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Kalanchoe Over-Watered?

Question:

“I have had my Kalanchoe for a couple of months now and I thought I was doing well with not watering it too much (about once a week) but it has now gone completely droopy and some of the leaves are going brown and dry around the edges. My instinct is to water it (as most plants droop when they are thirsty) but everything I read online says this is due to overwatering and now I don’t know what to do! Please can tell me whether it looks under or over watered to you? (Picture attached) The soil feels only damp to touch but the pot does feel quite heavy. Also, would you recommend repotting or not at this stage?

I live in the UK and the plant is on a south facing windowsill in the sun (when we have some).

Thanks very much.”

Answer:

Plants do wilt when they are deprived of water. However, when a plant is kept too wet, then the roots may rot and die. When that happens the plant is unable to get water even though there is plenty of water in the soil. So, wilting can be caused by both under and over watering.

It is hard to over water a plant in a small pot, but yours is double potted. If the inside pot is allowed to sit in water that has collected in the outside planter for more than a day or so, then there is a good chance the roots have rotted. For a Kalanchoe to wilt from underwatering, the soil would have to be completely dried out. So over watering is the likely cause of the wilting, especially if the soil always feel damp to the touch.

Water your plant only when the top half inch of soil feels completely dry. After each watering, pour out any excess water that has collected in the bottom of the ceramic planter. Provide as much direct indoor sunlight as possible.

Your Kalanchoe does not now need to be repotted and won’t for a long time, if ever. It needs to be kept potbound to flower again.