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Over Watering Cannabis | How to Solve it

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Cannabis plants can present many issues during their growing process, especially if you’re a beginner and you don’t have much experience growing cannabis. One of the most common issues with it comes to new growers is over watering cannabis plants, which can cause root rot which is devastating for cannabis plants. In order to solve accidental over watering you’ll need to work fast. People tend to assume that watering is simple, but it’s something that should be done with caution when it comes to cannabis plants. In this particular post we’re going to attempt to solve over watering in cannabis plants.

Over watering cannabis – What can happen?

Over watering cannabis plants that still haven’t had their growth spurt can be quite a big issue. Water can build up in the bottom of the flowerpot and end up rotting the roots – this can kill off small plants or cause them to grow super short and produce lower yields due to their size. Plus, if this happens indoors your other plants may end up shading the smaller plant, killing it off entirely.

One of the most important parts of cannabis plants are their roots; they essentially hold your plants down, while also absorbing nutrients and water during each stage, absorbing oxygen during the process. Excessive watering can actually drown roots, causing nutrient blockages and series issues with your plants.

Over Watering Symptoms

You’ll need to pay close attention to your plant in order to spot over watering issues. One of the biggest factors is how they act after being watered; if they begin to droop you may have a sign of root obstruction. Another symptom, one of the clearest ones, is discoloration on your plants’ leaves, which can start turning a light yellow color. This happens when water excess is a persistent issue, which can cause issues such as a dramatic decrease in yield (if you manage to recover the plant) and can even be fatal if left untreated for long enough.

In order to avoid over watering, you’ll need to start off using a small amount of water, around a glass’s worth. You can begin increasing the dose once it’s big enough to need two glasses a day; this can take around a week. This allows for your plants to grow out longer roots faster, which causes for larger plants that can absorb more water and nutrients.

How to Fix Over Watering Cannabis Plants


When your plants have grown large enough you shouldn’t have to worry about overwatering, as long as it doesn’t happen every day. If you’ve over watered, the first thing you need to do is wait a couple of days until it’s fully dry. The water tends to pool at the bottom of the flowerpot, which is one of the main causes of root rot. The next time you water your plants, you’ll need to start using enzymes so that the root system grows strong and sturdy and can recover from any damage. Enzymes are catalysts which essentially force various chemical processes in your plants that grow even faster. When it comes to cannabis plants, enzymes are used to get rid of dead roots much faster, turning them into sugars which the living roots can absorb, while also making space for new, healthy roots.


While it may seem silly, choosing the right substrate is incredibly important. Your plant is going to live in the soil you choose for it, so choosing correctly is vital. There are many different types to choose from, all of which have plenty of different qualities, and each one treats water differently. Here at we recommend using substrates that don’t hold water for too long if you tend to have issues with over watering. We recommend choosing a substrate that contains perlite, as well as natural peat combinations which are great for cannabis, allowing plants to absorb nutrients and water in order to grow successfully.

If fixed fast enough, you shouldn’t notice much of a difference in yield, although it’s a stressful process and your plant may lose a couple of days’ growth. However, if it happens regularly, you’ll definitely notice in the quality of your final yield. If you manage to over water and rot your roots various times, they may not be able to regrow properly, and your plants may end up with fungi and rot issues. However, with our tips and tricks this shouldn’t happen.

Once you’ve sorted the issue, you can continue with normal watering and feeding schedules, making sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. If you use enzymes during the entire process your plants’ roots will be much healthier and it will be much harder for them to rot. One of the reasons roots tend to get soaked and end up in a puddle is because some growers simply throw their water in all at once instead of pouring and letting it seep down.

Avoid Over Watering Cannabis by Watering Efficiently

Keep in mind that the amount of water that your plant can absorb may vary due to different reasons; the relative humidity, the temperature, how long since you watered etc. A plant that drank a liter of water a week ago may only need half a liter the next week, so you need to play it a bit like ear.

The most accurate way to water is to do it in stages, allowing it to be soaked up by the soil, until it begins to come out the bottom of the flowerpot. From that moment onwards, any more water is probably too much. Keep in mind that this isn’t an exact science, and you may make mistakes every now and then, so we recommend keeping a close eye on the process; experience is the best way to learn. We also recommend taking extreme care with smaller plants, as over watering can cause them to stop growing entirely; water calmly and carefully.

If you've ever had to deal with accidentally over watering cannabis, don't fret; read on to find out how to avoid over watering your plants!

How To Fix Overwatered and Underwatered Cannabis Plants

There is a balancing act to how much water a Cannabis plant uses, and if it is absorbed by the roots, or through the foliage via transpiration. For a beginner grower, attempting to find the balance can result in either over-saturating your growing medium or under watering the plants. In this article, we explain how to diagnose the problem, the ways to restore, and our top tips.

1. Overwatering Cannabis Plants

There are many valid reasons why a Cannabis plant that is being grown indoors or outdoors, can become overwatered. The main one is down to inexperience combined with the illusion that the more water and nutrient solution is given, the faster the plants will grow.

Reasons for overwatering

• A poor-draining growing medium.

• An overzealous beginner grower.

• The pot size is too small.

• The growing medium is cold.

• Feeding when lights are off.

What Are The Signs Of Overwatering?

A Cannabis plant may not show signs immediately that it is unhappy and has become oversaturated. The leaves will begin to droop in a downwards fashion as if they have chosen not to photosynthesis as once before.

Due to the excess amount of water in the growing medium, the plants will struggle to offload the water through transpiration. This will completely disrupt the growth, nutrient uptake, and cause a grower to abandon their vapor pressure deficit chart. Depending on how thick and dense the growing medium is, can also determine how little the amount of dissolved oxygen present will be.

How To Restore

The easiest thing to do is simply to allow the growing medium to completely dry out, before considering watering again. By giving your plants 2-3 days to dry out and fill the roots with oxygen and fresh air, the roots will be encouraged to search out for new air pockets.

The dry conditions will also prevent bad bacteria thriving and limit the development of pathogens that depend on high moisture and low-oxygen environments.

What To Remember

• Allow your pots to completely dry out until they are very lightweight.

• Check on the growth structure and vigor of the plants as they begin to respond.

• Pathogens prefer low oxygen and wet conditions to live.

Top Tips

1. It is better to feed smaller amounts of water or nutrient solution, on a more frequent basis. Younger plants prefer this method as it encourages maximum root growth potential and allows Cannabis plants to break down the food easier.

2. Avoid feeding late at night close to lights out, and especially when plants are asleep during the darkness period. It is best to water them after the first hour when lights have turned on.

3. Using a pump and dripper lines connected to a plug timer will be your best bet at timing the watering times every day, without compromising the routine. An excellent way of reducing the physical work involved when watering.

4. The best way to judge how happy your plants are is to access them by appearance. Ideally, the fan leaves should be angled at 45 degrees facing towards the sky. When the leaves begin to droop this is a sign of over or underwatering.

5. Be vigilant of foul-smelling odors developing inside the grow room. When using organic growing mediums and liquid feeds, it is very easy for the lowest parts of the pots to become a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria.

2. Underwatering Cannabis Plants

There can be several reasons where a Cannabis plant is neglected and underwater. Sometimes it may not be practical to water your plants every day at the same time. However, once a growing medium has become totally dry, depending on how dry the air is it can lead to the plants becoming stressed, tired, and deficient of nutrients.

What Are The Signs Of Underwatering?

The plants will look lifeless and close to death, with their fan leaves facing down. The root hairs will also begin to dry out, become thin and crisp at the tips, and the way the plants transpire will be severely affected.

The leaves will become dry, crispy, and depleted, and the foliage will lose its shine and soft, waxy characteristic. The aroma of the plants will become reduced and begin to smell like dried fan leaves.

How To Restore

The key thing is not to overwater your plants but to feed them enough until you see the liquid run off at the base of your pots. It should take 30-60 seconds before there is a slow rate of water or nutrient solution forming at the bottoms.

Keep the nutrient solution the same as before and do not attempt to increase the E.C level to try and make up for the lost time.

What To Remember

• You should aim to saturate the growing medium until the signs of runoff.

• The growing medium that is being used will have an effect on how much water is retained and how much is drained away.

• Keep the temperature of your water around 15-22 degrees Celsius and avoid cold water.

Top Tips

1. Any foliage that has become lifeless and crisp it should be removed from the plant. Dead leaves will attract insects and unwanted guests.

2. After you have watered your growing medium correctly, wait until the containers are light enough to pick up before watering again.

3. Outdoor growers who may not always be able to water their plants on time can benefit from using a pump and drip lines.

4. Foliar feeding Cannabis plants is an excellent way to revitalize them, as well as saturating the growing medium. This will help restore the amount of moisture they can transpire.

5. Cannabis plants grown in smaller pots will always dry out quicker, so it is a good idea to plant into a larger pot that can hold much more moisture.

There is a balancing act to how much water a Cannabis plant uses, and if it is absorbed by the roots, or through the foliage via transpiration. For a beginner g