Is It Still Possible to Overwater in Fabric Pots?

Fabric pots have many benefits, including enhanced drainage, better aeration, and root pruning. However, can you still overwater plants in fabric pots with these benefits?

It’s still possible to overwater in fabric pots. Excessive moisture can cause the plants to grow mold, among many other problems. Although, better drainage and aeration make this less likely to happen. You should always check the soil before watering.

This article covers what you need to know about overwatering in fabric pots, so you can avoid doing it. These pots also come with benefits that I made sure to discuss. There’s a lot to learn, so let’s begin.

Plants in Fabric Pots Can Be Overwatered

Fabric pots make it harder for plants to take in too much water. The fabric is much more breathable than ceramic, allowing the moisture to evaporate from the soil much faster. This process can help prevent overwatering, so it doesn’t lead to root rot or mold growth.

That said, it’s still possible for plants in fabric pots to become overwatered. If you don’t check the soil before watering, you could add more moisture to wet soil. Doing this too often can cause issues with the plants. Many gardeners are surprised to learn that they can still overwater their plants in fabric grow bags.

Overall, you can still overwater your fabric plants. You’ll want to ensure you recognize the signs of overwatering, so you can give the soil some extra time to dry out.

Signs of Overwatering in Fabric Pots

If you’re overwatering, your plants will start to look different quickly. Here are some of the signs you’ll want to watch for:

  • Wilting
  • Yellow or brown leaves
  • Fungus or mold growth
  • Insects, like gnats, appear around the plant
  • Stunted plant growth
  • Leaves falling off the plant
  • Root rot

You may not be able to see root rot without digging up the plant, but if you notice the other signs of overwatering, you’ll want to check. This disease can kill plants and is difficult to get rid of once it appears.

However, you won’t need to worry about root rot unless you keep the soil of your plants wet at all times. The disease occurs when the roots are constantly moist and can’t take in as much oxygen as they need since they’re surrounded by water.

Overwatering can also lead to mold growth outside the grow bag. It usually only happens when you water the plant so much that it soaks out of the pot consistently. You’ll need to ensure that you give the soil and fabric time to dry before watering your plant again.

Why Overwatering Happens Less in Fabric Pots

It’s harder to overwater plants that you have in fabric pots, but it can still happen. A few different features help deal with excessive moisture in the plant’s soil. So, if you tend to overwater plants in convention planters, making the switch can benefit you.

Overwatering happens less often in fabric pots than in ceramic or plastic ones for several reasons, including: 

Enhanced Drainage

Traditional pots usually offer poor drainage, even when they have a large hole in the bottom. Over time, old water collects in the soil, which can become dangerous for the plant.

Fabric pots offer much better drainage than traditional planters. Water can easily pass through the material without the need for drainage holes. That way, the fabric pot will never have excessive water buildup.

If you overwater the plant, the water will immediately start seeping out of the fabric. That way, the plant won’t stay saturated for too long.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should pour tons of water into the fabric pots. Your plants can benefit from enhanced drainage if you continue watering them normally.

Also, note that your fabric plant should be elevated or on a hard surface to avoid water pooling. I’ve written about this in my full guide about fabric pot placement: Do Fabric Pots Need to Be Elevated? Gardening Info

Better Aeration

Next, fabric pots offer better aeration than ones made from ceramic or plastic. They’re incredibly porous so that air can enter the soil easily. That means the plant can breathe easily, lessening the chances of developing root rot.

Plus, oxygen can help the soil grow healthy bacteria, which makes the soil conditions much better for the plant. If you overwater your plant once, the improved aeration can also help dry the soil out much faster.

The Soil Dries Faster

Lastly, the above two benefits make it possible for the soil in the fabric plant to dry faster overall. It dramatically reduces the odds of overwatering your plant. However, you’ll need to check on it more to ensure it’s not getting too dry.

Since the soil dries faster, overwatering isn’t as big of a problem. It can still happen, but you’ll need to keep overwatering your plant consistently for it to start to develop problems.

Why Is Overwatering Still Possible in Fabric Pots?

Many believe that overwatering isn’t possible in their fabric pots because of the above benefits. However, it’s less likely to happen, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

Overwatering is more likely to happen in fabric pots when you water the plant too frequently. Many gardeners have trouble finding a rhythm for watering their plants in fabric pots since they need to be watered more often. Adding more water to the soil while it’s already moist makes it so the ground never has time to dry.

That means the roots of your plants are always wet. They need some time to dry, or they can quickly begin to form root rot.

Overwatering is still possible, even though it’s less likely to happen in these pots. It usually has more to do with the frequency you water your plants than the amount of moisture you give them.

How To Water Plants in Fabric Pots

Top watering is the best method that you can use to water plants that you’re growing in fabric pots. To do this, you simply pour the water on top of the plant, which you probably already do.

However, the timing of when you water your plants matters, especially when you want to avoid overwatering them. Depending on the plant, you should wait about three to four days before watering it again. If the plant looks dry, you can always water it again before that much time passes.

A reliable technique is to feel the soil. You want to push your finger about two or three inches into the ground to see if it’s still moist. You should water the plant if it feels pretty dry the entire way through. If not, you can recheck the next day.

You can use a soil moisture meter instead. These tools let you know how wet the soil is, which is much more accurate than using your finger.

You should always check on your plants at least once weekly to see if they need more water. Keep in mind that the soil in fabric pots dries out quicker than soil in solid pots since it has more aeration.

Do Fabric Pots Dry Out Faster?

Fabric pots dry out faster than other pots because they’re much more porous. You’ll often need to water your plants more frequently in fabric pots. Since they dry out faster, it reduces overwatering as well.

Overall, you’ll want to make sure that you check on your fabric pots more frequently. They can dry out faster, which can cause your plants to have problems if you don’t water them enough. If this is your first fabric pot, getting used to a new watering routine can take a bit.

Do Plants Grow Better in Fabric Pots?

Plants grow better in fabric pots than in solid pots made of plastic, ceramic, or concrete. The pots increase natural air pruning and the number of roots that the plant grows, causing the plant to absorb nutrients more efficiently. 

When there are more roots, the plant can grow faster, and it’s easier to stay healthy, no matter the soil conditions. Air pruning can even help to prevent the plant from becoming root bound. 

Fabric pots also offer improved draining; the soil dries out much faster, so there’s less overwatering. Overwatering can stunt a plant’s growth, so you won’t have to worry about that happening when you decide to use fabric pots.

So, plants tend to grow better in fabric pots. While your plants can get root bound in any pot, it’s much less likely to happen with fabric pots due to air pruning.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out my root-bound plants and fabric pots: Can Plants Get Root Bound in Fabric Pots?

Final Thoughts

To summarize, fabric pots offer a few benefits that can reduce the chances of you overwatering the plant. However, you can still overwater it! Keeping the soil moist for weeks on end is sure to cause harm to your plants.

As long as you check the soil before watering your plants, you shouldn’t run into any problems. Plus, fabric pots are much better at dealing with overwatering than traditional ones.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of TheGrowingLeaf.com, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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