How to fix waterlogged soil for indoor plants

Excessive watering is one of the main causes of the death of indoor plants. Swampy soil can kill a plant faster than a lack of water. In wet soil, the roots lack oxygen. They not only absorb water, but also need oxygen. The thicker the water layer around the roots, the longer it takes the plant to deliver oxygen to the roots, which are “starving” without oxygen.

Why is wet soil a problem?

If the soil for indoor plants is too wet, it can cause root rot. Plants use their roots to absorb moisture, and also for oxygen. If the soil is constantly wet, the roots will not be able to breathe normally, which is why toxic compounds are formed in the plant. This can lead to rotting of the roots and, consequently, the plant itself.

What are the signs of excessive watering

Symptoms of excessive watering include wilting, yellowing of leaves, root rot, and reduced plant growth.


You can easily determine whether a plant is waterlogged by looking at its leaves. When waterlogged, the leaves become heavy, sluggish and soft, and may fall off. To check the presence of excess water in the soil, you can pierce the soil with your index finger.

When waterlogged, the leaves turn yellow

Yellowed leaves. If the leaves turn yellow, this is another indicator that this is excessive watering. The leaves of a healthy plant should be green. When waterlogged, the leaves turn yellow because they cannot absorb the nutrients, water and oxygen necessary to maintain the health of the plant.

Pay attention! Prolonged water stress can also cause brown spots on the tips of the leaves.

Soft leaves. When the leaves absorb too much water, their cellular structure is severely damaged. They retain water that they have absorbed from the soil onto the inner surface of the leaf. Eventually burst due to excessive water consumption and become too soft.

Drooping leaves are a clear sign that the plant has problems. Insufficient watering and nutrient deficiencies can also cause the leaves to droop, but the most common cause of this is excessive watering.

Leaf fall. Do not worry if one or two leaves fall off. This is a normal phenomenon. But if a lot of leaves have fallen from the plant in a short period of time, this may be a sign that the plant is over-watered. Excessive water consumption causes a load on the base of the leaves, which causes them to fall off.

Root rot in indoor flowers

If a plant suffers from root rot, it seems sluggish and suffering, even if the ground is wet. For prevention, it is enough to follow a few simple rules:

  • use pots with holes at the bottom;
  • about 15 minutes after watering, it is necessary to free the pallets from water;
  • a suitable soil for cultivation is needed, which contains draining material such as sand or gravel.

Most often this is caused by stagnation of water in pots without holes in the bottom, accumulation of too much watering in saucers, unsuitable soil, lack of good drainage.

Root rot frequent problem

If the plant stays too long in swampy soil, it may develop root rot. Symptoms of rot include yellowing, stunting, wilting, etc. It manifests itself in many forms and can be deadly to plants. This is a dangerous plant condition caused by fungal and bacterial infection of the roots of the plant, which can destroy the indoor flower.

Additional information! One of the most common causes of root rot is excessive watering, when moist soil for long periods of time does not have time to dry properly. Moist soils are an ideal environment for the reproduction of fungi, bacteria, as well as worms that destroy the roots of the plant. This will cause them to wither and eventually dry out.

It is not difficult to determine whether a plant suffers from root rot. If the soil smells bad, then this is a sign of fungi that arise from dampness. This unpleasant smell is a sign that you need to check the roots for signs of rot.

If any areas of the roots have turned brown or black, it may mean that the plant is suffering from root rot. A healthy plant should have white roots. Root rot is prevented primarily by preventing soil drainage in plants.

Is it possible to restore a plant flooded with water?

It is quite possible to restore a houseplant from excessive watering if you start treatment early enough. How to save your houseplant that was flooded with water. There are several things you can do to save a houseplant.

Nthe aversion of excessive watering. First stop watering, and then move the pot with the flower to a sunny place to help it dry. Then they adhere to a strict watering regime. Usually water for irrigation is required only once a week.

In winter, the plant can stay up to a month without requiring additional water. Nevertheless, the leaves are monitored for signs of dehydration. Although they may need water, they don’t need a lot of it. It is always necessary to check that the soil is dry before adding water.  If you notice that the soil is always moist, it is probably waterlogged.

Drying wet soil to save the plant. Place the pot in a place where there is a large amount of light. This will help with the drying of moist soil, speed up the drying time. You just need to make sure that the light does not harm the plant that is being grown.

Be sure to drain excess water from the stand in which the plant is located.  If root rot is not stopped, it can easily spread to other parts of the plant, such as leaves and stems. This is stress for the plant and is a killer.

Transplanting a plant

It may be necessary to transplant the plant to solve the problem of waterlogging of the soil.

Transplanting a potted plant

Remove it from the pot, remove as much swampy soil from the roots as possible, then remove the affected roots that have become brown or soft. Be sure to use sterilized pruners or scissors to avoid the spread of diseases. All areas are washed with water.

They are transplanted into a new pot, into a fresh mixture to save the plant from death.

Important! Do not fertilize a plant that has been waterlogged and suffers. This will make the situation worse.

Choose a pot with drainage holes

Use suitable, well-draining potting containers, avoiding planting in huge pots.

When growing indoor flowers, a potted mixture is created that is able to provide the necessary water supply to the plant, but also quickly remove excess water.

Draining soil for plants is necessary to avoid the risk that the plant may experience root rot.

They are transplanted into a new pot with new soil, and its restoration is monitored. A material such as perlite is added to the fresh soil mixture for transplanting the plant. This will create air pockets in the soil, and will help provide additional oxygen to the roots of the plant.

If the soil is too wet, care should not be neglected for a long time. These symptoms are not ignored. The consequence may be the death of the plant.

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