Monty Don shares ‘classic symptoms’ of an ‘overwatered’ houseplant – ‘let it drain’ first

Gardeners’ World: Monty Don on sweet peas

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Sharing houseplant advice in a BritBox YouTube video, Monty Don shared the “classic symptoms” to look for when identifying an overwatered houseplant. The expert started by showing viewers that some pots are not suitable for indoor plants.

Overwatered houseplants is one of the main reasons why they die.

Watering too much can cause root rot, while watering too little can trigger some diseases.

Monty explained: “The problem is in my hand because if I take it [plant] out of this rather attractive grey pot, it’s in a standard plastic pot.

“If I look at the pot it’s in, no drainage holes of any kind.

“What’s been happening I suspect is it’s been watered and the water has sat inside what is effectively a jar and it’s got too wet.

“It’s showing classic symptoms of an overwatered plant.”

Monty explained that this consisted of drooping leaves that were turning brown.

If the base of the plant also starts to feel mushy, chances are it has been watered too much.

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If the leaves are dry and crispy, this could be a sign of too little water.

The expert continued: “Never keep any houseplant in an undrained container unless when you water it, you do so and let it drain completely.”

Houseplants can also be placed in buckets of water for a short period of time until they no longer suck up any more water.

It can take weeks for plants to recover from overwatering, and others may not survive it.

Indoor plants enter their active growing season in spring, meaning they need more water to survive.

However, before watering, experts have recommended doing a pencil trick to check the soil first.

Baby Bio experts told “As the weather begins to warm up and plants enter active growth season, most will require increased watering, so it’s time to increase watering schedule.

“Remember to always test the soil first.”

To do this, houseplants owners can dip their finger into the soil to see if it is moist or dry.

The expert added: “Or use a pencil and dip it into the top two inches of the soil.

“If it is still moist, there is no need to water. If the soil is dry beyond the top layer, aerate the soil to allow for an even distribution of water, again using your finger or something like pencil.

“To ensure you’re not giving your houseplants water from the bottom if your pot has drainage holes.”

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