Remedy for Overwatered Plants

Remedy for Overwatered Plants thumbnail
This silver watering can is used to water plants.

Overwatered plants will die if nothing is done. Plants do need water to survive, but too much water will kill them. Overwatering leads to root rot, drowning, fungus and diseases. Plants live by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. It cannot do this if overwatered. Root rot happens when the roots are sitting in water for too long. The roots will slowly suffocate to death. Fungus grows easily in water and will infect plants. Fortunately, there are remedies for over watered plants.

  1. Check the Signs

    • Determine whether your plant is overwatered. Reviving a plant from getting too much water is risky so you must check the signs of overwatering. If it is not overwatered there is no reason to go through the process of trying to save it. Signs of overwatering include wilting, yellow leaves, stopped growth, gray mold, green soil, and a soft stem. The stem will soften due to root rot. Fungus causes the gray mold, and algae is caused by overwatered soil. If your plant has any of these signs you must use a remedy for overwatered plants.


    • Lay a stack of newspapers on the floor. Carefully remove the plant from its pot or from the ground, depending on whether it is in your house or in your garden. Ensure the root system stays intact while you are removing it by digging wide around the plant. Gently pull the plant out and place it on the newspaper stack. The newspapers will suck up the extra water. Have more newspapers on hand to change them as needed throughout this process.


    • Prune the plant by cutting off any dead or dying roots or leaves being careful to remove what is dying. If you do not remove all of the dead or dying parts the disease will spread taking over the plant. Cut the healthy part of the plant to ensure you remove the entire dead part so it cannot come back. Gently check the roots, stems and leaves for any signs of overwatering such as yellow leaves, gray mold or green soil.


    • If the soil is green it means there is algae growing in it from over watering. To remedy this you must completely replace the soil with fresh, new soil. Gently remove the soil while the plant is on the newspapers. Get as much as you possibly can using your fingers. Use a wet paper towel to gently clean off the roots, stems and leaves. Add the fresh soil without water.


    • Return the plant to the pot it was in or back in the ground. Give the plant time to heal in its new environment. Watch it carefully for any new signs of dying or overwatering. Water the plant as you normally would without overwatering it. Determine how often and how much water your plant needs. Make sure that the overwatering does not happen again. If there are anymore signs of overwatering or dying you will need to repeat the above process.

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