5 Reasons Of My Garden Soil Not Drying Out

Your plants rely heavily on the quality of the soil in which they are grown. As a result, the plants receive the nutrients they require for optimal growth and flourishing.

But the soil in your plant’s pot can accumulate dirt and mold over time. This will make it difficult for the soil to dry and for the plant to absorb its much-needed nutrients. Making sure the soil is dry is the first step in fixing your plant’s soil condition.

If the soil in your potted plant doesn’t dry out fast, it’s likely because you’ve overwatered it and there aren’t adequate drainage holes in the container.

It may also be because the temperature is too low, causing poor evaporation, or the plant isn’t getting enough light.

Reasons why the soil is not drying out:

Soil may take a long time to dry up for a number of reasons, including decreased water use by the plant, excessive water loss via evaporation or transpiration, or poor drainage. If the following occurs, you can expect your soil to dry out more slowly.

  1. Containers without drainage holes

You may find that the soil is not drying out despite your best efforts. The pot may be causing this issue. Drainage holes are not included in all containers. Most decorative planters are solid, without drainage holes.

The lack of drainage holes in a container prevents excess water from escaping and causes the soil within to get soggy. This causes the ground to get soggy and stay wet for a long time.

There should be adequate drainage holes in the pots. Otherwise, the water won’t evaporate, and the soil won’t dry properly.

Compared to porous materials like terracotta, non-porous pot materials like metal and plastic better retain water in the soil. Changing to a more porous substance can substantially accelerate the drying of the soil.

  1. Low temperatures and low light

The soil can retain moisture for much longer after you water it in low-light settings. Water added to the soil may sit there for a long time if you grow the plants in low light. This is because they won’t be able to use it.

By relocating your plants to a more light-filled area, you’ll notice accelerated growth and a significant reduction in soil drying time.

It’s easy to overwater houseplants when there isn’t enough light, making low light one of the leading causes of indoor plant death.

Low temperatures reduce evaporation and drastically damage or stress the plants. This decreases their ability to use water in the soil.

  1. Huge pots and poor ventilation

It’s not uncommon for us to overpot our houseplants. The soil in huge containers takes a long time to dry. The soil in large pots can take a long time to dry up. It will take a longer period for a smaller plant to fully absorb all the water in the soil.

The size of the plant should determine the pot you select. The correct container can store the required quantity of soil and provide rapid water absorption. The soil will dry out appropriately as a result.

The soil will take longer to dry up if air circulation is restricted around your plants since less water will evaporate and transpire. You can minimize the risk of overwatering by increasing airflow with a fan or simply opening a window.

  1. Poorly drained soil

Some soil materials are much slower at draining excess water. This prevents the soil from drying out, so it stays wet for a long time.

When watering a plant, if you notice that the water sits on the soil’s surface or stays muddy for long periods of time, the issue is likely with the soil.

The drainage quality of pre-made soil mixes can degrade with time, even if they are good at retaining water.

You can improve the drainage system by adding sphagnum moss, vermiculite, peat moss, or perlite. These ingredients can either retain or drain moisture, depending on the situation.

  1. Plant location and soil quality

It is essential to provide adequate lighting and pick an attractive location for your plant. Most indoor plants will thrive near a window with light and air circulation.

But they do not need constant direct sunlight, which can cause leaf burn. Avoid putting your plant anywhere simply because you think it would fit.

Not all soils are created equal; some are notoriously slow to dry up. If your plant has adequate pot drainage, temperature, and light but water still lingers on the surface for long periods of time or the air is humid, the soil is likely the main issue; therefore, be sure to get good-quality soil.

Tips to ensure that you inspect the soil for dryness properly:

  • Stick a dry skewer in the ground. After ten seconds, take it out to see if it’s wet. You’ll know very quickly if the ground is still wet below the surface.
  • Check for dampness by inserting your fingers into the drainage holes in the bottom. Plants that prefer to completely dry their soil out before being watered would greatly benefit from this technique.
  • The pot’s weight should be inspected. The pot’s weight will eventually lead you to the realization that the plant needs watering. There is a considerable disparity between what soil weighs when dry and when wet.
  • Moisture meters are useful to some people. They are effective on bigger containers.
  • Instead of touching the soil’s surface, it is best to stick your finger down a couple of inches to check for moisture.

How to dry plant soil quickly

Indoor plant owners know the frustration of dealing with wet soil on their potted plants. Now that we know why the soil in your houseplants won’t dry, we can discuss solutions.

Sometimes repotting isn’t an option when a plant has accumulated too much water. For instance, if you have a giant pot plant, repotting it will be your weekly exercise. Let’s check out some ways to speed up soil drying around the plants.

Key ways to dry out the soil quickly:

Good pot drainage

Overwatered soil can be remedied primarily by ensuring the container has adequate drainage.

In most cases, this can be determined by watering the pot and seeing whether or not the water drains freely from the bottom. Whether water drains slowly or not, the soil is likely clogged and holding a lot of water.

In this situation, you can either:

  • Repot with fresh soil
  • Drill the bottom of the pot further with a drill.

Add a fast-acting treatment agent.

A quick and easy technique to reduce the water in your soil is to use a chemical agent like hydrated lime or quicklime.

Too damp soil will benefit from the lime’s chemical reaction, making it more workable. This is a chemical reaction, but it’s made with all-natural lime products, so it won’t hurt your plants in any way.

One of the most typical issues with indoor gardening is overwatering, which can lead to root rot. It will make a huge difference if you provide your plants with the right pots, soil, and lighting to avoid this.

Add compost

Soil health can be improved, and water retention can be decreased, simply by adding compost. By breaking down those areas where water pools and collects, natural compost will help spread that water throughout the entire garden.

The soil will greatly benefit from the addition of compost material such as algae, and plant vitality will increase substantially. When applied to clay soil, this method greatly enhances drainage.

Create air pockets around your plant

Aeration in the soil is necessary for plant roots to thrive. This is why it’s important to plant in well-aerated soil suited to the plant species. Water accumulation in a plant pot can also be due to using the incorrect type of soil.

There is no risk to the plant from trying to aerate the soil a little more if you are unclear about the current level of aeration. Tip the pot to one side, let it rest for a minute, and then flip it over to complete the process.

Soil may become dislodged from the surface of the plant container as a result of this shifting. The improved air circulation around the plant’s roots will supply the roots with oxygen. The soil will dry up quicker because of the increased ventilation.


Overwatering, insufficient sunlight, and inadequate drainage holes are the most typical factors preventing the soil of houseplants from drying out. Plants require attention, and you should check the condition of your plant soil frequently.

There are many varieties of plants, so it’s important to learn as much as possible about the one you intend to grow and the soil in which it will thrive.