How to fix an overwatered plant is a skill you need to learn whether you’re new to gardening or an adept farmer. It’s easy to provide your plants with too much water during the course of caring for them.How to Fix an Overwatered Plant

Once the soil gets clogged with too much water, your plant’s roots will be unable to breathe, suffocating and drowning the plant. Fortunately, we’re here to provide you with tips on how to fix and avoid overwatering plants.

What To Fix an Overwatered Plant?

To fix an overwatered plant, all you have to do is identify that your plant is suffering from too much watering, stop watering it, move it from its current position, take care of the roots and leaves, and repot it.

– Identify That Overwatering Is the Problem

To make sure you’re treating the right ailment, you first need to get the diagnosis right. Therefore, you need first to ascertain whether overwatering is causing your plant’s health to decline. You should look out for the key signs of overwatered plants, so begin by checking to see if your indoor plants have yellowing leaves or light green and black spots on them.Identifying Overwatered Plant

In addition, you can observe your plants’ height and growth level, as too much water can make it difficult for your plant’s root to provide the rest of the plant with water, thereby leading to stunted growth. Then, make sure to examine the top of your soil for any algae or mold, and look for these factors at the base of your plant’s stem as well.

Now, you may also opt to sniff your plant for a bad, musty odor carefully; if there’s one, your plant may suffer from overwatering. In addition, you can also look and see if your pot has no drain holes, and if you’re experiencing one or even more of the previous symptoms, your plant may suffer from overwatering.

– Stop Watering Your Plant

Once you’ve identified that overwatering is the problem, the next step is to stop providing your plants with more water. Your plant may start showing some wilting signals, but restrain yourself from watering it.

In short, know that your plant has been watered excessively, so if you stop watering it, it will be fine and not hazardous. This is why adding more water to an already overwatered plant will only hasten its demise.

– Change Its Current Position

Moving your plant to a different area might be all you need to help it absorb the excess water in its pot. In the current state, if your potted plant is in a dark area, simply move it to an area with more light; on the other hand, when plants are in bright areas, they tend to need and absorb more water than when they’re in darker conditions.Changing Position of Overwatered Plant

In this case, you must try to carefully observe the plant and check to see if there’s a change in growth or color. So try to notice, if your plant was initially in a light area, you can move it to a darker spot and observe its growing pattern and condition. But if there’s no change, your plant may have suffered root rot, making it difficult for water to start reaching to the rest of the plant.

– Take Care of the Roots and Over Watered Plant Leaves

If changing the plant’s current position doesn’t fix this problem, then you need to check the root for rot and take care of it. The first step you must take should be to stop adding water to the plant immediately and wait for the soil and roots to dry, and if your plant doesn’t dry up quickly, don’t worry, because drying the soil and roots may take several days.Taking Care of Over Watered Plant Leaves

Then, you must try to move your plant to a cool, well-shaded spot to help protect its upper leaves since the roots won’t be able to provide the upper part of the plant with water. Just as the soil and roots are a little dried, loosen the dry soil to allow more air to flow into the soil and aid drying.

You can loosen the soil and plant by tapping the sides of the pot with a small trowel, shovel, or your hand, depending on how dry the soil is. Moreover, you may need to tap the sides multiple times to loosen the roots and soil. Once the soil is properly dried, remove the plant from its pot by placing one hand at the lower part or at the base of the plant and slowly shaking and turning the plant with the other hand until the root ball comes off.

Keep in mind that you must aim to ace the removal process while holding the plant upside down, and just as it is out, you can now use your hands and gently brush off old soil attached to the roots. Try to brush off the soil as carefully as you are doing so you don’t damage the roots. Then, you should also check in details and see if the soil is smelly, moldy, or has algae; if it does, throw it away and make sure to rid your pot of the soil.

On the other hand, if the soil doesn’t produce any smell and looks fresh and clean, then you can reuse it. However, it’s recommended that you prepare fresh soil instead, so take care of the roots by carefully trimming any discolored or smelly roots with scissors or shears.

Also note how healthy roots will be firm, strong, and white, while decayed roots will be black or brown and smelly, but if most of the plant’s roots are decayed, and that is when it might be too late to be able to save your plant. Once you’re done with the root, move to the leaves of your plants and stem.

Cut off dried or decayed stems and leaves with yellow, light green, black, and brown spots, as you may opt to reduce the size of your plant if you’ve trimmed too much of the root. One good rule you can keep in mind is to make sure the top part of your plant, which means that the stem and leaves are at most twice the size of the roots, so they can get adequate support.

– Repot Your Plant

Once you’re done caring for the roots and removing dead stems and brown leaves, the next step is to plant your pot in a new home. Repotting overwatered plants can be done by first getting a pot that has a tray and some drain holes that will prevent excess water from settling at the bottom or the base of your pot and causing root rot.Repotting Overwatered Plant

The tray will collect the excess water, ensuring that it doesn’t cause stains or breed algae and mold below your pot. If your previous pot has some drainage holes, you can reuse it after cleaning out the old soil completely. Now, you must get rid of the rot, mold, compost material, algae, and other elements in the old pot, then use a mild detergent to wash the pot.

Once the pot is ready, add about one to two inches of mulch at the bottom of the pot to help improve drainage. Remember that adding mulch might be optional; it’s a good technique that can help you prevent overwatering in the future. So try to leave the mulch as loosely as possible instead of keeping it packed, and now add your new potting-draining soil to your plant’s root.

Pour the potting soil into the pot and fill it until it gets to the base of your plant and pat the soil to make it packed, so the plant can stay in place. If you still see exposed roots, you can add more soil after patting down the soil around your plant. But once you’re done planting the soil, water your plant to moisten the soil.

Any subsequent watering after the initial one should be done only if the soil feels dry, and this is the reason that helps you to make sure to irrigate the soil directly so that the water can travel to the roots as quickly as possible. Lastly, make sure to water your plants at dawn, just before the sun comes up, so the sun can help them dry faster.


Whether you’re looking for how to fix overwatered indoor plant or how to fix overwatered outdoor plants, you know the right steps to accomplish the task. Below is a quick summary that can help you on your journey to save your drowning plant:

  • Brown, black, smelly, and decayed roots will be unable to supply water to the rest of the plant.
  • Changing the position of your plant can increase its absorption rate, thereby allowing it to take in more water than normal.
  • Using terracotta pots can aid soil drying since the pots are made from materials that allow the soil to breathe.
  • Make sure your pots have draining holes, and try to use mulch when repotting your plant.
  • Keep fertilizers away from the plant until you’ve seen consistent growth.

After repotting your overwatered plant, observe it for a bit of time to see if you’ll be able to discover signs of recovery.

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