What To Do If I Overwatered My Succulent

1. Avoid exposure to the sun

Yes, I am aware that it seems illogical to remove extra water from the soil, but bear with me. This is the justification. Too much water has already put the succulent under stress, and exposure to sunlight makes matters worse. Direct sunlight is a big no because most succulents require brilliant indirect light.

Place the succulent that has been overwatered somewhere dry and bright, but out of direct sunshine.

2. Permit the roots to breathe.

Cut off any brown or black roots as they are already rotting. Dig the succulent out of the ground and remove any excess soil that has become stuck to the roots. Place the plant on a mesh or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry. Replant the roots in the pot once they have dried completely.

Remove the entire root system and any puckered, spotty, black, or brown stems if the roots are entirely rotted. The succulent stem can be buried in the ground for propagation.

Keep the overwatered succulent on a mesh screen or other strainer until the roots have had two to three days to air dry.

3. Modify the ground

You might not need to entirely alter your succulent if it is already rooted in homemade or commercial succulent soil. Algae (green living matter) typically grows on soil that is too wet. If so, it is your responsibility to remove all of the top soil from the area around your plants and replace it with new succulent soil.

Can succulents bounce back after being overwatered?

The more quickly you act, the more likely you are to be able to save your plant. The likelihood that a plant may succumb to rot increases with the amount of overwatering. As you can see from the examples above, there are times when a plant is simply too damaged to be saved.

The plant is essentially drowning from too much water and needs to dry out as quickly as possible if it is exhibiting early signs of overwatering, such as mushy, soft, and pale bottom leaves.

Steps on How To Save an Overwatered Succulent:

  • It is preferable to remove the plant from its current location and thoroughly clean the roots of any moist soil.
  • For at least three days and up to a week, let the plant to completely dry out.
  • The plant should be placed somewhere dry and sunny, but out of direct sunlight to prevent burning of the leaves and roots.
  • Replant in an appropriate, fast-draining potting mix once it has dried up; do not water right away. Before watering again, wait about a week and take care not to overwater.

You might get away with leaving the plant alone and not repotting it if you believe it is already in the proper potting mix but you were just excessively watering your plants.

Prior to watering again, wait at least a week and feel the top inch of the soil for moisture. You can water it once more if it feels dry. Your plant needs a new pot if the soil is still moist because the soil it is now in is not drying out quickly enough.

Will The Leaves Grow Back?

Yes. As long as the plant is not decaying, even if you lose a lot of leaves due to overwatering, it will eventually recover. You may soon see fresh growth or tiny leaves along the stems if you allow it time to dry out.

Additionally, you’ll see new growth coming from the plant’s sides, top, or even bottom. When you start to see new growth, your plant is typically out of danger and has fully healed.

Steps on How to Save a Rotting Succulent From Overwatering:

  • Check the plant to see how bad the rot is. You may be able to salvage some of the plant if the rot is not too bad.
  • Keep any leaf that seems to be reusable. As many leaves as you can preserve for propagation. Leaf propagation can be challenging, so you’ll need as much leaf as you can obtain to give some of them a fighting chance. Ensure you collect the leaf in its entirety, including the base. A broken leaf won’t survive.
  • Allow the leaves to dry for a few days by placing them somewhere dry and out of the sun.
  • When the leaves are completely dry, either lay them flat on the soil or bury the ends in well-draining potting mix. You can dip the leaves in rooting hormone as an optional step. I tend to skip over this step, but other people prefer to add rooting hormones to boost success rates and expedite the propagation process.
  • Avoid direct sunshine and water the soil every few days or if it seems dry. Await the development of new plants and their roots.

Other than leaves, you can also save parts of the stem

  • Examine the stem, including the roots, and remove any rotten spots. Save any stem pieces that are still green or healthy. When you cut the stem, you will be able to tell if it is viable or not. If the stem’s inside reveals green, fragile sections that aren’t brown or black, they may have a chance of surviving and can be multiplied to start a new plant.
  • Saved stems should be stored in a dry, shaded area. All cuts should calluses and seal after a few days to a week of drying. Dip the stems in rooting hormone, if desired. I tend to skip over this step, but other people prefer to add rooting hormones to boost success rates and expedite the propagation process.
  • When the stems are dry, make a well-draining potting mix and place them in it.
  • Every couple of days or whenever the soil gets dry, mist. To prevent sun damage, stay out of the sun until your roots are completely established.

You can see that the stem still has a lot of green, healthy sections after removing the decaying portion, indicating that it can be preserved. I placed this stem in soil to root and grow after letting it dry out for a few days.

Overwatered echeveria that has withered. I kept a few of the leaves for future growth.

What does an overwatered succulent look like?

The appearance of the leaves is the best indicator of whether your succulent is being overwatered or overwatered. While an overwatered plant will have mushy, nearly translucent leaves, an underwatered plant will have wrinkly, shriveled up foliage.

These are the plainly visible warning signals that your succulent is being overwatered or underwatered. However, the signs are frequently difficult to read. A succulent that has been submerged in water may act similarly to a plant that has been overwatered.

And here is the part where most folks are perplexed. Other indicators can help you determine whether you are indeed overwatering or underwatering your plants.

How long does it take a plant that has been overwatered to recover?

If you follow the above instructions, your overwatered plant will typically recover in 714 days. It can take more time if there was significant damage. But if there were enough healthy roots, it usually only takes around two weeks to observe improvement.

After repotting, give the soil a light watering and wait until it is dry before adding more. Avoid watering the plant excessively like you did previously, especially now!

How can wet soil be dried?

It is not difficult to dry out soil that has been overwatered. It only requires a little thought and work.

The techniques we have used to dry out overwatered soil are outlined below.

Stop Watering and Allow Time To Pass:

The best way to avoid overwatering the soil and plants is to wait until they are totally dry before watering again.

This will enable the water in the soil to evaporate and the plants to transpire the water that is already there.

Place Plants in the Windy Area:

The plants use wind to hasten the pace of evaporation. If you’ve been particularly generous to your plant and given it more water than it requires.

No need to freak out! bring the plant somewhere breezy. In order to promote transpiration, wind is a key factor. The plants will lose more water as the wind speed increases.

Place Plants in an Area With Low Humidity:

Theodore W. Tibbitts from the University of Wisconsin Madison claims that humidity directly affects transpiration by regulating the rate of plant water loss and stomatal opening.

Your plant will transpire more water than usual if you place it in a low-humidity region.

Placing your plant in a low humidity region with a warm temperature is a smart move to treat water saturation because humidity has a direct impact on stomatal gates.

Remove Any Mulch From The Top of The Soil:

Mulch is applied to the tops of plants to keep pests away and to slow evaporation.

Mulch assists with maintaining soil moisture. To fast dry the overwatered soil, make sure to remove the mulch from the top layer of the ground.

By getting rid of it, you’ll increase the rate of evaporation, causing extra water to evaporate more quickly.

Placing Holes at the Side of the Pot:

If the container doesn’t already have one, you can drill many holes into the side of it to increase drainage.

Make sure that no slabs or stones are inserted within the plant container so as to block the holes.

In addition to allowing water to drain from the soil, these drainage holes will also allow for better soil aeration and root development.

It can aid in the soil drying just as quickly, but being less typical than holes in the bottom.

Use a Hairdryer to Dry the Soil

It’s simple to get rid of the extra moisture by blow-drying the soil with a hairdryer.

The dryer will only dry the soil’s surface when it is pointed at it, leaving the remainder of the soil wet.

The dirt must be taken out of the container and spread around to let all the moisture evaporate. As a result, the soil’s moisture would be largely removed by the heated air.

In this situation, you might think about adding dry dirt while you’re at it or repotting the plant in fresh soil.

Another thing to think about is the possibility that if the dryer’s hot air gets too hot, it could kill a lot of the soil’s microorganisms. This may result in the soil’s ability to supply nutrients to the plant being diminished.

My plants stay healthy even after repotting thanks to the Miracle-Gro Potting Mix I get from Amazon. Clicking here will take you there.

Can you revive a succulent that is rotting?

After that, clean the container and fill it with new dirt. A drop of antibacterial dish soap should be added to a bowl of water. Carefully clean the succulent’s roots with brand-new cotton swabs. The roots could also be submerged in a weak anti-fungal solution. Before repotting, allow the roots to totally dry out. For two weeks, let the plant remain dry, and keep a constant eye on it.

How can a potted plant that is flooded be fixed?


Did you know that premature plant mortality is frequently attributed to overwatering? Most of us prefer to overwater since we are deathly frightened of underwatering our plants in general. Although I’m improving, I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. Watering your plant properly is the finest thing you can do to keep it healthy.

What signs might indicate that a plant is drowning? Have you been watering only when the soil’s surface is touchably dry? If you haven’t, your plant might be remaining too damp. Read “Water Your Way to Happy Plants” for further details on how to properly water plants in pots. Second, does your plant appear pale green and miserable in general? Overwatering is one reason why this can be the case. Although both of these foliage warning signs are signs of overwatering, the most prevalent sign that a plant is drowning is that it has wilted despite the soil being damp.

Why is excessive watering so bad for plants’ health? Plants with healthy roots will grow and thrive. Have you ever noticed that a plant will seem to sit still after being transplanted for a week or longer before it begins to grow? It’s not actually just resting there, though; it’s growing roots. After developing a sizable root system, the plant concentrates its efforts on expanding and producing more blooms as well as a larger plant.

Because they are a plant’s main source of nutrition and water, the roots are crucial for the plant’s ability to absorb oxygen. The plant’s roots absorb water, but they also require air to breathe. Simply put, overwatering drowns your plant. The roots can’t breathe in perpetually damp soil since there aren’t enough air spaces there. Stressed roots are those that are unable to breathe. Humans under stress are more vulnerable to illness. Unhealthy roots are one of the common causes of plant stress, and stressed plants are therefore more likely to contract illnesses. Plants with excessive watering are more susceptible to develop root infections, particularly root rot. Unless you observe that your plant is wilting when the soil is still moist, you probably won’t realize that it has root rot.

What is root rot exactly? The fungi responsible for root rot are numerous. Rhizoctonia, Pythium, and Phytopthera are the most frequently found offenders. White, spotless roots indicate good health. Brown, grey, black, slimy, or absent roots indicate root rot. Additionally, excessive watering deprives your plants of necessary nutrients. Either the soil’s fertilizer has been leached off by too much water, or the roots are injured and unable to absorb the fertilizer. In either case, the plant lacks access to the food it requires.

  • Even if the plant requires full sun, move the planter to a shaded place. Your plant’s roots are unable to absorb enough water to keep it hydrated. Plants will consume less water when they are in shade. Move sun plants back to a sunny spot after the roots are strong.
  • Check to see if the pot is draining. Add some drainage holes if there aren’t any already, or repot the plant in a container with some. The soil will remain overly wet if you let the pot sit in water.
  • Create more air gaps around the root ball if you can. To accomplish this, you can gently tap the pot once it has been tilted to the side; the soil ball should now be loose inside the pot. When finished, carefully re-stand the pot up; there should be a few tiny air gaps between the pot wall and the soil ball. As a result, the soil will dry more quickly and the root zone will also receive oxygen.
  • Repot the plant into a separate pot if it isn’t too big. Remember to add fresh soil. The roots will have lovely, clean soil to thrive in as a result. Continue to number 5 if the plant is too large to be easily replanted.
  • Watering should only start after the soil’s surface feels dry to the touch. Avoid letting the plant become excessively dry because this additional shock can be enough to destroy it. The leaves of the plant can be misted or sprayed with water to stop excessive leaf scorching if it is severely wilting. Fertilize not. It is possible to burn the roots with fertilizer while they are in a vulnerable stage. Return to regular fertilizer as soon as the plant starts to develop actively again.
  • A broad-spectrum fungicide treatment may be beneficial. You should be able to choose one with the aid of your neighborhood garden center.
  • If the plant survives, you should start to see a difference in a week or so. Move the plant to a more sunny spot after it appears to be growing well, then start fertilizing once more.

There is no assurance that your plant will recover even if you perform all of these measures. The extent of the damage to the roots plays a role. Consider switching to a lighter, fluffier soil if you have a propensity to kill plants gently and compost more than you are surviving. Make sure your containers have plenty of drainage holes. Grow plants that enjoy having their feet in water if all else fails. In containers that drain slowly, plants like Cyperus, Alocasia, Colocasia, Acorus, and many others will flourish. Avoid plants that are more susceptible than most other plants to difficulties from overwatering if you have a tendency to keep your plants on the damp side.