One of the first things that you learn when you first start to garden is that you should never overwater plants, unless you want to see them die.
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.
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.
What are the signs of overwatering?
- Pale green or yellow patches developing on lower leaves.
- No new growth or struggling foliage, this is a sign that your plant isn’t receiving the nutrients it needs, which can result from overwatering.
- Mold or mushiness at the base of your plant – where there’s too much water, mold can start to grow.
- An unpleasant or musty odor, when roots start to rot and decay that have a foul smell.
- Sciarid Flies, are small flying insects that thrive in damp soil and compost that can damage your plant.
How to Fix Overwatered Plants?
- Stop watering your plant.
- Bring your plant out of direct sunlight to protect the upper leaves as it recovers.
- Aerate the roots and soil by tapping on the sides of the pot, or using your hands/small shovel to gently loosen the soil and create air pockets.
- Prune dead leaves and stems from the plant – this will help the plant save energy whilst it recovers.
- Check for root rot by gently slide the plant out of its planter to inspect the roots and also speed up the drying process. Prune away rotting roots, these look soft and dark-colored, unlike firm white healthy roots. Choose a pot with good drainage to remove excess moisture and use fresh soil to repot your plant carefully.