What To Do With Overwatered Succulents

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.

Should I remove succulent leaves that are too wet?

Naturally, a plant’s roots are crucial to its wellbeing. In contrast to other plants, succulents are much more resilient to being dug up. Take the succulent plant out of its container if you overwatered it and no evidence of leaves falling off or decaying are present. This will cure the issue.

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, shrivelled 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 can under-watered succulents be fixed?

Step 1: Soak the plant in water completely and thoroughly (ensuring that the water will get to its roots).

Step 2: After giving the soil time to fully absorb the water, add more water. Continue doing this until water begins draining from the drainage hole in the pot.

Step 3: Be careful to let all the water drain out to avoid having them sit in moist soil.

After you’re finished, your succulent ought to appear and feel firm once more in only a few days. After about 3 to 4 days, if it still feels rubbery and wrinkled, just repeat steps 1 through 3 until they look and appear firm again. Then, you may continue your usual watering schedule.

In addition to the steps outlined above, you may want to think about utilising the Water Therapy approach to aid your succulents in recovering from stress or damage, particularly if they are extremely dehydrated.

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. However, if there were sufficiently strong roots, results are frequently seen in as little as two weeks.

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 is overwatering corrected?

  • Even if your plant need full sun, move it to a dark spot. Dead or dying leaves should be removed. These ought should be simple to identify.
  • Make sure your pot has adequate drainage, and if you can, add more space around the roots. The root zone will be able to receive oxygen as a result. Keep just the healthy roots and cut off any dead or dying ones.
  • Do not let the soil become overly dry; just water when the soil seems dry to the touch. At this point, you should also stop fertilising the plant altogether until it is healthy again.
  • Use a fungicide to treat.

The ability of your plant to recover from overwatering is never guaranteed. Within a week or so, you should start to notice results if your plant survives. You can now return your plant to its original spot and continue watering it as usual.

It’s critical to provide your plants with adequate drainage and regular watering from the beginning. Choosing plants that are less susceptible to difficulties from excessive watering may be the best course of action if, despite your best efforts, you tend to overwater plants.

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.

How should my succulent soil be dried?

There are a few simple techniques to remove moisture from the soil to assist it dry out fast and stop additional harm to your plant if it is beginning to exhibit early signs of overwatering.

  • Take your plant out of the pot, then wrap the damp dirt in newspaper or dish towels. These can be gently pressed on the ground to allow the water to be absorbed onto the paper. This will significantly improve soil aeration and swiftly remove some of the water from the soil.
  • Another choice is to remove your plant from its pot and place it on a bed of dry dirt. After a few hours, you will notice the soil becoming substantially dryer because the dry soil will begin to absorb some of the water through capillary action.
  • using a hairdryer to dry the ground
  • Utilize a hairdryer set to the chilly setting close to the soil after removing your plant from its container. This can greatly aid in drying the soil without damaging the plant, but you must be careful not to blow the soil off the roots.
  • Another choice is to gently remove some of the surrounding dirt, being careful to avoid disturbing the rootball wherever feasible. After that, you can repot in the same container and add some dry soil to the back. This is a short-term solution that I have applied numerous times. Even though you’ll need to address any underlying problems, drying the soil out rapidly will aid your plant’s health.