Petunias are very popular houseplants that many people like to take care of. If you’ve recently started caring for some, you might still be getting used to what you have to do.
One potential problem that can pop up is watering them too much. When you overwater your petunias, it’s going to present a number of different issues.
How can you tell if you have overwatered your petunias, though? Read on to explore information about watering these plants, how to look for signs that they’ve been overwatered, and what you can do to turn things around.
1 – Petunias Look Wilted Despite Soil Being Wet
The most common sign that you’re overwatering your petunias is wilting. Typically, you’d expect to see a plant start wilting when you haven’t been watering it enough, but when your plant is wilting despite the soil being wet, it’s obvious that you’re overwatering it.
Too much water will essentially cause the petunias to drown, and they won’t be able to do what they need to do. If you’re watering them before the soil has had the chance to properly drain, you’re going to have a bad time with this.
Sadly, if your petunias start to wilt, it’s likely not going to be possible to save them. Most petunia enthusiasts agree that wilting is the beginning of the end for petunias, but you can learn so that you can do better the next time.
Thankfully, preventing issues like this will be easy once you get used to watering them like normal. You just need to correct your watering schedule to turn things around.
You should be watering your petunias once every seven days, but you might need to wait longer if the soil isn’t ready. Every time you water them, you should be giving them one or two inches of water.
Try to water the petunias consistently so that you don’t accidentally cause them to wilt. Generally, you’ll be watering them once a week, but you must pay attention to the soil so that you don’t make mistakes.
Buying soil that will have good drainage will make a difference. If you have good soil for them, you should be able to stick pretty close to the once every seven days watering schedule.
2 – Brown Leaves
Brown leaves are another sign that your petunias are not doing so well. Watering your plants too much can cause the leaves to turn brown over time, and this is usually combined with wilting.
You might notice some leaves will start to turn brown before the petunias start wilting too bad. If you recognize that the leaves are browning slightly, you might want to check your watering habits to see if you are doing things properly.
Much like the advice mentioned earlier, you can turn things around by going back to a proper watering schedule. Over time, the petunias should get better if you water them the right way without giving them too much.
There are other things that can cause brown leaves such as scorching, but petunias are generally pretty hardy and tolerant of heat. If you’re sure that you’re watering correctly, you might need to look into what else could be causing the leaves to become brown.
3 – Root Rot
Root rot is the endgame of watering your petunias too much. If you continue to water them more than you are supposed to, the roots are going to rot and die.
You can tell that root rot has set in when you examine the roots of the plant. They will look brittle and will seem like they are crumbling.
When a plant has root rot set in, it’s not often going to be able to be saved. This is unfortunate, but you might need to discard the plant if you are seeing signs of root rot.
At the very least, you’ll need to cut away the sections that have root rot in an effort to save the petunias. Be careful with your plants moving forward to avoid root rot.
Tips for Saving Overwatered Petunias
Finally, let’s look at some tips for trying to save overwatered petunias. You want to try to dry the plant out a bit to see if it will get back to normal, but other methods might be needed as well.
If you have a baker’s rack, you could try to remove the petunias from their pots carefully before placing them on the rack. With this done, you’ll want to allow the roots to dry for several hours.
Next, you’re going to need to try to prune away sections of the plant that might be damaged. If you notice brown sections of roots, those will need to be pruned.
When you’re finished, you can place your petunias back in their pots. Hopefully, this will be enough to save them, but you’ll need to exhibit good watering habits moving forward to keep this from happening again.
Whether you will even want to try to save petunias that look bad will be up to you. It might be easier to simply start over with new ones so that you can do things right from the beginning.
Most people make mistakes when they first start taking care of plants. Don’t beat yourself up over this because you will get better over time.
Petunias are lovely plants to take care of, and they’re not going to present you with many problems now that you know what you need to do.
Enjoy your petunias to the fullest and do all that you can to keep them healthy. Even if you need to start over again, it’s going to be nice to have these aesthetically pleasing plants in your home.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.