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House Plants/Kalanchoe over-watered?


"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."

Hi Helen,

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.

I have written detailed articles on repotting and on watering that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

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