Save Your Overwatered Plants: Good tip for lots of plants

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Save Your Overwatered Plants

By Paul2032
December 30, 2011

When you buy houseplants, especially African Violets, they have often been overwatered and may be standing in water. If the plant still looks healthy and appealing, go ahead and buy it, and when you get it home, put it on several layers of folded paper towel and wick out as much water as possible, sometimes repeating with fresh paper towel several times. It is often amazing how much water they contain. Then don't water them for several days.

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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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Dec 29, 2011 6:18 PM CST

Plants Admin

This is a good tip, Paul. I've found that it applies to many plants. The miniature roses and lewisias sold in grocery stores usually are potted in a medium that holds far too much moisture for the plants to survive long-term. I usually repot them as soon as possible or plant them in the ground, but first I shake off as much of the original planting medium as I can.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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Dec 29, 2011 6:51 PM CST
Great tip! I also find that plants sold in most garden centers nowadays are in a potting medium that is very water retentive, most of the time to the point of being extremely soggy. As soon as a new plant comes into my house I remove it from it's container, wash away all soil and repot it in my own mix.
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Name: Michael Hicks
Clermont, Fl
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Dec 29, 2011 9:00 PM CST
great tip never thought about paper towels

Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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Dec 30, 2011 12:48 PM CST
Is this maybe what's going on with the cilantro I've purchased potted in the supermarket?
I have tried THREE times.
I don't often kill things but these just won't make it.
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Dec 30, 2011 2:46 PM CST
It could be....often plants at retail stores are either over watered or under watered, got chilled in shipping. or are stressed by leaving an ideal growing condition to one of more stress. AVs seemed to get over watered. I think some of them get daily water as I only water every 4 or 5 days/
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Jan
St. Pete,FL
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Dec 30, 2011 5:31 PM CST
I actually "educated" one of the garden clerks at Walmart one day as all the AV's were sitting in over an inch of water and then proceeded to move them to dry ground. She joined in and helped and admitted she was told to "water everything" but no one told her how or how much. I told her that in general, it wasn't good to let any plants stand in water and better to err on the dry side than the wet side. She appreciated the help.

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