How do I save an overwatered plant

Pot tips: How to remove excess water

The pots are this generous consolation for all of us who live in apartments and places without air space, a small vessel in which nature breathes and develops and reveals all its splendor. But the art of stewing has both its homes and its secrets.

Has it happened to you that you have too much water and cut the electricity when it's too late? It is a very common evil in pots, but there is nothing that has no solution. So by over-watering your potted plants, you can put a simple but effective home trick into practice.


How do I remove excess water from a pot?

to Remove excess waterThe first is to leave it without watering for a few days to allow the water to drain. However, if the water is too high, the soil can be difficult to dry out. The best way to care for the plant is to take it out of the pot.

Very carefully remove the root ball so the plant doesn't fall apart, then wrap it in several layers of newspaper or absorbent paper for 24 hours to absorb all of the moisture. If you find the paper getting too wet, change it until you find it stays dry.

On the other hand, clean the pot and fill it with new soil. Then put the plant back in the container. Avoid watering for a few days and until the soil is dry.

Please note

Notice The pots are small spaces with little soil, so watering should be much more moderate as if the plant were in the ground. In addition, the manufacturing material must be taken into account, as the water in terracotta pots, for example, evaporates much more than in plastic containers.

What are the symptoms of overhydration in plants?

To find out if a plant is overwatering, we need to look at the following:

  • The plant takes on a "sad" appearance with weak leaves and stems
  • The lower leaves usually turn yellowish in color and the young ones brown
  • The roots rot
  • The growth stops
  • The soil can turn green due to algae

Why do they die when they get more water than they should?

It is often assumed that the more water you have, the more "alive" you will be, but the truth is, they are not. We humans also need water, but we all know how bad it is when we drink more than necessary in a short period of time. Stomach pain can be very bad 😉. And that's not to mention how difficult it is to breathe in a river with a strong current.

Plants want water, yes, but Overwatering, they literally run out of both oxygen and nutrients. That is why it is important to know when and how to water them.

How do I avoid overhydration?

Irrigation is without a doubt the most complicated task that anyone who has plants must learn to master. And that's it, Water is vital, but ... whether it is scarce or too much, the roots will have a hard time. Things get complicated when they tell us, or we learn through trial and error, that each plant has its own water needs, depending on weather conditions, altitude, wind, humidity and whether it is outside or inside, and its own size.

Therefore, one rose bush in the middle of the Mediterranean summer does not need the same irrigation as another in Galicia. Why? Since the first takes place in a region where summer coincides with the dry season, which can last several months (to give you an idea, we can spend more than six months in the south of Mallorca without receiving a single drop of rain). and the second will be in an area that usually rains from time to time.

Therefore To avoid overwatering, it is important to know the main characteristics of the region's climate (Temperatures, frequency of rain, humidity, wind), and of course the needs of the plant we are going to cultivate. As a rule, one needs to know that it is watered more often in summer than the rest of the year and that indoor plants always require less watering than outdoors.

When in doubt, there is nothing better than checking the substrate moisture. There are several ways to do this:

  • We introduce a thin wooden stick: is the classic method. It is introduced at the bottom near the edge of the pot so as not to damage the roots. If upon removal we find that it is practically clean, we will proceed with water.
  • Weigh the pot once watered and again after a few days: The damp earth weighs more than the dry one. So, if after a few days we find that the pot weighs little or weighs a lot less, we will move on to water.
  • Using a digital moisture meter: It is not 100% reliable but can serve as a guide. When we introduce it, we learn how wet or dry that part of the earth is that has come into contact with it.

Another important point is the substrate. When the substrate does not have good drainage; That said, if it is unable to absorb and filter the excess water quickly, the plant becomes more vulnerable to excessive watering. More information can be found here:

Complete Guide to Substrates: How to Choose the Most Suitable for Your Plant

How do I water a plant?

Well we know the earth needs water, but how can you irrigate? This seems like a question with a simple answer, but ... do we pour or pour water? Often times, to keep the roots from rotting, we only add half a jar or less if it's really small. If we do this out of habit, we can end up running out of the plant as it could dry out.

The water needs to reach the roots well, and that means that all of the soil is well moistened. You don't have to water it, but you do have to water it well until the water comes out of the drainage holes.. It must also be ensured that the soil can absorb the precious liquid. So when we see the water flowing to the sides, we need to take the pot and put it in a basin for a few minutes. until the earth stays well moist.

Can you put a plate underneath

I do not advise. Most plants have no contact with standing water; In fact, this is one of the reasons roots rot. That is why it is much more advisable to use pots with drainage holes and without a plate.

pear There are exceptions:

  • Aquatic plants: These are even available in pots without holes.
  • Semi-aquatic or bank plants: such as rattan o las bays.
  • Plants outdoors, in areas where summers are very hot (30 ° C or more) and dry and require lots of water, such as B. Palms Archontophoenix or flowers such as rose bushes or geraniums.

I hope you found it helpful.