Save An Overwatered Pothos

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Stephanie

Overwatering is a common issue in indoor plants , including pothos. Its a type of stress that is primarily affecting the roots. In particular, potted plants are more susceptible to excessive watering due to the small area available to disperse water.

Water is an essential necessity for plants to thrive. However, its equally crucial to know how to control the amount of water your plant gets. This is one aspect that determines the performance the pothos plants.

If youve accidentally soaked your pothos, you could help them out by taking a look at the severity that the harm has occurred. Then, you can come up with solutions like the removal of excess water, the withdrawal of water applications digging and turning your soil. You can also trim off dead leaves, and the repotting process.

Underwatered vs Overwatered Pothos

A lot or not enough water can be detrimental for the well-being of your plant. If plants arent properly watered, they are more susceptible to developing illnesses which can make them susceptible.

The exterior appearance of your pothos plant will tell you if it is content or not with how much water that it gets.

Pothos that is dehydrated appears wilted and crisply brown due to the dehydration condition. The plants continuously lose water through means of transpiration. If water isnt available the roots must work hard to absorb water out of the soil.

Because water is the primary factor in keeping cells turgid The absence of it causes the cells to decrease in size. A prolonged drought can result in death of your pothos. loss of pothos.

The browning of pothos that is overwatered also occurs however the different is that its soft and sluggish.

If the amount of water available is greater than the plants can use it is normal for the water to stay unmoved in soil.

This causes a flood condition in which the roots are submerged for longer durations.

The excess water molecules fill those air pockets. In the process, oxygen is pushed out and roots struggle to breathe. The roots that are suffocated eventually die, and root rot can occur.

Common Signs of Overwatered Pothos

Overwatering can be seen in a variety of signs that can be observed by looking at any changes to the appearance of the plant.

If youre a keen gardener (and you ought to be) Youre probably aware of what plants that have been overwatered look. However, to make sure there are signs of excessive watering within your plant.

Brown Spots on Leaves

The brown spots on leaves could be a sign of a variety of things, but the most frequent cause of the problem is excessive water. The spots consequence of swelling off of cells due to the excessive amount of water.

The swollen part will appear like small blisters on the leafs surface. As they erupt they develop brown lesions.

Ive written a whole article on this issue that explains the reasons and solutions to the brown marks in pothos.

Mold Growing on Soil

Have you observed a white powdery layer that is visible on the surface of the soil? It could be a sign of molds that have had the chance to develop due to the conditions.

A humid environment is beneficial for the growth of molds (fungi) to flourish. If the soil is constantly saturated with water, the spores have the opportunity to grow.

Root Rot

Its likely that youve heard of root decay a number of times since this is frequently mentioned when discussing excessive watering. Since roots are at the frontline in relation to absorption of water and absorption, theyre the first ones to be affected by waterlogging.

Roots require oxygen to allow the process of respiration to take place. This is why sugars are broken down to create energy to fuel plant growth.

If roots are submerged in water, oxygen flow is reduced and the cells wont get sufficient oxygen. The energy produced by respiration decreases, and plants are more likely to end up dying.

This article provides more details about how to save Pothos from root decayand provides the most effective ways to bring the plant back to life and avoid watering errors.

Shriveled and Mushy Appearance

Pothos that is overwatered will appear soft and limp. If you touched the brown parts that make up the pothos, they will feel soft on your fingertips.

Sometimes, they exhibit an odor that is mildewy when sniffed. This indicates that the smelly parts begin to decay.

Yellowing of Leaves

Another indication of excessive watering is the the leaves color changing especially the older leaves. The leaves that are located near the base and the base of the plant is more likely to be affected when the roots begin to rot.

The roots that are rotten will cease to perform their function. In the end, the absorption of nutrients and water are greatly affected.

The deficiency of nutrients could be evident in leaves as necrosis, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. Stress from moisture can cause the the leaves turning yellow.

Pothos Leaves Wrinkled

The overwatering process can result in wrinkled leaves. The leaves with blisters are more likely to wrinkle due to the damaged surface.

The tips of the leaves which have become brown because of overwatering can also curl. The areas that have been damaged will affect the overall appearance of the leaves.

Plants on top of fridge

Wilting Pothos

If your pothos begins to wilt because of excessive water, its an indication that your plant is on the verge of to dying. If your plants are not getting enough water the wilting process can be reversed by adding enough water, but its not possible to do this when you have overwatered plants.

The damage to roots has gotten to the point where it is able to not support the plants needs for nutrients and water.

Pothos Leaves Curling

There are many possibilities for that could be the reason the planthos leaves may be curving. One reason is that you are overwatering.

If the leaf curled in a downward direction it is likely that water is the cause. The reason for the curling is because of the absence of water being pumped into the leaves.

Roots arent able to disperse water across different areas of the plant, such as the leaves. Therefore, they curl in an attempt to save water.

Curling reduces the surface area of the plant, thereby reducing the rate of transpiration. Its a method of adapting to the drought.

You May Also Enjoy: Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Black? (And How to Fix It)

How to Save Overwatered Pothos

If youve noticed indications of excessive watering within your plant, do not be concerned. The majority of overwatering issues dont cause the demise or demise of the plant. It is important to take steps to avoid further damage.

Here are some ways to keep pothos from being overwatered:

Assess the Extent of Damage

The first step is to determine how serious your damage might be. This is crucial because it will determine the next step you must do.

Are you seeing your pothos beginning to begin to show indications? Are most of the indicators discussed already in place? Heres how to save your pothos that is overwatered.

Drain Excess Water

Make sure that the draining holes are functioning correctly. You can make use of a stick to poke at the holes to see if youve found water that is stagnant.

This is a simple solution, especially after youve applied water and your soil appeared excessively filled with.

Withdraw Water for Several Days to Weeks

Its logical to do. Its not a good idea to add water when the water level is too high and the roots of your pothos are already drowning.

Let the soil dry out by exposing it sunlight. This will speed up the process of evaporation.

Dig and Overturn the Soil

This will ensure adequate aeration to the roots. When you dig, you are improving the soils structure and making more oxygen-rich spaces to flow into.

It also helps dry the soil more quickly. Turning over will expose the moist soil beneath, allowing it to receive to be exposed to more air.

Trim Off Damaged Leaves

Take off the leaves that are turning brown and yellow. Theyll eventually rot in the end, so its better to eliminate the leaves now.

Maintain the healthy leaves and observe how they react to the changes youve implemented. If the yellowing ceases and youre now on the right path to conserving your pothos.

Repot the Plant

Sometimes, pothos repotting is the only choice to keep your pothos. It is necessary to take the plant from its pot, cut the roots that are rotten then air dry and put it back in a new pot filled with new soil.

This is an ideal solution, especially if the roots and soil are affected by pathogens. Weve learned that excessive watering can cause the development of fungi that could cause certain illnesses.

Repotting allows you to cleanse the root system and treat it prior to when you plant it once more. This will stop the spread of diseases.

You might also like: Snow Queen vs. Marble Queen Pothos (Differences and similarities)

How to Water Pothos Properly

The art of watering the pothos is a crucial ability you should learn. When it comes to the care and maintenance of plants, the majority struggle to find the right balance.

Be aware that watering involves methods you can use to maximize the benefits of it.

Watering from below or top

Watering from below

Another method of supplying water in a more efficient manner is applying water from bottom upwards. Instead of adding water over the top of the soil youll let the pot be placed in a container filled that is filled with water until it becomes completely saturated.

This method is less susceptible to water overflow because the water is taken in by the soil at its bottom. This way, only enough water is absorbed through the roots.

Theres not enough room for the excess water to accumulate within the pot. You can test the soils moisture by placing your finger about an inch further to determine whether the water level has reached this level.

Watering from the Top

If youre not sure about watering the bottom of your garden, you can do it the traditional method. Watering can be done from the top, but make sure that the water drains efficiently.

Make use of a watering container with a long snout in order to keep from sprinkling the leaves. Sprinkle water all over the container and ensure that you soak the water thoroughly.

Allow the pot to sit for a couple of minutes to let it drain. Then, you are able to return it to the place it was in before.

Watering Frequency

Theres no precise rule to establish regarding frequency of watering. Its more influenced by elements like humidity, temperature, and light.

To simplify the process to make it easy, you should water your pothos after the soil is dry. It should be noted that it shouldnt be the topsoil that is drying but at least half its depth.

If humidity is high, decrease the frequency of water. The same applies when temperatures are lower such as during winter.

The availability of light influences the amount of transpiration. If light is present throughout the day, you are able to provide the water you need to pothos in greater quantities and more often.

Water Quality

Its not only the quantity of water used that causes overwatering , but also the quality of water too. If youre using poor quality pothos water you are at a higher risk of sustaining injury to the roots.

The salty water can build up in the soil and cause the injury. Ive previously mentioned how roots cease to function when they are damaged.

Make use of rainwater or filtered water whenever possible. If you dont have any tap water, its fine however, you must let it sit for 24 hours before applying it to your pothos.

Amount of Water

It is based on the size of the plant as well as the pot it is in. Pothos that are smaller require less of water, while larger ones require more.

As time passes the amount of water you drink from your pothos will rise as the plants grow. You can alter the quantity of water you pour into the pots to be sure that the roots be supplied with enough water.

The same method of watering will help you build an understanding as to the amount of water you should provide to each plant.

Timing of Application

It is not recommended to drink water at night since the rate of evaporation during night is very low. The rate of transpiration is lower because of the lower temperature.

Make sure to water your plant early in the morning. This gives enough time for your plant to shed excess water opposed to the night time.

You may also like: Pearls and Jade Pothos care

Common Mistakes in Watering Pothos

We learn the most through mistakes, and its okay. The experiences are still the most effective teacher. Be sure to not repeat the same mistakes again.

To be aware of the practices we should avoid, here are the most common mistakes we make when we water our pothos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the reason my pothos is drooping?

Drooping indicates that your pothos is stressed. It could be caused by excessive heat or intense light intensity. It could be caused by excessive watering or underwatering. The exposure to cold and hot drafts could also cause the same fate.

Stress can also be caused by biotic causes like the presence of fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms which cause harm on your pothos.

Do you like your pothos to be misty?

If youre thinking of misting your pothos, keep it since theres no reason to. Pothos can withstand low humidity therefore theyll be able to withstand the extra moisture. Misting can actually cause more harm than good on your pothos.

This will promote the spread of pathogens that are not wanted. We certainly do not want this to happen.

What can I do to determine whether my pothos is suffering from root rot?

What happens beneath the soil will definitely reflect onto the upper portions that comprise your pothos. The most common indication of root rot is the appearance of yellowing or browning leaves which appear soft and limp when touched.

Older leaves typically exhibit these signs since theyre near to the roots of the plant. If you attempt to move the plants base its possible that the leaves are fragile and weak, indicating that the roots are rotten.

Read this article on how to protect the pothos you have from decay.

The issue of watering too much can appear a bit daunting initially. This is particularly true for those who are new to the world in indoor garden. However, dont worry about it because the problem of overwatering is a common problem for any plant owner.

Pothos, too, which is able to thrive in water and isnt exempt from excessive watering. It is important to remember that watering isnt as easy as we believe it to be. There are many factors to take into consideration and the right techniques to learn prior to watering your plant.

As time passes, youll become acquainted with the process. Youll discover the secrets to grow your pothos. Youll also be able to grow it successfully from the comfort of your own home.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)