Overwatering a dracaena can be fatal for your plant and root rot might be at the corner, if proper actions are not taken in the early stages, you might lose it.
An overwatered dracaena gives early signs of leaves drooping & starting to turn yellow and brownish with time. If overwatering is continued, root rot occurs. To save an overwatered dracaena hold back its watering and move it to a shady location.
In this article you will learn everything from early symptoms to reasons and how you can save it now.
Table of Content
How to know if you overwatered your dracaena?
Your plant will start to give you obvious signs that it has been given way too much water.
Signs of Overwatered Dracaena
The very early symptoms of an overwatered dracaena includes droopy leaves, when the soil is kept constantly wet, there is no air circulation in the pot, due to which the roots starts to suffocate and the leaves start to droop.
Leaves not crisp anymore
Another sign that you will experience is that the leaves are not crisp anymore, and are turning a bit mushy. As the plants is forced to absorb more and more water. This makes the crispy leaves squishy.
Yellowing of leaves
This is a classic sign of overwatering, yellowing of leaves. If you find out that your plants soil is constantly wet and soggy, your plants needs immediate attention. As yellowing of leaves means that root rot is just at the door which can be fatal for your plant.
Leaves turning brown and falling off
If the plant is left without any treatment, once its leaves start to yellow, the next sign is browning of leaves and falling off. In this case you need to take your plant out of the potting soil to see if it has got root rot, if yes then you need to discard those infected roots, if your roots are still healthy, you need not worry and follow the steps that I am going to tell you now, to save your overwatered plant.
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How to Save an Overwatered Dracaena
To fix an overwatered dracaena, your goal should be to allow the soil to dry out itself.
And, there is no need to repot the plant in such condition (only repot when it has root rot), because in doing so, there are high chances you will unintentionally damage the tiny hairs of the root ball and then the plant will not be able to absorb water and go through more damage.
So, stick to the following plan and your plant will become happy once again.
Move it to a Shady Area
As the soil is overwatered the roots are not able to absorb water as they would in normal condition and the plant gets dehydrated, which is why it looks more stressed and loses even more leaves.
In shady areas it will require much less water to stay hydrated. Once it recovers you can then move to its original location.
Hold back watering
Don’t water your plant until the soil becomes all dry.
How long should you wait to water?
Before watering it in such a condition, insert your finger all the way up to the knuckles, if it still feels dry there, then only water otherwise let it dry and recover.
Remove Potting Soil From The Top
When your dracaena is overwatered, air circulation inside the pot becomes minimal which starts to suffocate the plant.
But you cannot do anything other than having drainage holes at the bottom.
Fortunately enough, there is a trick to improve the oxygen penetration to the roots by removing soil from the top until a very thin layer of soil is left over the roots.
This allows oxygen to reach to the roots easily and help them recover faster.
Make sure you do not damage the hair of the roots balls as they are very vital for plant growth.
Once the soil gets dry, give it a little bit of water and let it dry again.
Remove Yellow Leaves
Once the leaves have turned yellow and brown, unfortunately they cannot recover back and will be discarded by the plant itself.
So, it is best to help your plant in the process and remove the yellow leaves.
In the process of recovering the plant might discard a few more leaves which is pretty normal, but you should be able to see new healthy growth as well.
Which is a positive sign & you can be rest assured that your plant is going in the right direction.
All you need to be is patient while it corrects itself.
Reasons That Lead To Overwatering of Dracaena
Dracaena needs to dry out between watering and if you keep on watering it frequently without letting a good chunk of soil to dry it can very well lead to overwatering.
But if you are not one of those:
And allow the soil to breathe between watering there are many other possible reasons which could have led to overwatering in your dracaena.
Faulty Potting Soil
Dracaena cannot tolerate wet conditions, for that very reason it needs a fast draining soil which can remove any excess amount of water easily.
So, if you happen to use potting soil which has poor drainage capacity and tends to stay wet and hold moisture for a long period of time.
It can very well be the reason behind your plant getting overwatered.
Use perlite to improve the drainage.
Bigger Pot Size
If the size of the pot that your dracaena is growing in is very large compared to the plant it can also cause overwatering.
Because what happens is, a larger pot means more potting soil which requires more watering.
But because the plant is small and cannot absorb this much water, the water takes forever to dry and results in overwatering.
No drainage holes
One silly mistake you can do is to place your dracaena in a pot without drainage holes. So even if the soil has good drainage, excess water has no outlet to pass through & stays there only and causes overwatering.
Make sure your pot has 2-3 drainage holes.
Not Throwing Away The Water From Saucer
Do you keep a saucer under your plant?
There are high chances that you can forget to empty it after watering.
When you water your plant, the excess water comes through the drainage holes and get stored in the saucer.
And if this water is not thrown away it results in overwatering your dracaena.
As it is always in contact with the potting soil.
Have you recently repotted your plant?
Then it can also be the reason behind your dracaena getting overwatered.
Because what happens is while repotting, you might have unknowingly damaged the hair of roots which were responsible to take up water from the soil.
Now the water just stays in the soil and causes trouble to the plant.
Do not water your plant for a few days, if you have just repotted it and allow it to produce those hair again.
Dracaena is a beautiful, low -demanding plant, so if you provide it the basic care it will stay healthy.
I hope this guide has helped you in determining the reason behind your plant getting overwatered and how you can save it from this condition.
If you still have any doubts, do let me know by commenting below.