How To Save An Overwatered Succulent?

To save an overwatered succulent, start by removing it from the wet soil and allowing it to dry out completely. Trim any rotting or damaged roots and leaves. Repot the succulent in well-draining soil, and adjust your watering routine to prevent future overwatering. With proper care, your succulent can recover and thrive.

Has your enthusiasm for succulent care led to an overwatering mishap Don’t despair; you can rescue your waterlogged plant! Learn the essential techniques of How To Save An Overwatered Succulent and bring your beloved succulent back to life. It’s time to take action and revive your green friend with these simple steps.

To save an overwatered succulent, remove it from soggy soil, let it dry thoroughly, trim any damaged parts, and repot it in well-draining soil. Adjust your watering habits to prevent further overwatering and ensure proper care to help your succulent recover and flourish.

Understanding the Signs of Overwatering

Before delving into the rescue mission, it’s essential to recognize the telltale signs of overwatering. Identifying the problem early can greatly improve your succulent’s chances of recovery.

Signs of Overwatering

Signs of overwatering in succulents include wilting and yellowing leaves, mushy roots, leaf drop, mold and mildew growth on the soil, and slowed growth.

Wilting and Yellowing

Overwatered succulents often display signs of wilting and yellowing leaves. The leaves may become mushy to the touch.

Root Rot

This occurs when the roots are exposed to excess moisture for prolonged periods. Overwatered succulents may develop brown or black, mushy roots.

Leaf Drop

The plant may shed healthy leaves due to stress caused by overwatering.

Mold and Mildew

Soil that remains consistently wet can lead to mold and mildew growth on the soil’s surface.

Slowed Growth

Overwatered succulents typically exhibit slower growth compared to their healthy counterparts. If you’re wondering, succulents go without water it’s important to know that succulents are designed to store water in their leaves and stems, allowing them to survive for extended periods without the need for frequent watering.

Now that you can identify overwatering, let’s move on to the steps to save your succulents.

Carefully remove the succulent from its pot. Gently tap the pot’s sides to loosen the soil around the roots.

Excess Soil

Shake off excess wet soil from the roots, exposing them for examination. Be as gentle as possible to avoid damaging the roots further.

Allow the Succulent to Dry

Allowing the succulent to dry is a crucial step in the process of saving an overwatered succulent. It helps the plant recover by preventing further damage and promoting root health.

Find a Shady Spot

Place the succulent in a shaded area with good airflow. Direct sunlight can cause further stress to the plant.

Let It Dry

Allow the succulent to dry for a few days or until you notice that the roots have hardened and dried.

Trim Damaged Roots and Leaves

Trimming damaged roots and leaves is a crucial step in saving an overwatered succulent, helping it redirect its energy to healthy growth.

Inspect the Roots

Examine the roots for any signs of rot. Cut away any soft, brown, or black roots using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.

Trim Yellowing Leaves

Trim any yellowing or mushy leaves close to the stem. This will help the plant focus its energy on healthy growth.

Repot in Well-Draining Soil

Repotting in well-draining soil is essential to prevent further overwatering and promote the healthy growth of your succulent.

Steps to Save an Overwatered SucculentQuick Summary
Step 1: Remove the Succulent from Wet SoilGently uproot the succulent and shake off excess wet soil.
Step 2: Allow the Succulent to DryPlace the succulent in a shaded area with good airflow and let it dry thoroughly.
Step 3: Trim Damaged Roots and LeavesInspect and trim rotting roots and yellowing leaves to promote healthy growth.
Step 4: Repot in Well-Draining SoilChoose a pot with drainage holes and use a well-draining succulent mix. Report carefully.
Step 5: Adjust Your Watering HabitsWater sparingly, monitor soil moisture, and water at the base.
Step 6: Provide Proper CarePlace in suitable light, maintain the right temperature, and fertilize when appropriate.
Step 7: Be PatientUnderstand that recovery takes time; don’t rush the process.
Preventing Overwatering in the FutureUse a well-draining potting mix, pots with drainage holes, water wisely, choose the right pot size, and monitor your succulent regularly.

Choose the Right Pot

Select a new pot with good drainage holes. The pot’s size should match the succulent, allowing room for root growth.

Prepare Well-Draining Soil

Use a well-draining succulent or cactus potting mix. You can also make your own mix by combining potting soil with perlite or coarse sand.

Report Carefully

Plant the succulent in the new pot, ensuring that the roots are spread out evenly. Backfill with the prepared soil mix, gently pressing it down.

Adjust Your Watering Habits

Water Sparingly

Once repotted, it’s crucial to adjust your watering routine. Succulents prefer to dry out between watering sessions. Water sparingly and only when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Monitor Soil Moisture

Use a moisture meter or your finger to check the soil’s moisture level. Avoid letting the soil stay consistently wet.

Watering Techniques

Water at the base of the plant to keep the leaves dry, as wet leaves can lead to fungal issues. Allow any excess water to drain from the pot.

Provide Proper Care

To prevent overwatering in the future, use a well-draining potting mix, pots with drainage holes, and adjust your watering schedule based on your succulent’s needs. Regular monitoring for signs of stress, pests, and diseases is also essential.

Suitable Light

Place your succulent in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight until the plant has fully recovered.


Maintain a moderate temperature range, typically between 60°F and 80°F (15°C to 27°C), to promote healing and growth.


Hold off on fertilizing your succulent for several weeks or until you notice signs of recovery. Then, use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer sparingly.

Be Patient

Recovery takes time, and it’s important to be patient. Don’t expect your succulent to bounce back overnight. 

Preventing Overwatering in the Future

To prevent overwatering in the future, use well-draining soil, pots with drainage holes, and adjust your watering schedule to suit your succulent’s needs.

Use a Well-Draining Potting Mix

Opt for a well-draining potting mix specifically designed for succulents and cacti.

Choose the Right Pot

Select pots with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

Water Wisely

Before watering, ensure the top inch of the soil has dried out. Adjust your watering schedule according to your succulent’s needs.

Properly Sized Pot

Use pots that match the size of your succulent, preventing excess soil and water retention.

Monitor Your Succulent

Regularly inspect your succulent for signs of stress, pests, or diseases, and take action promptly.


Can succulents survive being overwatered?

Succulents can survive being overwatered temporarily, but prolonged overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, potentially harming or killing the plant.

What does a succulent look like when it’s overwatered?

An overwatered succulent often appears wilted with mushy, yellowing leaves. The soil may remain consistently damp, and root rot can occur.

How do you bring a dying succulent back to life?

To revive a dying succulent, assess its watering needs, trim any damaged parts, replant it in well-draining soil, and provide proper light and care for recovery.


Rescuing an overwatered succulent is not only possible but often quite successful with the right care and attention. By identifying the signs of overwatering early, taking the necessary steps to promote drying and root health, and adjusting your watering habits, your succulent can make a remarkable recovery. Remember that patience is crucial during this process, and the healing of your succulent may take some time. 

Prevention is just as important as intervention. To avoid future overwatering incidents, choose well-draining soil and pots with adequate drainage. Monitor your succulent’s moisture needs closely and provide it with the right amount of sunlight and care. With these practices in place, you can enjoy thriving and healthy succulents for years to come. Saving an overwatered succulent is a rewarding journey that reinforces the resilience and beauty of these remarkable plants.

Leave a Comment