Over watering indoor plants

3 of 6 geraniums near dead from over watering

Why is my first inclination when seeing a yellowing plant is to water it more?  This is especially true for indoor plants.


3 of 6 geraniums near dead from over watering

In an earlier post I wrote about propagating geraniums through cuttings.  My main reason for trying to propagate the plant was the fact that the main plant was ailing quite a bit.  Today its in even worse shape, and the soil has remained nearly constantly moist for over a week.

This is not a good sign in a region requiring humidifiers in the winter due to the often extreme dryness from forced air heating.


Young leaves yellowing

Some of the other signs of overwatering are:

  • Roots look mushy and may give off an unpleasant odor
  • Leaves of all ages fall off
  • Mold of any kind on the plant.
  • Seeing standing water in the saucer.

As you can see with the plant on right the young leaves have died off as well as the older leaves.  When the roots rot the plant cannot take up water or nutrients.


So how to fix the issue?

Day 1

Let the soil dry out.

The easiest remedy is to STOP WATERING ALREADY!  This I did a week ago.

I then moved the geranium away from a large grouping of plants whose proximity helps retain humidity and into a higher traffic area that will allow for more air movement.   I then fluffled the topmost portion of the soil to create more air space in the soil.

After a couple days the soil is still moist but the die off is not as rapid.

Day 3

sign of hope?

I am seeing just how tenacious a geranium can be.  There is a new bud trying to form on a plant that has a single leaf left.  I think I may be too late for the other two plants unless I take drastic measures.  If this were a prized plant I could never purchase again, I would follow the steps in drastic measures.


Drastic Measures

Carefully remove the plant from its soil, and rinse the roots.  Discard the soil.  Inspect the roots for rot.  A rotted root will be dark in color and feel mushy.  Cut off all of the rotted roots and let the plant sit for  a couple hours to dry off.   Carefully replant the plant in new soil.



An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.