Customers frequently ask me questions such as, “Why are the leaves on my plant becoming brown?” Why are stems so squishy and soft? Why do my plants smell so bad? What are these white or yellow residues on the soil? Why are mushrooms growing on the soil? What are those black insects crawling on the ground and circling my plant? All of these are symptoms of overwatering, which is the leading cause of plant death worldwide. In this blog, I will explain how to avoid over-watering and how to save a plant that has been overwatered.
Through my mistakes and failures, I discovered the most efficient and best remedies to the majority among the most common plant problems. So I’m sharing my experience and skills with you in order to provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to achieve a green successful outcome.
Most of the time, we overwater our plants simply because we follow a plant tag’s instructions to water them in the darkness without first checking the soil’s moisture content or because we have them potted in containers without adequate drainage.
Plants that are in pots without drainage are considerably more likely to be overwatered.
Let’s first discuss the various stages of over-watering, and then I’ll give you the important watering advice that will allow you to prevent over-watering in the future.
Different stages of overwatering
There are two levels of overwatering: mild and severe.
1. Mild stage overwatering
The plant is overwatered, but it isn’t yet rotting, therefore this is the mild stage. Here the plant will recover quicker with a few small modifications.
Symptoms of mild stage
What are the symptoms of the mild stage, and what should you do if you see them early on? There were several brown leaves, some yellowing, yellow, black, or brown blotches on the leaves and stems, a small amount of mold on the soil, and a few black flies hovering around. As a result, as soon as you see this, you must act.
Steps to save an overwatered plant from the mild stage
Stop watering your plant, remove all affected leaves, clip brown and yellow tips, make sure the soil is free of debris, and aerate the soil to supply oxygen to the roots and help the soil dry quicker.
I use chopsticks to aerate and fluff the dirt. You can use any stick or something comparable to a chopstick. To ensure complete coverage, insert the chopsticks as deeply as possible into the dirt and move them in a circular motion around the plant.
Aeration should be repeated once or twice a week until the soil is dry and your plant is thirsty.
2. The severe overwatering stage
The severe overwatering stage occurs when the plant has been watered for an extended period of time and is beginning to decay. In this situation, saving the over-watered plant will require more effort and time.
Symptoms of severe stage
What to look for in the early stages of severe overwatering and what to do to save your overwatered plant from the severe stage. You may tell if your plants are severely overwatered if you notice a lot of brown, soft, mushy leaves, soft and mushy plant stems, a lot of black flies buzzing around, and much of the soil covered in fungus.
Steps to save an overwatered plant from severe stage
Your plant needs to be re-potted right away in this situation. Here are some suggestions for repotting your overwatered plant.
Repotting your overwatered plant
Remove as much soil as you can after removing a plant from a pot. Next, examine the roots.
You must remove any roots that are brown, squishy, or mushy. If all of the roots on your plant are brown and mushy, it is too late to preserve them. I would recommend discarding this plant, purchasing a new plant, and starting over.
For re-potting, only use dry potting mix. Water your plant lightly after re-potting; we don’t want to overload the soil, just give it a little moisture to assist the roots to settle.
Now I’ll give you some basic advice on how to avoid over-watering.
Steps to avoid overwatering
- It is preferable to have your plant planted in a pot with drainage.
- Set up a regular checkup practice rather than watering your plants on a schedule.
- Once every seven to ten days, test the soil of your plants as deeply as possible. This will assist you in understanding your plant’s needs as well as how quickly the soil dries out in your space environment.
- It’s important to remember that watering frequency varies according to the season, as well as light, air movement, humidity, and temperature.
- Plants consume more water during active growth seasons, such as spring and summer, and less water during cooler seasons. The soil dries out rapidly in hot weather and considerably slower in cold weather.
- Be more conscious of how much water you use per watering. Use just enough to wet the soil without drowning your plants. Make sure there is no excess water on the saucer or the bottom of the ornamental pot.
- It is critical to always inspect the soil as deeply as possible before watering. I make use of a soil moisture meter. This equipment allows me to evaluate the soil at the lower level and determine an appropriate watering frequency.
If you follow my advice, you can easily save your overwatered plant and your plants will be extremely happy.
I wish you, everyone, a lot of green luck. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to see you again soon.
FAQs on how to save an overwatered plant
How long does it take for a plant to recover from overwatering?
If you follow the procedures correctly, your overwatered plant should recover in 7 – 14 days. It may take longer if there was substantial damage. However, if there are enough healthy roots, it normally takes only two weeks to notice progress.
What does an overwatered plant look like?
Overwatering causes plants to develop yellow or brown limp, droopy leaves rather than dry, crispy ones (which are a sign of too little water). Wilting leaves in damp soil usually indicate that root rot has taken hold and the roots can no longer absorb water.
Is overwatering worse than underwatering?
Overwatering is considerably worse for plants and increases the likelihood of the plant dying. Overwatering causes far more extensive root damage, which typically must be repaired by cutting off the afflicted roots and repotting the plant.
Do brown leaves mean too much water?
When plants receive insufficient water, their leaves turn brown and wilt. This also happens when plants are overwatered.
Why do plants droop after watering?
Overwatering is a common cause of drooping leaves. Excessive watering drowns the plant’s roots and causes abscisic acid to accumulate. Leaf stomata begin to close, causing an impediment to photosynthesis and respiration.