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What Do I Do If I’ve Overwatered My Calathea? Find The Answer Here!

Calathea, which is otherwise known as the “pinstripe” houseplant, is a beautiful plant with vibrant, veined leaves that adds character to any home space.

However, just like other types of houseplant, caring for a calathea can be a little tricky, especially when trying to ensure they look their best indoors.

As a member of the Marantaceae family, which are, according to the Britannica Encyclopedia, native to, “moist or swampy tropical forests, particularly in the Americas but also in Africa and Asia” the calathea plant is used to humid, hot climates that don’t see a lot of rain.

Instead, Calathea’s thrive best when exposed to sunlight, and are given limited amounts of water.

What Do I Do If I Overwatered My Calathea?

If you’ve accidentally overwatered your calathea and you’ve begun to notice that its leaves are becoming limp – then you’re going to need to take action before it’s too late!

Interestingly enough, the signs that a calathea begins to display when it has been overwatered are nearly identical to the signs of underwatering – but the rescue remedy is a little different – let’s break it down below:

How To Revive A Calathea – Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Move your calathea to a shaded area of your home, as direct sunlight may cause your overwatered plant cells to rupture. 
  • Proceed to remove all of the dead leaves from your calathea, which will be easy to spot amongst the healthy ones as they will have yellow and brown patches. 
  • Next, check to see if the plant’s pot is properly draining. If there is a lot of water that hasn’t been drained, gently tilt the pot so that the excess water can be emptied from the soil.
  • After doing this, we recommend that you leave the calathea alone so that it can dry out, refrain from watering it until you can feel that the soil is nearly dry to the touch.
  • Proceed to water your calathea as your normally would, making sure to double-check that nothing is blocking the drainage holes placed directly at the bottom of the plant pot.
  • After you have watered your calathea, treat it with a fungicide, as this will prevent the growth of any fungi on your calathea.
  • Once you have watered and treated your calathea, you will then need to wait for around one week to see if you have successfully rescued it. If you notice that your calathea is coming back to health, you can then resume its normal watering routine. 

As a side note, if you have overwatered your calathea (or any plant, for that matter) then there isn’t a guarantee that it’s going to be able to spring back to full health.

The above technique is designed to help encourage an overwatered plant to return to its original state, and if it has worked, then you can expect to see positive results within one week. 

In addition to this, while attempting to rescue your calathea, we do not recommend that you treat it with any fertilizer, as this could disrupt the revitalization of your calathea. Instead, we recommend waiting until it has returned to full health.

How do you know if Calathea has root rot?

In nature, the calathea plant is often found at the base of trees and spots in the jungle that have low light and limited water conditions, which explains why they have such big leaves.

To help sustain themselves, the leaves of the calathea work hard to absorb as much light as they can, while their strong roots are able to pull in water from the dry soil around them. 

With that being said, calathea can be a little temperamental when it comes to upkeep. More often than not, if there are any issues with the health of a calathea, it is often caused by overwatering, extremely high humidity levels, and too much moisture in the soil – which brings us to root rot. 

If you suspect that your calathea may have developed root rot, then the good news is that you can quite often salvage your plant – so long as you take action fast. Below, we’ll talk you through how to spot root rot, as well as what to do to bring your calathea back to full health:

1. Diagnosing root rot:

The first thing you’ll need to do is check your calathea for signs of root rot. Symptoms of root rot can vary from plant to plant, and if a calathea plant has root rot then you should look out for the following:

  • Dropping leaves
  • Dying leaves
  • Yellowing
  • Mushy stem

If you notice that your calathea has any of the above symptoms, then you’re going to need to act fast to save it – which brings us to our next point. 

2. Clean your calathea’s roots:

One of the most effective ways to treat root rot is to clean your calathea’s roots. Start by gently taking your calathea plant out of its pot, and then proceed to gently remove as much soil that is stuck to it as possible. 

Once you have removed all of the soil, you will then be able to inspect the damage. If you notice that there are any roots that are dying or affected by the root rot, then to prevent spreading, you will need to cut them off with a pair of shears. 

Side note: If your calathea is particularly large or heavy, then you could ask a friend or family member to hold it for you so that you will be able to safely cut off the damaged roots.

As soon as you have done this, you should then take your calathea plant and gently run its remaining roots under some running water, as this will help to rid it of any remaining soil.

3. Repot your calathea plant:

Ensuring that you have a plant pot that has proper drainage holes, carefully replant your calathea with fresh soil. Then, you should place it in an area of your garden or home that gets plenty of indirect sunlight and, after a few weeks, you should notice that your calathea plant has returned back to full health.

Top tip: If you had to remove many roots of your calathea plant that were damaged by the root rot, then we recommend that you also take some time to gently prune your calathea and remove some of its leaves. That way, the roots won’t have to work so hard as there will be fewer leaves to give energy to. 

Interested in discovering some other tips and tricks for caring for your indoor calathea? Just click here.

Wrapping Up

So, there we have it! Hopefully, after reading this you’ll have a much better idea of how to bring your calathea back to full health, regardless of whether that be from overwatering or root rot.

While you’re here, why not give this page a bookmark? That way, if you ever need to come back and refresh your knowledge on caring for your calathea, you’ll always know where to find us.

Thanks for reading!