7 Ways to Prevent Overwatering using a Grow Bag

7 Ways to Prevent Overwatering using a Grow Bag

You are probably overwatering your plant.

Don’t worry it’s not just you, overwatering is actually very common and it’s the number one killer of houseplants.

Maybe it’s that succulent in the pretty pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole or that wilting spider plant in the corner that doesn’t seem to “thrive” the more you water it. Actually it could be all your plants and you wouldn’t even know it. Knowing when a plant is happy can be hard to tell.

 Plant roots need three things to be happy: 

  1. Oxygen

  2. Nutrients 

  3. Water  

Essentially, overwatering drowns your plant in the soil. Being constantly wet, the roots are unable to breath in oxygen which slowly suffocates the plant. This ✨ S T R E S S E S✨ out the root system causing the root tips to die back which leads to diseases like root-rot. 

overwatered plant

Difficult to Spot Root Rot

Root rot is difficult to spot because it looks similar to an underwatered plant. The leaves turn yellow and wilt, stems become soft, and there is no new growth. This results in people mistakenly further watering their plants. Once viruses, bacteria, and fungi take hold, root rot will quickly kill a plant from the ground up and will be difficult to reverse.

Luckily grow bags can prevent your plant from being overwatered and actually allows you to water your plant more often leading to better growth. Here are 7 ways to prevent overwatering with the help of a grow bag:

1) Plant in a grow bag over a traditional pot 

Traditional pots have one hole for drainage while grow bags, which are made out of porous felt, have total drainage from all sides of the bag. Any excess water in a grow bag simply drains out the sides of the bag instead of through a drainage hole which, if clogged with soil, could lead to overwatering.bagoplant grow bag

2) Always assume you are overwatering your plant

This might be counterintuitive but less water is better than more when it comes to container gardening. When something looks wrong with your plant, assume first off that it is overwatering because it probably is which means the last thing you should do is give a plant more water.

3) Pick up and feel your grow bag

If you pick up the grow bag and it feels light with the sides of the bag feeling dry, it’s time to water. If the bag is heavy when you pick it up and the bottom feels wet then you should hold off.

4) Don’t water during the off-season

Most tropical plants have seasonal periods during winter and early spring when their growth slows down and they enter dormancy. During this time you should water sparingly or avoid watering altogether to avoid the negative effects like root-rot.

5) Add perlite to the soil for added drainage

Perlite is made from volcanic glass and allows air to flow into the soil. This allows the roots to breathe.

6) Bottom water your plants through the grow bag 

Bottom watering allows the roots to drink directly from the saucer by wicking the water through the grow bag. When you water potted plants from the bottom, the root system grows directly down towards the moisture. Watering from the bottom of the plant adds moisture directly  to the root system saving time and increasing efficiency during watering.

7) Plant Surgery 

If all else fails and your plant is still dying, you should do the following: 

  1. Remove the plant from the soil and wash the roots in running water.

  2. With sterilized shears or clippers, cut back any affected mushy roots and keep only the white unaffected ones.

  3. Next, prune back two thirds of the leaves of the plant so it can spend its energy regrowing the roots instead of leaves.

  4. Dip the healthy roots into fungicide to kill off any root rot fungus

  5. Repot the plant in a clean potting mix with added perlite for good drainage.

Quite frankly if you use a grow bag, you shouldn’t experience any of these overwatering issues and as a result will get healthier and happier plants! 🌱

Pro Tip: Water using either rain water or tap water left out overnight. This allows the chlorine in the water, which can burn root tips, to evaporate.