Philodendrons are very forgiving houseplants and easy for almost anyone to grow. If you treat them well, they’ll thrive easily. If you don’t, they still often do pretty well.
Overwatering Philodendrons is one main care item to avoid. Underwatering or overwatering can cause problems with houseplant pests, yellowing leaves, fungal infections, and root rot.
When lower leaves turn yellow rapidly, and you notice that the tips of new leaves turn brown, your problem will likely be overwatering. Lack of light can also cause these problems.
Generally speaking, Philodendrons like bright, indirect sunlight, consistently warm temperatures (between 65° and 85° degrees Fahrenheit), high humidity levels, and soak and dry watering.
This article will explain how to tell if your plant is overwatered and provide advice to help you save an overwatered Philodendron. Read on to learn more.
Philodendron: Underwatered or Overwatered?
Philodendrons can adapt to most household environments, and they are easy plants for beginners because these plants tend to communicate when something is wrong clearly.
For example, if your philodendron leaves begin to turn yellow and droop, you may be overwatering or underwatering.
You can tell by simply poking your finger into the soil. If it’s dry, provide a good watering.
If it’s soggy, you need to cease watering until the soil is nearly dry and then provide a thorough watering. More on How Often to water Philodendron.
If you catch the problem early, this may be all that’s needed to save your plant.
What About Severe Overwatering?
Overwatering causes wilting leaves because the water fills up air spaces in the soil.
When this happens, the roots lack oxygen and begin to die. This sets up an ideal environment for fungus to start growing.
Once fungal growth sets in, roots will rot, and the plant’s stems and leaves will rot.
Old growth and new growth will present as brown and mushy. Mold may even begin growing on the plant.
Another sign of overwatering is an abundance of fungus gnats or a visible buildup of salts on the soil’s surface.
If you tip this plant out of its pot, you’ll find that the soil smells sour and the roots are dark.
When this is the case, you are best off taking some cuttings for propagation and repotting the overwatered plant into a new, dry potting mix in a new or sterilized container with ample drainage holes.
Tips To Care For Overwatered Philodendron
Repot Your Overwatered Philodendron
When you’ve removed a badly overwatered Philodendron from its pot, rinse away all of the old soil and trim dark, mushy roots using a clean, sharp-cutting implement.
Repot annually in the springtime. Always use a light, airy mix that contains perlite or pine bark. Don’t pack the soil into the pot.
Be sure to use containers that allow air circulation around the roots. Terracotta pots with plenty of drainage holes are good. Wire baskets with coco coir liners are also fine.
Repot using a very light, airy potting mix with a bit of orchid mix or pine bark incorporated. This will provide the plant’s air circulation if the roots recover.
Understand that the roots may not recover, and the original plant may die, even with all your efforts.
This is why taking a few cuttings when you repot is so important.
Philodendron cuttings are very easy to start, so if your original plant dies, you are fairly sure to have a ready replacement if you take cuttings.
Give Your Philodendron Plant TLC
Put your newly repotted Philodendron in an area with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. These plants are sensitive to hot, direct sun but need plenty of light to thrive.
A dark setting is conducive to fungal growth. Good light will prohibit fungal growth.
Withhold watering for a week to ten days after repotting, but you can mist the leaves to keep the humidity high around the plant.
After all this activity, the old leaves may droop while new leaves simultaneously start.
Once the plant has reestablished itself pretty well, you can trim off the old leaves.
Correct Your Watering Habits
Be sure to water correctly moving forward. Always check the soil before watering. If it feels even a little bit damp, don’t water it.
Wait until the top couple of inches of soil is dry before providing a thorough watering.
Allow water to run through the soil and out the drainage holes, then set your plant back into a dry saucer. Never allow your plant to sit in water.
Maintain A Healthy Environment
Protect your Philodendron from hot or cold drafts, and be sure the plant receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.
Don’t overcrowd your plants. Instead, repot root-bound plants and leave space between pots to allow for good air circulation.
Remember that overwatering is the #1 cause of houseplant death. It is always better to underwater than to overwater.
Follow the advice presented here to spare and save your Philodendron from overwatering.