Overwatering is one of the most common reasons houseplants die. Plant roots require oxygen to work properly. If you overwater your plant, it can cause the roots to become wet and soft which can eventually suffocate the roots, causing them to rot and die.
Overwatering a plant is most commonly seen in houseplants that are not properly drained or have been sitting in their containers for an extended period of time.
A common misconception of overwatering is thinking the plants are only suffering from excess water. However, there is more to it than just too much water. There is also maintenance tasks such as changing out the soil every so often or the pots being moved around.
On the bright side, there is a simple solution for waterlogged plants and on how you can adjust your watering method. Below we provide tips to help you treat plants that are dying and avoid overwatering.
Reviving Overwatered Plants
Before you take any steps to fix overwatered plants, you first need to assess the damage. If you notice yellowing but no signs of wilting, you can begin watering them properly to preserve them. If the wilting has occurred, you’ll need to work even harder to save your plants, by following these steps:
- First check the soil. When you notice that the soil is too wet, stop watering your plant for a few days and improve drainage. Also try to improve the airflow. This will help prevent the roots from rotting.
- Look out for root rot! Root rot is a condition that can quickly spread, so it’s important to identify and treat the cause of infection as soon as possible.
- Change the Pot and Soil. Contemplate avoiding root rot by changing the pot and soil. This will help promote better drainage, which in turn speeds up drying time for your plant, helping revive your overwatered plant!
- Plant Placement. Make sure you give your plant the best possible care for it to perform at its optimal level. Humid, warm places with increased ventilation and lower humidity are great resources in getting plants off on their feet!
- Lastly, Check for fungus. Over-watered soil might give hints like mushrooms and other fungi popping up from it or even changes color.
How Long for Plants to Recover from Overwatering?
Depending on the circumstances and severity of over-watering your roots may need more time for recovery than others! The good news is that most plants will bounce back between 7-14 days if they’re given proper care (which includes rehydration). If this isn’t possible because major damage was done or little healthy root system exists then expect about 2 weeks until improvement can be seen.
However there are some that take significantly longer to restore themselves and may require up around four months or more in order for all aspects of their growth cycle to be restored properly. Following the steps listed above will help increase the chances of reviving your overwatered plant quicker and more efficiently.
What Type of Water is Best for Plants?
The kind of water you use can make a big difference in how your plants grow and behave. Some plant varieties need high levels or consistent moisture, while others prefer drier conditions with less humidity (or even actively dry).
Using tap water for your plants can be harmful to their health, while bottled water for your indoor plants could actually help them grow much faster than expected!
Rain or spring water sources will be your best option and these will give more nutrients since they come directly from nature without any unnecessary processing done along the way (Any water containing sugar or salt will hurt them).
How to Dry Out Overwatered Soil
If you notice your soil is already too wet, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.
Let it Completely Dry Out
One way to prevent overwatered plants and soil is letting it completely dry out. You just need a little bit of self-control! Don’t provide any additional water for awhile so that all the moisture can evaporate from inside or on top of your roots before they get too anxious about receiving another dose.
Move Away from Buildings
The plant will lose water more in high winds. So, move it away from any buildings or areas with little wind energy if possible and make sure that there are plenty open spaces around for wind to blow on the soil.
Use a Hairdryer
Sometimes it can be something as small as using a hairdryer on the cool setting near your plant’s roots. Be careful not to blow soil off of them but this will help dry out all parts without harming it!
Place in Low Humidity
When you place your plant in an area with low humidity, the stomata open to transpire more water than usual. Because this is directly concerned with how much air can fit through a small holeilar membrane. The solution? A warm temperature for increased sweating ability which also helps promote healthy growth.
Create Drainage Holes
Adding in drainage holes will make sure that excess water doesn’t build up at the bottom of your plant pots, preventing the main cause of root rot.
If you have to, remove most of the much mulch that is still there. The evaporation rate of your system will increase with the removal and therefore, unnecessary moisture is lost.
Can Overwatered Plants Recover on Their Own?
Overwatered plants can sometimes recover on their own, but it depends on the plant and the extent of the overwatering. If the roots have rotted, the plant will likely not recover. However, if the overwatering has only caused the leaves to wilt, the plant may be able to bounce back. In general, overwatered plants tend to recover more quickly than underwatered plants. This is because overwatering only affects the leaves, while underwatering can damage the roots.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to tell if you’re overwatering plants
Lower leaves will start to turn yellow, and the plant will start to look wilted. Also seeing no improvement in growth or rotting roots are all signs of overwatering.
Signs of Overwatering a Banana Plant
Banana plants are prone to over-watering when their roots do not have enough room in the pot. These symptoms include yellowing lower leaves, powder on top of plant’s main body and moldy or heavy soil that is near baseboards! Take your banana out if its container so it can dry up some.
Why Does Overwatering a Plant Kill it?
Root rot is an inevitable outcome when plants are over-watered. Roots need adequate amounts of moisture to survive and function correctly, but too much water can cause them damage or even kill off completely because they won’t be able get enough oxygen from the soil medium anymore due its lack in circulation depths which also leads us into having died/rotted roots!