Plant 101: Signs of Overwatering your Indoor Plant

Learn the signs of overwatering indoor plants and how to rescue them before it's too late. Use simple methods for happier and healthier plants.

By: Lively Root
October 27, 2019
Plant 101: Signs of Overwatering your Indoor Plant
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Overwatering is sort of like killing with kindness – you mean well, but it’s not always the best.

Every plant has different needs and, depending on time of year, soil, and so many other factors, you might not know the ins and outs of every indoor plant you’re taking care of.

Signs You Might be Overwatering Your Indoor Plant

  • New and old leaves are falling off at the same time
  • Leaves are brown, yellow, and wilting
  • Leaves, stems, or flowers are moldy
  • Leaf tips are brown
  • Root rot or foul odor
  • Grey and slimy roots 

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How to Rescue Your Overwatered Plant

  • First, test the soil at your plant’s base to feel its moisture level. If the soil is wet or overly moist, there’s a good chance you’re on your way to root rot (a fungal disease that turns the roots grey and slimy).
  • Check the drainage hole. Make sure it isn’t clogged. If it is, clean it out.
  • Only water when the soil is dry.
  • Check in on your plants on the same day each week. Water Wednesdays? However, be sure to test the soil before you water as not every plant might be ready. Water if it needs it but don’t if it doesn’t.
  • Move the plant. Try placing it in a shadier spot so the soil doesn’t dry out as quickly while your plant recuperates.
  • Remove the root ball from the overwatered container, trim off any rotting roots with shears and repot.
  • Prune away dead leaves and stems to clean up your plants appearance.
  • Repot with new soil and start a new watering schedule.

Remember, during winter your plants don’t need as much water because they’re naturally slowing their growth rate themselves.


Looking for signs of underwatered plants?  Checkout our other Plant 101 article on watering: Signs of Underwatering your Indoor Plants.