An overwatered hoya is more likely to suffer from root rot, if it continues to sit in waterlogged conditions. The hoya leaves may also turn yellow because the roots won’t be able to supply the foliage with the resources for growth. The devastating effects of overwatering can be prevented, reduced, or reversed by implementing certain strategies.
The purpose of this article is to present you with tips for dealing with cases of overwatering on your hoya plants, in addition to enlightening you on how your plants may end up being overwatered.
- My Hoya Plant Is Overwatered: What Could be the Reasons?
- What Are Possible Remedies for Saving Your Overwatered Hoya?
My Hoya Plant Is Overwatered: What Could be the Reasons?
The reasons for an overwatered hoya plant could be incorrect watering, water-based pest control methods, a poor drainage system, or inappropriate use of humidity control strategies. Failure to adapt to seasonal changes may also contribute to overwatering of your hoya plants.
– Incorrect Watering
Although there are recommended schedules for watering your plants, the frequency at which you water them highly depends on environmental conditions such as sunlight, temperature, and air currents. Failure to interpret the water needs of your plant based on these conditions leaves you with no option but to deal with an overwatering scenario.
Typically, higher temperatures and sunlight levels are associated with an increased loss of water from the plant and its potting soil. The water needs for your plant will be relatively higher when there are such environmental parameters, so you should water the plants more frequently. The same applies to windy days. However, if you follow the same watering frequency when temperatures and sunlight levels are lower, overwatering may result.
Ideally, water your hoya plants when their potting soil is completely dry. You can affirm the dryness of the soil by dipping your finger, chopstick, or any other similar tool into the potting soil.
If the tool comes out without any damp soil clinging to it, then you can give your plant another drink. If you fail to correctly check the moisture levels of the soil, you might water an already damp potting mix, thereby further exposing your plant to overwatering.
– Water-Based Pest Control Methods
The hoya plant is a relatively strong plant but it sometimes succumbs to attacks by sucking pests like aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Just like overwatering, sap suckers cause hoya plants’ leaves turning yellow, especially if they exist in large infestations.
Hey may even lead to leaf drop and you wouldn’t want your hoya beauty to go through that, which is why you would engage in pest control interventions.Water-based methods of pest control increase the risk of overwatering, especially if you administer it as a separate care procedure from watering.
One such strategy for controlling pests is the hosing method, where you wash pests off using a strong stream of water. The method effectively works together with other pest control methods like spraying Neem oil to completely eradicate pests.
When you use the hosing method on a day that is separate from the one that you scheduled for watering, the pest control session will have effects that are similar to those of an extra watering session.
This is because the water that you use to wash the pests off will fall into the potting mix, thereby making it wet. This unintentional frequent watering promotes waterlogged conditions that may, in turn, cause hoya leaves turning yellow.
– A Poor Drainage System
The drainage system of a plant is mainly determined by its potting soil and pot. The best soil for your hoya plant is one that is both porous and slightly water-retaining.
Porous soils are well-draining so they allow excess water to go down the potting mix and then out through the pot’s drainage holes. Such soils also promote good aeration in the soil, so the roots of your plant can easily oxygen.
When you include large amounts of clay in your potting mix, both drainage and aeration will become compromised. This scenario is supportive of waterlogged conditions that endanger the survival of your plant. If your pot has too few drainage holes, water will still accumulate in the potting mix, despite it being well-draining.
In some cases, your pot might have enough drainage holes, but they may get clogged with particles over time, and this makes the drainage system around your plant less effective.
Did you know that the size of the pot that you use for your plant contributes to overwatering?
If you use a pot that is too big for the size of the plant, the excess water will be in larger amounts so it might take longer for it to escape the pot. This increases the timeframe during which the roots of your plant will be soaked in water
– Inappropriate Use of Humidity Control Strategies
Ideally, hoya plants require humidity levels of around 60 percent and above for optimal growth. Sometimes, the space where you are growing your plant may not be at par with its humidity needs. That situation calls for interventions that increase the humidity conditions around the plant.
One of the methods that you might use in elevated humidity levels is the pebble tray strategy. With this method, you add water to a tray that contains pebbles. You then allow the pot of your hoya plant to sit on top of the pebbles while the water in the tray evaporates and saturates the air that is in the vicinity. Overwatering may occur if the bottom of the pot makes continuous direct contact with the water in the tray.
Another important thing to note is that although the hoya plants appear to be humidity lovers, excessive levels may become supportive of overwatering. When moisture levels in the atmosphere that surrounds your plant are too high, the rate at which the plant loses water via transpiration and evaporation is lower. As a result, it takes longer for the potting soil to lose water. This can lead to waterlogged conditions, especially when the general drainage system is also poor.
– Failure to Adapt to Seasonal Changes
Seasonal changes work hand-in-hand with alterations in environmental conditions. For instance, in summer, the temperatures and humidity levels are relatively higher than in winter. Based on these parameters, summer seasons are associated with higher rates of evaporation and transpiration. This ultimately calls for more watering sessions in summer than in winter, too.
If, by any chance, you stick to the summer watering frequency in winter, the likelihood that your plant will sit in water is very high. Another important factor to consider when it comes to changing seasons is that hoya plants slip into a period of dormancy in winter.
This means that the plant does not grow and develop the same way it does during summer, which is its growing season. Simply put, your hoya beauty won’t use much water in winter, so it becomes prone to overwatering.
Exposure to sunlight is also lower in winter. The availability of light determines the openness of the stoma, which are the openings through which water escapes the foliage of your plant. When there is no light, the stoma is closed and water loss will also be low, considering that your plant absorbs the same amount of water that it loses through transpiration. THis also partly explains why watering your plant in winter might be a risk factor for overwatering.
What Are Possible Remedies for Saving Your Overwatered Hoya?
The possible remedies for saving your overwatered hoya are myriad, among others the steps are to first assess the damage, cut down on watering, improve the drainage systems, use a different pest control method, and administer proper care as according to guidelines.
– Assess the Extent of the Damage
The first port of call is to evaluate the damage that your Hoya has already sustained as a result of overwatering. Identify the overwatering signs that are noticeable, like yellow leaves. If there are some leaves that are still green, then your plant still has a good chance of surviving.
You should also check your plant’s rooting system. To do this, gently uproot your plant from its pot, shake off any clinging soil, and wash the roots with clean water. The healthy roots will appear white in color, while the ones that are affected by root rot will be brown and mushy. Rotting roots have a characteristic bad smell as well. If you still have a few roots that are healthy, it’s a sign that your Hoya beauty can live again.
Get gardening shears and sterilize them using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. Cut off all the rotten roots, prior to spraying the routine system with a fungicide such as a hydrogen peroxide. You can also dip the rooting system in a rooting hormone and then repot the plant in a new potting medium.
– Cut Down on Watering
Cutting down on watering is more of a factor of reducing the frequency at which you add water to the plant, rather than the actual amount per watering session. At this point, the purpose is to ensure that the soil is dry, thereby canceling the waterlogged conditions. Therefore, refrain from watering until the potting mix is completely dry.
You can then reduce the watering frequency accordingly, being sure to put environmental and seasonal changes into consideration. Also, be careful not to deprive your plant of water too much, otherwise, you would have to deal with an underwatered hoya.
When you water your plant, please do so properly so that you avoid other forms of watering problems. For example, water directly on the potting mix, not on your Hoya plant’s foliage because the latter will promote fungal infections.
– Improve the Drainage System
The potting soil might be the reason why you see your plant’s leaves turn yellow. If that’s the case, consider changing the potting soil of your plant if it’s not well-draining. You can make a good potting mix for your Hoya by mixing coarse coconut coir, perlite, and potting mix at ratios of 3:3:4.
Also, make sure your pot has enough drainage holes. Also, check if the available ones are not blocked by potting soil. Otherwise, you can unclog them using a toothpick, chopstick, or other similar tools. If you are not happy with the drainage system of the current pot, find a better one and repot your plant. Make sure not to repot your plant very frequently since it might stress it!
– Use Other Pest Control Methods
If the hosing method of controlling pests works best for you, consider spreading plastic over the top of your pot. Make sure that it’s well-fastened so that it does not get loose. When you hose the pests off, the plastic will protect the potting soil from getting wet.
There are many other humidity-rectifying methods that you can employ, instead of water-based ones. We recommend using Neem oil because it is effective against many sucking pests, at all stages of their life cycle.
– Administer Proper Care
Be sure to use the pebble tray method appropriately if it’s your preferred strategy for rectifying humidity levels. There should be absolutely no contact between the pot of your plant and the water in the tray. Otherwise, the water will move into the potting mix, causing waterlogged conditions, until you ultimately see leaves turning yellow and root rot setting in.
Removing the yellow leaves is a great idea because they become an unnecessary burden to your plant. Remember to wear gloves and use sterilized tools as you handle your plant. You may also need to prune off some of the healthy leaves if most of the roots have been damaged by root rot. Doing so helps to balance the foliage load to the available roots so that the rooting system won’t be overwhelmed.
This article explored much of the information that you need to protect your plant from overwatering and save it if it is already in the situation. You can also check out our full Hoya care guide.
Here are the final thoughts, presented as the main points:
- Yellowing leaves and root rot are the main symptoms of overwatered Hoya plants.
- Overwatering may be caused by improper watering, water-based pest control strategies, and failure to adapt to seasonal and environmental changes.
- Evaluating the situation is the first step that you should take in saving your overwatered Hoya plant.
- Other effective reversal techniques include cutting down on watering and improving the drainage system around your plant.
Now that you have become a guru in dealing with overwatering issues around your Hoya plant, it’s time to get practical. Start applying what you learned now!
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