering. If your plant is overwatered by any chance, roots become waterlogged. Hence they can’t absorb enough oxygen and essential nutrients. So, the plant becomes weak, and leaves wilt eventually.
Therefore, if you see that leaves are wilting suddenly, then the plant may have been overwatered, unfortunately.
4. Mushy stems
If your plant stems become soft and mushy, then it is a sign of overwatering. You must be thinking, how would you know about the stem condition?
Let me help you. To be sure about overwatering, just pull out and see whether the leaves come out or not! If they are, then the stem has become mushy and fragile. Such a soft stem is more susceptible to breaking.
5. Mold growth
Mold growth within the soil is another sign of overwatering. When you overwater a plant, the soil becomes wet. Such moist soil allows mold spores to grow and reproduce quickly. Those molds then appear either on the soil surface or on the plant itself.
So, if you notice colored or discolored spots and patches on your plant or around the plant, then take it as a symptom of overwatering. The color of molds can be black, white, gray, green or some other blurry color!
6. Leaf drop
Falling of leaves is a common symptom of overwatering. It’s natural for a plant to drop old leaves. But dropping new leaves or a bunch of leaves at the same time is not normal for any plant. So what’s the problem?
Well, the problem is that your plant has been overwatered. When you overwater a plant, the roots become waterlogged causing root rot. This disease hampers the absorption of oxygen and essential nutrients. In this situation, the plant tries to store energy by dropping leaves. Thus leaf drop indicates overwatering.
7. Stunted growth
Stunted or slow growth is one of the vital symptoms of overwatering. As you already know, roots become waterlogged due to overwatering. Such roots cannot absorb nutrients properly and leading to nutrient deficiency. It is obvious that a nutrient deficient plant will grow slowly or not at all.
So, if you notice that
- Your plant is growing very slowly or
- Growth has stopped fully
Then, it is actually showing the symptom of overwatering. But how to fix your overwatered plants?
5 easy steps to fix overwatered plants
Overwatering is a common issue among plant owners. You already know the symptoms of overwatering. If those match with your plant, then it’s time to take some steps! But will it kill a lot of your times?
That’s not gonna happen my friend. Here I will discuss 5 steps for you. These steps will surely help you in fixing your overwatered plant. So let’s not delay any more.
- Stop watering
To save an overwatered plant, the first step you should follow is to stop watering immediately. As you already know, overwatering makes the soil waterlogged and causes root rot. Hence you need to let the soil dry out completely. In this way, the roots will also be able to dry and breathe sufficiently.
2. Remove extra water
If the soil is not drying fully even after a long period, then you have two options. One is to soak up the excess water by using a sponge or towel. The other option is you can simply to tilt the pot to throw away the extra water.
3. Detect and Prune damaged parts of the plant
Overwatering can damage the roots, stem, and leaves of your plant. To check the damages, you need to carefully remove the plant from its pot. Then trim away the brown or black colored roots. This will save your plant from root rot. You should also let the healthy roots dry in a properly ventilated area.
After taking care of the roots, have a look at the leaves. The wilted and yellow-colored leaves are harmful to keep. So just take a clean scissor and cut out all those damaged leaves.
4. Repot your plant
Once you are done with removing all the damaged parts, it’s better to move the plant to a new pot. Prepare a healthy pot containing fresh soil with a well-drainage capacity. Do not forget to make drainage holes beneath the pot. Now it’s time to repot your plant.
Well, you just need to hold the plant gently and place it in the new pot. My advice is to mix up the soil with some good sources of nutrients such as peat moss, cow dung, compost, etc. These will make the soil more fertile and your plant more alive!
5. Monitor the plant
After repotting your overwatered plant, you need to be more careful than before. Keep observing the plant for a few weeks. Spray a small amount of water only when the topsoil feels dry to the touch.
After the plant recovers fully, start watering according to the plant’s demand. Keep an eye on the temperature range and humidity also.
Following the above steps will help your overwatered plant recover gradually. Follow the watering rules and be a patient gardener. Thus your plants will bloom and make you happy soon!
1. Can overwatered plants recover on their own?
Overwatered plants can sometimes recover on their own. In extreme cases, they can not recover on their own. It actually depends on the plant’s damage. If the damage is restricted to only leaves, then there is hope. Wilting of leaves indicates the self-recovery of your plant. But if the roots are damaged or rotted, then self-recovery is not possible. You need to help your plant in this situation. I have already discussed how you can help your plant to recover from severe damage.
2. How to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered?
To know if a plant is overwatered or underwatered, check its physical symptoms e.g. yellow or wilted leaves, mushy leaves for overwatering, and dry, crispy leaves for underwatering. You can also touch the soil to feel if it’s wet or dry. Adjust your watering accordingly to help your plants stay healthy.
3. How long can houseplants go without water?
Houseplants can typically go without water for about 2-3 weeks. However, this time frame can vary depending on factors such as plant type, pot size, and environment. It’s important to monitor each plant’s individual needs and water them accordingly to prevent them.
[Differences between overwatered and underwatered plants]
|Signs||Signs of overwatered plants include yellowing leaves, root rot, mushy leaves, and mold or fungus growth.||Signs of underwatered plants include wilting or drooping, yellow or brown leaves, stunted growth, and crispy or dry leaves.|
|Problems||Overwatering can lead to a lack of oxygen to the roots, nutrient deficiencies, and an increased risk of pests and diseases.||Underwatering can cause dehydration, damage to the root system, and reduced yield or growth.|
|Solutions||To fix overwatered plants, adjust the watering frequency, improve soil drainage, and reduce standing water.||To fix underwatered plants, water the plants more often, water deeply and slowly, and use a mulch to retain moisture.|
|Prevention||To prevent overwatering, check the soil moisture regularly, use well-draining soil, and avoid over-fertilizing.||To prevent underwatering, monitor the plant behavior regularly and water the plants based on their needs. It is also helpful to use a moisture meter.|
|Effects on Growth||Overwatered plants may have slow growth, small leaves, and a general decline in health.||Underwatered plants may have stunted growth, small leaves, and an overall unhealthy appearance.|
|Soil Condition||Overwatering can cause soil compaction and reduce soil aeration.||Underwatering can cause the soil to become dry and hard, making it difficult for roots to absorb nutrients.|
|Overwatered plants may need to be watered less frequently, depending on their individual needs.||Underwatered plants may need to be watered more frequently or for longer periods to ensure they receive enough moisture.|
|Drainage||Overwatered plants benefit from improved drainage, such as the use of drainage holes and gravel.||Underwatered plants benefit from the soil with good drainage and aeration to help roots access water and nutrients.|
|Fertilization||Over-fertilizing can contribute to overwatering, so it is important to use the right amount and type of fertilizer.||Under-fertilizing can make it more difficult for plants to cope with drought and other stresses.|
|Plant Type||Some plants, such as tomatoes, cucumber, aloe vera, Christmas cactus, snake plants, spider plants, succulents, etc, are more susceptible to overwatering.||Some plants, such as cacti and succulents, are better adapted to dry conditions and may require less water.|