Poinsettias are tropical plants that are more commonly known to you and me as the Christmas Rose.
But even though they’re around during the holidays, they’re actually tropical plants that like a lot of heat and water.
But even though Poinsettias like lots of water, too much of it can be bad for their health.
What does an overwatered Poinsettia look like?
If your Poinsettia is wilting, or if it has yellowing leaves, this is a sign that it’s likely being overwatered. One way to confirm this is by feeling its soil. If the soil is wet and your plant is wilting then it’s probably being overwatered.
Poinsettias die more often from overwatering than underwatering so it’s important to get the water levels just right. But don’t worry, below we’ll tell you exactly how to identify if your Poinsettia is being overwatered.
Symptoms of Overwatering in a Poinsettia
If your Poinsettia is looking unhealthy then it could be overwatering that’s causing the problem. So let’s take a look at the signs that your plant is being overwatered.
Wilting is one of the most common signs of a dehydrated plant. But did you know that wilting can be a sign of overwatering too?
And this is a tricky one because when people see a plant wilting, they tend to give it more water.
So, to find out if your plant is wilting is due to overwatering or underwatering, feel its soil. If the soil is dry then you need to give your plant some water.
But if the soil is wet and your plant is wilting then this is a sure sign that it’s being overwatered.
Another symptom of overwatering can be found on your Poinsettias leaves. Are they all green and healthy or are some brown and yellow?
If your Poinsettias leaves are discolored and falling off then this is also a sign of overwatering.
Overwatering will deplete the oxygen in the soil. Thus, your plant won’t be able to absorb the nutrients it needs and it may suffocate.
Other signs you should look out for on the leaves are small white spots or blisters, these are signs of edemea. And this happens when your plant absorbs too much water.
And finally, if your Poinsettia is showing signs of root rot then this is inevitably due to overwatering. Root rot takes hold when the soil is constantly damp and this happens in severe cases of overwatering.
How to Save an Overwatered Poinsettia
In severe cases of overwatering, if root rot has taken hold for example, your plant might not recover. But in milder instances, there are some simple steps you can take to revive your plant.
So, if you think your plant has been overwatered, the first thing you should do is stop watering it. Let the soil dry out before you water it again.
The next thing to check, especially with Poinsettias, is whether the plant has adequate drainage. Poinsettias are often sold with decorative wrapping which could be holding the water in.
So remove the wrapping and make sure that the pot has drainage holes. If there are no drainage holes the soil will be too moist making the perfect conditions for root rot.
The next thing you should do is move your Poinsettia to a warm, sunny place. A Poinsettia needs around 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.
Poinsettias like bright, indirect light so sitting them close to a sunny window in the house is ideal. If your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight then the soil will take much longer to dry out.
If your plant is more severely affected, if you suspect root rot for example, then you’ll have to take more drastic action to save your plant.
In this case, you need to take it out of its pot and take a look at its roots. If any of the roots are looking an unhealthy brown color then these need to be removed. And you should do a root wash.
When you put the plant back in its pot then make sure that you thoroughly clean the pot first. This will remove any fungus and bacteria and prevent reinfection.
And when it comes to repotting your Poinsettia, take into account that they like well-draining soil, such as peat-based ones.
It’s also worth noting that some pots are more breathable than others. Terracotta pots are breathable so they very gradually let air in and moisture out.
Whereas ceramic and plastic pots aren’t breathable so the moisture stays in the pot for longer.
Also, take into account the size of your plant and make sure you put it in the right-sized pot. If the pot is too big for the plant then it’s easy for moisture to accumulate in the soil.
Poinsettia Watering Tips
Never leave your Poinsettia sitting in a saucer of water. Although they’re tropical plants and they enjoy moisture, they don’t like to be constantly damp.
You should check your plant and its soil every day for the first few weeks. This way you’ll have a clearer idea of how long it takes the soil to dry out and when you need to water it.
As a rule, you should water your Poinsettia when the top inch of soil is dry. Or try feeling the weight of the pot.
If the pot is fairly light then your plant needs water. But if it feels quite heavy, this means that there’s plenty of water left in the pot.
Alternatively, you can leave a toothpick or stick of bamboo in the soil to gauge the water content of the pot.
Pull the stick out before watering. If the stick wet then your plant doesn’t need water. But if it’s dry then it’s time to give your plant a drink.
Frequently Asked Questions About Overwatered Poinsettia
How can I tell if my Poinsettia is being overwatered?
The most common symptoms of an overwatered Poinsettia are yellowing/brown leaves. Poinsettias will also wilt in severe cases of overwatering.
What can I do if my Poinsettia has had too much water?
The first thing you should do is stop watering it until the soil has dried out a bit. Then make sure that it’s positioned in a bright, sunny space, next to a window for example. In severe cases of overwatering, you might have to perform a root wash to save your plant.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.