If the soil in your plant pot takes much more time to dry out than the usual time it should take, this is a severe problem for your plant. Once in a while, you should check the soil in your plant pot. Most plants prefer their soil to dry out quickly rather than remain pasty, sticky, clammy, and soggy. If you desire healthier plants that grow faster, you should know how to dry out soil in a pot.
Why is highly wet soil harmful to your plants?
Plants can neither live in soil that is too dry nor too wet. If the soil in your plant pot is highly moist for too long, it may cause root rot, which can kill your plant. Using their roots, plants take up minerals, water, and oxygen from the soil. If the soil in your pot is wet constantly, then there will not be enough air pockets for plants to absorb and get oxygen to breathe.
When soil doesn’t dry out, it usually means that either drainage or evaporation is poor, or your plant uses less water than usual. To boost evaporation and the amount of water your plants consume, increase sunshine, ventilation, and temperature. Make sure the pot you use has drainage holes, and the soil drains completely.
It is easy to fix water logging or soggy soil, but you should know what and how to do it. As discussed below, you can try various methods to dry out soil in a pot.
Why is the soil not drying out, and how can I dry the ground in a pot?
There can be many reasons why the soil in the pot is not drying out. Some common causes are problems with drainage, water loss by evaporation, and reduced transpiration and water usage by the plant. These are some prevalent reasons that can lead to waterlogging and keep the soil wet for a long time.
Some more points:
Plants use comparatively less water in low light conditions than in brighter conditions. So, if your plants are placed in low-light conditions, they might take more time to use the water, resulting in the soil staying wet for a long time.
Your plants will begin to develop much more quickly, and the time it takes for the soil to dry up will significantly decrease if you move them to a brighter spot. Low light is a principal reason why many indoor plants die. Ensure that the plant you are developing receives the proper amount of light. A plant will utilize water more quickly if placed in an area with better light.
Low temperatures cause less water in the soil to evaporate, which slows down how soon the soil dries out. Also, it causes your plant’s transpiration and growth rates to slow, which lowers its water needs.
Plants need favourable temperature conditions like humans do to survive. You can use thermometers to record the temperature around the plants and use this information to make some changes in temperature so plants can grow better.
Low temperatures can stress your plants or even physically harm them, significantly reducing their capacity to use the water in the soil and reducing evaporation.
Like proper sunlight, indoor plants don’t get adequate wind flow, also called ventilation. Even though it’s frequently overlooked, the wind aids pollination strengthens the roots and transports water vapours away from the soil—this aids in avoiding problems like fungal growth and standing water. Reduced airflow around your plants slows down evaporation and transpiration, which causes the soil to dry out more slowly.
Simply opening a window or installing a fan can improve ventilation, speed up soil drying, and lower the likelihood of overwatering issues. Ensure your plant doesn’t suffer from wind damage or dry out too much.
Keep it at least a meter away from the wind source to cope with this.
Soil with Poor Drainage
One of the most crucial steps to raising healthy houseplants is potting them in appropriate soil. If you see water collecting on the soil’s surface after watering or it taking a while to drain from the drainage holes, the soil is probably not draining effectively enough. Many pre-made houseplant soil mixtures are excellent at holding onto the water but tend to drain poorly. That can lead to the soil taking a long time to dry out after watering.
Inorganic additions like perlite or pumice can be added to potting soil for indoor plants to improve drainage and accelerate soil drying. The problem of the soil not drying up quickly enough is primarily avoided by these components, which increase soil aeration, speed up water drainage, and decrease the soil’s overall water-holding capacity.
Lack of air pockets in the soil
It might come as a surprise, but roots require some aeration to breathe and work properly. For instance, worms are great for the garden because they give nutrients, aerate, and allow water to penetrate the soil through their digging. Because of this, indoor plants frequently struggle with stagnant water while outside plants don’t.
You can promote aeration by tilting the plant to one side and then the other without repotting the soil. The air pockets you will have made are crucial for supplying the root system with new oxygen. After trying this technique, keep an eye on the soil around your plant for a few days because air pockets might occasionally promote fungus growth.
Waterlogged plant soil
You might need to report your plant to fix your waterlogged plant-soil problem. Start by removing the plant’s roots and as much wet soil as possible. After that, trim or remove any brown or soggy roots. To prevent the spread of disease, make sure only to use clean pruners or scissors.
Take a pot with a drainage hole. Replant your plant in new soil, but mix in some extra coarse material, like perlite. Doing all this will remove soggy soil and create fresh air spaces, which will trap air in the soil and help the roots breathe easily.
Lack of proper drainage holes
In pots without drainage holes, water added to the pot is stored until it is absorbed by the plant or evaporates. This might keep the soil wet for an extended period. Healthy indoor plants cannot be grown in pots without drainage holes. Yes, it is possible, but it demands strong attention to detail and has a small margin for error.
Choosing a pot with numerous drainage holes near the bottom is far better. Avoid using pots with drainage holes not located directly at the bottom because these can cause water to collect in the bottom.
And remember that the drainage holes should neither be too small nor too big.
The size of the pot
Shockingly, this is a common problem that so many people don’t even recognize as such. Large pots hold much more water because they have a larger soil volume than smaller pots. Select the pot that is roughly the same size as your plants. While giving your plants room to expand is a good idea, too much space can harm their health.
Some important points for planting & How to dry out soil in a pot
- The soil retains water far better in non-porous pot materials like plastic and metal than in porous materials like terracotta. It is possible to drastically speed up how quickly the soil dries up by shifting to a porous substance.
- Check the soil for moisture through the drainage holes at the bottom. This is an excellent technique for plants that like having their soil completely dry before being watered.
- Keep the plant somewhere; it will receive more light. Make sure the light is suitable for the plant you are cultivating in the first place. A plant will use water more quickly if placed in a location with more excellent light.
- If a plant is overwatered and is now suffering, you should not fertilize it. It will only create more problems.
- Use various techniques to determine the soil’s moisture level instead of just one.
Tip: If the pot you want lacks bottom drain holes, you can easily create holes for drainage in it by using a screwdriver.
Plants prefer soil that is neither too wet nor too dry. If the soil in your pot remains wet for an extended period, the plant inside may suffer from root rot. If the root of the plant rots, then the plant cannot absorb water, oxygen, and other minerals from the soil.
It can lead to the death of your plant. You can prevent root rot by keeping the soil dry. You can try the above methods to dry out soil in a pot.
The soil is probably drying slowly for many reasons, but you can keep your plants healthy by making a few modest adjustments to these problems.