Indoor house plants can be saved from overwatering with a few easy steps. Monstera, pothos and snake plants are all sensitive to too much water. If your plant is drooping and the soil is too wet you have a few choices. You can repot the plant if the damage is bad, use a fan to dry the soil quicker or move the pot to a warmer, brighter position.
This article will explore 5 great ways to dry out an overwatered indoor plant at home. Each choice will depend on how bad the problem is.
1. Wait of the soil to dry out naturally
If your plant is overwatered and has started to droop the best thing you can do to save it is to wait for it to naturally dry out. If the pot has around 5 drainage holes and if the pot is in a bright, warm position it will dry out usually in the next week or 2.
Don’t water again until the soil has dried at least 2 inches down. This can take 1-2 weeks if the soil is very wet.
This method is best for plants that are only slightly overwatered. If the problem is worse and the plant has started to turn yellow, brown or mold is growing on the surface of the soil it can be time to do more to save your plant.
2. Repot the plant
For soil that is very wet or if your plant is browning off it can be time to repot the plant into fresh soil. Hardy indoor plants like pothos, snake plant and monstera will all respond to repotting well. That way you can remove the wet soil.
Once soil becomes too wet it can upset the balance of good bacteria and fungal growth. The soil can also become low in oxygen, compact and the plant will struggle to recover.
Simply tip the plant gently out of the pot and let the excess soil fall off. It is best to do this outdoors. You can then repot the plant using some fresh potting soil. The soil will be full of air, organic matter and will give you a change to get the water balance right.
You should still water your plant in after repotting to settle the soil around the roots but only add a small amount. Water just enough to settle the soil and allow the excess to drain.
3. Using a fan
A fan can be a great way to speed up the drying process. Place your pot underneath a ceiling fan and turn the fan on low. The gently breeze will help to dry the soil out quicker, increasing the rate that the water evaporates. Check the plant after a few hours and the surface should start to look drier.
In warm weather it can only take a day for the soil to dry out adequately so keep an eye on it.
4. Place the plant in a bright position near a window
Place the overwatered plant near a window to help it to dry out quicker. Avoid direct sunlight and try to place it at least 2 feet away from the glass. A spot near a window where the plant gets bright light for at least 4-6 hours will help it to dry out.
4. Take them off of the tray or outer pot
Always check your indoor pots that are sitting inside an outer pot without drainage holes or on pot trays. Sometimes water can sit in the bottom of the pot without you noticing. Take the pot out, drain out any extra water to let your pot dry out quicker.
You should try to avoid leaving your pot sitting in a tray as it will keep absorbing the water.
5. Fix your watering process
The next step is to work out the watering rates that your plants need. For all plants a great way of watering is to deep water the plant over a sink or outdoors. This means watering from the top all the way across the surface of the soil until you see water just start to drip out the bottom.
Let the plant drain and then return it to the pot tray or outer pot. You can check the soil moisture level 2 inches below the surface before you water again. Do this each time until you work out the amount of water your plants need.
Drought tolerant plants like pothos, monstera and snake plants can be watered as little as once per week in summer. They may last longer than this but their growth could be slowed.
In the cooler months you may need to reduce watering even more.
ZZ plants or Zanzibar gem grow best with watering around once per month. These plants grow stems from a rhizome which holds water well. It is really easy to overwater these plants so less is more.
How to dry out overwatered indoor plants | Summary
If you have accidentally overwatered your indoor plant, don’t worry it can be fixed. If the weather is warm then it is easy just to let your plant naturally dry out itself. If the problem is worse, then repotting the plant can help it to recover quickly and can replace any lost nutrients that have been washed through the pot.
Place your pot near a bright window, out of direct sunlight or under a ceiling fan to help to dry the plant quicker.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.