Polka dot plants are beautiful indoor plants that require a good water supply to help them grow like any other house plant. Watering keeps the plant alive by preventing it from drying out. It can be problematic if you give too much water to the plant, but how can you identify an overwatered polka dot plant?
An overwatered polka dot plant will start to look sickly. Because the soil has become too soggy, its roots will start to rot, and the plant’s leaves will become yellow and eventually fall off. An overwatered Polka dot plant is also susceptible to powdery mildew on its leaves.
The rest of this article will discuss how to identify an overwatered polka dot plant and what you can do to reverse this. I’ll also discuss what you can do to ensure that you give your Polka dot plant the right amount of water to keep it happy and healthy.
Unlike a healthy one, an overwatered polka dot plant will lose its vibrancy and beauty. The plant may instead be mistaken for one that is sick. Moisture or water is one of the major requirements for the polka dot house plant to thrive and grow well, together with other factors like light, warm temperatures, and proper pruning.
When a polka dot plant is overwatered, the effect of the excess water supply will begin from the inside of the plant. It will then finally show on the outside. The most common signs of an over-watered polka dot plant include:
- The plants are stunted or sickly looking. An overwatered polka dot plant tends to stop growing high or wide. You will also notice the leaves will lose their vibrancy and beauty.
- The polka plant’s leaves show an even yellowing. Polka dot plants naturally have pigmented leaves; the most common type is the pink polka dot plant. Since it is common to cross-breed the plants, there is now a variety of colors that a polka dot plant can take. However, a consistent yellowing on the leaf immediately indicates that you have overwatered the plant.
- Your plant’s roots show rot. When you notice that the plant’s roots have become rotten, the leaves will already have become yellow. Too much water will make the soil soggy, and polka dot plants don’t thrive well in wet soil.
- Your polka plant’s leaves are falling. When the plant is overwatered, the leaves will eventually start to fall off because the plant’s roots have become rotten and cannot carry any nutrients to the rest of the plant. As a result, the leaves will fall off due to a lack of nutrients.
- The appearance of powdery mildew. When you start to see your leaves developing mildew, the plant has been getting too much water. Mildew survives and heavily multiples in very humid conditions.
- A fungal disease attacks the leaves. Excessive watering of the plant allows fungi to grow, eventually attacking the entire plant. If you spot a diseased leaf, pull it back quickly to avoid the rest of the plant from catching it.
- Your pot container is weighty, or water spills from the soil. If you carry a flower pot that feels heavy, it might be a sign that you recently overwatered the plant. If you can also see the water settle on top of the pot’s soil, it is overwatered.
An article by Have Garden emphasizes that overwatering or underwatering a polka dot plant can make it susceptible to dying. Therefore, it is vital to take extra care because these plants are very delicate. Thus you should moderate and monitor your watering parameters to keep the plant alive and healthy.
You should water your polka dot plant whenever about half or a quarter of the soil has dried out at the top of the pot. In an article, Julie from Parade talks about how a smaller container will dry the water quicker than an enormous container. With this in mind, the size of your house plant pot will also determine how often you need to water it.
A smaller pot will require more watering intervals than a small one will. The sun you receive in the area you stay in will also contribute to how you water your plant. If you stay in sunny and dry states like Arizona or Texas, your plant will lose water faster due to evaporation, requiring shorter watering intervals.
If you are in an area that receives a lot of rainfall, make sure that you check the soil and see how much water the soil has collected after every rain spell. It would help if you also looked out for the intensity of the rain. Ensure that the plant does not get flooded. If the rain is too heavy, put it in the shade.
You may opt to spray the leaves of the polka dot plant, especially if you see them starting to look crispy due to intense light or heat. You can use the handy Full Circle Refillable Spray Bottle (available on Amazon.com) to refresh your plants’ leaves. The glass bottle has a silicone base for protection and is easy to use.
An overwatered polka dot plant can be supported by doing the following:
- You can add small amounts of organic mixes to the soil. This action will help return nutrients lost from waterlogging. A plant that has experienced over watering has lost soil nutrients to dilution. Organic mixes will help balance the loss.
- You can remove the plant from its pot. An overwatered plant is susceptible to root rot if its soil is soggy. To avoid this, take the plant out of the waterlogged soil and then replant it in one with well-drained soil.
- Allow the plant to get more light or heat exposure. Additional light and heat will help the soil evaporate and dry out the excess water much faster. This exposure will help to regulate the amount of water in the soil.
- Examine the extent of the existing damage. If the roots are still intact, there are chances of planting them in a different pot or space. If the roots have been affected, you can use an organic mix with a fungicide to prevent the plant from getting sick.
- Pull off the sick and mildew-affected leaves. Since the water logging of polka plants allows room for fungi or mildew to grow and spread, the plant leaves will start to look unappealing and sick. Pulling off the affected leaves is best to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Inspect the plant every few hours. This action will help you know what changed since the logging of the plant occurred. These changes will help you to determine your next course of action.
- Replace the plant if it is excessively damaged. If the roots are highly damaged and all the leaves yellow and covered in mildew, the best solution is to replace your plant and make sure that you take better care of the new one.
Overwatering is not the only error that affects your polka dot plants. Therefore, merely using the right amounts of water alone will not automatically make your plant grow healthy and beautiful. For a polka dot plant to stay looking healthy, you should also do the following:
- Ensure that the plant has adequate light. Too much light will dry out your plant, and very little light will cause the plant to become leggy.
- Keep the plant in warm temperature areas. Freezing temperatures will make your polka dot plant look leggy and less vibrant. The plant thrives well when temperatures are above 50° F (10° C). They also mature faster in
- Pull back or prune excess leaves. This action helps to avoid crowding that leads to poor plant development. It also allows the plant the energy needed to grow new foliage.
- Add organic potting mixes. Adding Ingredients such as pumice help support the plant’s development and ensure proper soil drainage.
- Use a pesticide. Keep the plant protected from pests like weevils, aphids, and white bugs that will leach on the plant’s nutrients and cause damage.
- Weed the plant regularly. Weeds crowd the plant and strip the soil of its vital nutrients. They also reduce the beauty and vibrancy of the plant.
- Inspect your plant regularly to check for any abnormalities. Closely monitoring your polka dot plant’s health for signs of decline allows you to act early and prevent further damage to your plant.
Overwatering a polka dot plant is one of the main errors that kill these houseplants. It leads to root rot due to soggy soil that affects the development of polka dot plants. An overwatered plant shows yellowing leaves that eventually start to fall off the plant.
To reverse the effects of overwatering, remove the plant from the soggy soil and add organic nutrients to help improve soil drainage.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.