Asked on Mar 09, 2018

What to do with over-watered lilies?

Tova Pearl
by Tova Pearl
I think this calla lily plant now has root rot from about a week of slight overwatering (you can see some of the stalks have turned yellow). What can i do now to help it recover?
  9 answers
  • Alice Alice on Mar 09, 2018

    Normally if you overwater, the leaves will turn yellow. I think they're going to be ok.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 09, 2018

    re-pot them in fresh soil .Call lilies store a lot of water because of the bulbs.Refrain from watering until the soil dries out

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Mar 09, 2018

    Hi Tova,

    Click on the link below to find some help for canna lilies. While the article is about outdoor plants (some potted), it will help with indoor plants too. Wishing you the best!

  • Gk Gk on Mar 09, 2018

    Let the plant dry out for a few days and see what happens. If the stalks continue to yellow and dry up to a crispy brown carefully pull out those stalks. They will regrow. Slow down on the watering!!

  • Ida Ida on Mar 10, 2018

    Most plants like to use up all its water for a day or two. I'd leave it to dry out a bit....then water only once a week. pick a day and stick to it.iRemove dead leaves once they are dried.

  • Michael Boron Michael Boron on Mar 10, 2018

    Over watering is more dangerous than under watering as the roots will rot and the plant has no way to uptake water and may die. It all relates to the overall health of the plant and if it is used to getting flooded where it is native. Some plants are much more forgiving than others.

    A good rule is to check the plant 15 minutes after watering and remove any extra water. If a plant gets too dry the soil usually pulls away from the sides of the pot and you could run ten gallons of water through it and still not adequately water the plant...either drip water it or dunk the whole pot under water to fill the voids in the soil and it will re expand to the pot size.

    I usually hold the soil ball under water surface until the bubbling slows to minimal usually a minute or less will do.

    I hope this helps!

    I have been in the plant industry for over 20 years...

  • Rae Rae on Mar 10, 2018

    If you over water plants, the roots constantly stay wet without an opportunity to dry out and eventually will rot. To help remove too much water from plants, remove the plant and soil from the pot and lay the soil on multi layers of newspapers, changing it when the paper gets saturated. Usually 48 hours is all you need, put plant back in pot and you should be all set.

  • Inetia Inetia on Mar 14, 2018

    I would remove the root ball from the pot and slice away any rotted root ends with a very sharp knife. I would set it on a thick stack of newspapers or paper towels to absorb excess water. I’d leave it for several hours to dry out a bit more Before putting it back into the planter.

  • Pamela Griffin Pamela Griffin on Sep 24, 2020

    Sorry, I know this is supposed to be the "answer" column but.......Could someone please tell me what's wrong with mine? I got it in July, was part of a group in a basket from my mother's funeral. It's practically drooped ever since, plus now it's turning yellow. I plan to repot but I didn't think a couple months would hurt it. (Been canning alot!) What do I do? I don't want to lose it as it has sentimental value! TIA