How To Save Your Overwatered Cacti or Succulents

Ok, when I first stated buying cacti and succulents I would always overwater them. They’re so low maintenance, but I wanted to keep "tending" to them only to continue to kill them by overwatering. I eventually alleviated this problem by buying more plants! But along the way I learned some tips and tricks that you can do to save your plants from dying of root rot. 

Eventually you’re going to start learning more about your plants. You’ll be able to tell if they’re happy or sad, if you’ve been forgetting to water them or if you’ve watered them too much. With that being said, it’s definitely a learning process which means you’re going to have to overwater them to learn how to identify if you did, and vice versa. 

While cacti and succulents are very forgiving, overwatering is an exception to the rule. So what do you do once you’ve realized you’ve overwatered? Or what if there was a rain storm you weren’t expecting and you just watered your plants the day before (like what just happened to me!)? 


If it’s something that you know happened, you could take your plants out of their pots and then re-pot them with dry soil. If you can, you can lay them out to dry for a couple of days, and hopefully your soil has had time to dry as well. 

If you start to notice leaves falling off, they’re looking translucent, or there’s black spots on your probably overwatered your plant. At this point you should remove all the dying leaves and stems. If you notice a stem is rotted, but the leaves are intact, the survivors can be propagated in multiple ways you can read about here (Succulent Propagation 101). For cacti, you’re going to want to cut and remove infected areas because the rot will just continue to spread.

A rule of thumb when dealing with Cacti or succulents; Changing the soil is the best solution. I know this isn’t ideal. I’m super extra with my plants, and I don’t feel like repotting all my plants at the moment either, so I understand. You’ll want to watch your plants and continue to remove leaves and stems that start to rot. Your plant might look pretty sad and drab after lol, but not to worry! I promise you, it’ll appreciate the extra TLC and before you know it’ll be back to life and healthy again.


Have any questions, or tips and tricks of your own? Leave them in the comments below! 

Want more gardening tips? Check out my other blog posts below:

How NOT to kill a cactus (or succulent)!

How To Regrow A Pineapple From Crown

Water Propagation 101