Overwatered Spider Plant (Symptoms & Revival)
You wouldn’t think it was possible, but you can suffocate your spider plant with too much love! It is called an overwatered spider plant, resulting from too much water love from yours truly.
Don’t fret. We’re all guilty of being overly water happy at one point in our gardening journey. However, it is essential to recognize the signs that your spider plant will exhibit when it is too wet. We’ll cover these symptoms in detail later in this article.
That said, we suspect you already have a soggy spider plant in your possession. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have found this article!
So let’s cover the important things – how to fix your overwatered spider plant.
How to Revive an Overwatered Spider Plant
If your plant looks sad and droopy (let’s face it, you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t), we recommend taking immediate action. Changing the water-logged soil with a fresh soil mix will instantly fix the problem. It will also give your spider plant an excellent chance of a successful revival.
Repotting Your Spider Plant
To replace the soggy soil with fresh potting mix, follow these steps:
- Remove spider plant – Spread your hand over the pot’s surface with the base of the spider plant tucked in between your fingers. Use your other hand to support the bottom of the pot. In one quick motion, tip the planter upside down and gently shimmy the plant and soil out of the pot. It should be relatively easy because the soil will be soggy.
- Wash and inspect root ball – remove the loose wet soil from the roots and rinse under tepid water. Carefully pat dry the roots with a kitchen paper towel. Inspect the root system for any signs of root rot. Rotting roots will appear dark brown and mushy and will have a foul smell. Remove any suspect roots with sterilized garden scissors. We’ll discuss treatment in the next section.
- Rinse the planter and fill – gently lay your spider plant on some paper tissue and prepare your pot. Thoroughly rinse any remaining soil in the pot and pat dry. Fill your pot with fresh potting mix with plenty of rich organic materials.
- Plant your spider plant – make a hole big enough to fit the root ball. Hold your spider plant in the hole with one hand, and backfill with soil so it can stand independently.
- Settle your plant – gently pat the soil down and give it a generous amount of water. Ensure excess water drains completely from the drainage holes. Finally, place it in a position that receives plenty of indirect sunlight or bright light (not direct sunlight).
Treating a Spider Plant with Root Rot
If you find rot developing in your indoor plant’s roots, it will require some plant surgery. Here are the steps (in conjunction with the above repotting instructions).
- Remove any rotten roots with sterilized garden scissors. You will also need to remove the same proportion of foliage as the root system to prevent your plant from being stressed during the recovery. For example, if you removed one-third of the root system and left two-thirds of healthy roots, remove one-third of the existing foliage.
- Apply a Sterilizing Solution. Once you have removed all the rotten parts, apply hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution to the roots. The answer is made by mixing one part bleach with two parts water.
- Sterilize Everything! Wash the old pot and any gardening tools that may have come into contact with any root rot. It will kill pathogens and prevent the spread of fungal spores. Dispose of the infected soil. Do not compost the soil, as it will spread the fungal disease to your garden.
We have a complete step-by-step guide for identifying and treating spider plant root rot. Check it out HERE.
How Long Does it Take a Spider Plant to Recover?
This is a good question. And the answer will depend on the extent of the damage your spider plant experienced while it was overwatered.
Spider plants that were only overwatered momentarily will perk up within a week of settling into fresh soil.
Spider plants that had root rot and underwent plant surgery can take up to a month to show signs of recovery. We recommend monitoring your spider plant closely after it has been repotted. The rot may return, and you need to jump into action if it still shows signs of distress.
How to Spot an Overwatered Spider Plant
Okay, we’ve covered how to save your plant. Now it is time to educate ourselves on how to read the signs of an overwatered spider plant to prevent it from happening again.
1. Soggy or Waterlogged Soil
The biggest giveaway that your spider plant is suffering from too much water is the presence of wet soggy soil.
The best way to check is to dip your finger into the topsoil. It will feel notably wet, and you may even see mold or fungal growth on the surface.
2. Droopy and Falling Leaves
Plants communicate with us through their leaves. If your spider plants’ foliage looks sad and droopy, it could result from too much water in the pot. They may even start falling off your plant.
If you notice stray spider plant leaves on the ground, it indicates rot is setting into the main plant. Treatment is required immediately.
3. Leaf Discoloration
As we said, plants send signals to us via their leaves.
A spider plant suffering from being overwatered will develop yellow leaves and brown spots. If left unchecked, the edges of the leaves will also begin to brown due to damage from oversaturated leaves. Leaf discoloration is another yell for help.
4. Unusual Leaf Behavior (Curl and Shrivelling)
Soggy soil will also cause your spider plant’s leaves to behave abnormally. You may notice leaves beginning to shrivel or curl due to the lack of oxygen present in the soil.
Where there is moist soil, there will be fungus gnats.
Those who have never experienced the pleasure of fungus gnats are the annoying little black flies that hover around your face or swim around in your tea and coffee.
Adult fungus gnats require moist soil to lay their eggs. They actively search it out. Therefore, if you have multiple overwatered plants, you will likely have a gnat infestation on your hands.
How to Prevent an Overwatered Spider Plant
In this last section, we’ll discuss two simple methods for preventing your spider plant from becoming overwatered in the future.
- Use the finger soil moisture test to check your hoya’s soil BEFORE you water them. It is an effective method for preventing your hoya from becoming overwatered or underwater.
- Purchase a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online. They are budget-friendly options for those that don’t like to get their hands dirty.
Key Takeaways for Overwatered Spider Plants
An overwatered spider plant may feel like your plant world is crumbling around you. However, after a brief moment of panic, you will soon discover the steps identified in this guide aren’t too daunting.
In fact, you can remedy your ailing spider plant in under an hour with the right equipment.
Finally, understanding how to interpret your spider plant’s signals will go a long way to preventing any overwatering incidents in the future.