How to Deal with Overwatering Cannabis Seedlings?


Overwatering cannabis seedlings is a prevalent issue that many cultivators encounter. If your seedlings appear droopy and exhibit signs of unexpected nutrient deficiencies, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps to address and rectify the problem of overwatering.

Symptoms for Overwatering Cannabis Seedlings

  • Droopiness
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Slow growth
  • The soil never dries out

When a cannabis plant is called “overwatered” it is not related to the water, it has more to do with oxygen. We can prove this because you can also grow plants in hydroponics and in hydroponics plants can still get dissolved oxygen from the water. But if we put the plants in a container plants will struggle to pull oxygen from the soil if it is too wet. So, technically, overwatering means you’re depriving your plants of oxygen.

When the roots of plants are soaked, any oxygen will be quickly consumed. Without enough oxygen for the roots your plants will go into oxygen deprivation and the leaves will start to turn, droop, curl, engorge, and the plant will die. Don’t worry though: you can prevent overwatering relatively easily. Since you already have an idea of what overwatering cannabis seedlings look like, let’s find out how to solve this problem.

5 Reasons That Cause Overwatering Cannabis Seedlings

  1. Giving too much water to your plants at any given time

Plants can only take in a limited amount of water at any given time. If you’re watering too often your plants will suffer.


Make a watering schedule and follow it; it’s better to water every few days.

  • When your plants are small, water in a small circle around the base of the seedling.
  • If your cannabis needs about more than 3 days to dry, it means you’re overwatering. Trying to give your plants less water each time you water them.
  1. Watering too frequently

After watering your roots will gather oxygen immediately. If the roots sit in the water the oxygen will be used up quickly and the roots will start to drown. Keep moisture on your roots but don’t soak them too much. The inexperienced grower often gets the idea of more water = better but unfortunately, this is not true. Roots are healthiest when they are moist but not drowning, so they can still take up water.


Wait until the top inch of the soil is dry

Before watering the plants, make sure the top inch of the soil is dry by sticking your finger into the soil. Sometimes this can take a few days so just check it — if it’s moist don’t water.

Increase the number of air pockets

Mixing in a “lighter” media like perlite to the potting mix can help. Perlite will allow the mix to hold more oxygen and drain water faster.

Provide air from the sides

Transplant your plant to a container that allows air in from the sides like fabric pots (we recommend “Smart Pots”) or air pots.

Water less when it’s cold

When the weather starts to get cold your plants do not need that much water. If you water like you do during the summer your plants will be overwatered.

  1. Pot Too Big (Big Pot, Small Seedling)

When you put a small plant in a big grow bag, it’s easy for your plants to be overwatered.


Start the seedling in a small container and then transplant it once it gets too large into a bigger container. It’s better to start small and then move to a bigger one.

Why don’t you want to put your cannabis seed directly into a 5-gallon pot?

  1. Pot Too Small (Small Pot, Big Seedling)

A large container will cause problems, but in small containers, If the seedling isn’t moved from the small pot to a bigger container in time, it can cause symptoms of overwatering, being rootbound, nutrient deficiencies, wilting, and sometimes very strange and unpredictable symptoms.


Start small and transplant! Don’t be afraid to move it—we’ve written an article on transplanting so be sure to check that out.

  1. No Drainage on the bottom of the pot (Overwatering Cannabis Seedlings)

The roots of plants need oxygen to thrive, so if there’s no drain on the bottom of the container, the roots will drown.


Make sure there are enough drainage holes on the bottom of the pot.

Overwatering Cannabis Seedlings


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

And be sure to check out our other blog posts for useful tips on becoming a great grower!

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