What Does An Overwatered Mandevilla Look Like? 7 Key Signs

Worried that your Mandevilla might be overwatered? In this article, we’ll look at seven key signs of an overwatered Mandevilla and what you can do; so, what does an overwatered Mandevilla look like?

The most obvious sign that your Mandevilla has been overwatered is wilting, yellowing leaves. There are other signs that are more difficult to notice, however, such as a slow growth rate and a lack of flowers.

Keep reading to learn the symptoms of overwatered Mandevillas, what it means for your plant, and how you can get your plant back to full health.

How To Know If Your Mandevilla Is Overwatered

It shouldn’t be very difficult to tell if your Mandevilla is overwatered.

The most obvious sign is wilting leaves that are turning yellow, which is different from underwatered, where the leaves would turn brown and crispy instead.

You’ll also be able to tell from the soil as well. If the soil is wet at the surface and not draining well, then it has been overwatered. There are several other signs to look out for, however, which we’ve covered in the list below.

If you aren’t sure whether overwatering is causing your Mandevilla to die, check out our guide for seven things that can kill Mandevillas, including overwatering and much more.

7 Signs Of An Overwatered Mandevilla

Some symptoms of overwatering are much more obvious than others, so here are seven to look out for.

1. Wilting Leaves

Wilting leaves are one of the earliest signs of an overwatered Mandevilla.

Overwatered soil suffocates the roots, which slows down the transport of nutrients and moisture to the leaves, causing them to wilt.

2. Yellowing Leaves

Shortly after wilting, the leaves may also start to turn yellow as well.

This happens as a by-product of the lack of nutrients and moisture and leaves that turn yellow will slowly die.

3. Slow Overall Growth

A slow growth rate is to be expected in overwatered conditions, again due to the lack of nutrients and moisture reaching the leaves.

This should be noticeable during the growing season as Mandevillas are capable of growing really quickly when given the right conditions (up to 10 feet per season).

4. Wet Soil

If the soil is wet on the surface, there’s a very high chance that your Mandevilla has been overwatered.

You can also check below the surface to see just how overwatered the soil is; just be careful not to damage the roots.

5. Mushy Stem

A mushy stem is a clear indication of overwatering and a sign that your Mandevilla has suffered significant damage as a result of the overwatering as well.

Overwatering can lead to root rot if it isn’t dealt with, as the roots will suffocate and die in excess water.

Root rot can also occur due to fungi in the soil that is favored in overwatered conditions, but the result is the same in both cases.

After a while, the rot can spread into the stem of a Mandevilla, causing it to turn mushy. At this stage, there is little chance of saving the entire plant, but more on that later.

6. Lack Of Flowers/Dying Flowers

Overwatered Mandevilla plants will not bloom as often as you would expect.

A yellow Mandevilla flower up close

Existing flowers will also start to die off quickly as the plant lacks vital nutrients like phosphorus that promote and support blooming.

7. Pests/Disease

Overwatering can create an ideal environment for pests and diseases to thrive.

Lots of pests are attracted to the excess moisture that is created by overwatering, particularly at the surface of the soil or on parts of the plant if you mist your Mandevilla.

We already covered root rot, but mold or fungus may also start to grow on the surface of the soil or on parts of the plant if there is excess moisture. Leaf spot, for example, spreads due to excess moisture.

Causes Of Overwatered Mandevillas

Watering too much is obviously the main reason why Mandevillas end up overwatered in the first place, but it can become much more likely due to other factors that you might not have considered.

Inadequate Drainage (Drainage Holes & Soil)

If your Mandevilla is showing signs of overwatering, one possible cause could be inadequate drainage. In order to avoid this issue, make sure that your pot has sufficient drainage holes and that you are using the appropriate type of soil.

A well-draining potting soil mixture is crucial for your Mandevilla plant, as it helps prevent excess water from suffocating the roots. Look for soil that contains materials like perlite, coarse sand, or peat moss to aid in drainage.

Additionally, it’s important to check that the drainage holes in the pot are not clogged or covered. This can prevent water from draining properly, leading to overwatered conditions. Regularly inspect the holes and ensure they are clear, allowing excess water to escape.

You can also simply check for water escaping the holes when you water if it isn’t easy to get access to them.

Excess Watering

Excess watering is the most common reason for overwatered Mandevillas, unsurprisingly.

Mandevilla plants generally prefer to have their soil slightly moist but not soggy. To achieve this, you may need to adjust your watering frequency according to the season and the environment. It’s best to water them when the top inch of soil dries out.

A red Mandevilla vine

In hotter and drier conditions, you might need to water your plant more often, while during cooler months or in areas with higher humidity, less frequent watering may be necessary.

Effects Of Overwatering On Mandevilla Plants

Overwatering can cause significant harm to your Mandevilla plants in the form of diseases like root rot and pest infestations.

Root Rot & Other Diseases

Root rot and other diseases can be extremely harmful to Mandevillas, especially if they are not addressed quickly.

Root rot, for example, can quickly kill off all of the roots, leading to the eventual death of the plant.

Diseases like leaf spot will spread between leaves quickly and kill them off as well, so it’s important to monitor for signs of disease before its too late.

Pest Infestations

Overwatered mandevilla plants can attract various pests, including aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs:

  • Aphids: These small, soft-bodied insects cluster on new growth and the underside of leaves.
  • Spider Mites: These tiny, spider-like creatures are visible as fine webbing on leaves, which may also turn yellow or reddish-brown.
  • Mealybugs: These pests resemble tiny white cottony masses on leaves and stems.

These pests feed on the plant’s sap found in the leaves, eventually killing off leaves. They will also leave behind honeydew residue after feeding which is a breeding ground for sooty mold.

How To Save An Overwatered Mandevilla

If your Mandevilla has been significantly overwatered, you will need to follow the steps below to give it the best chance of recovery.

Assessing the Damage

First, take a close look at your mandevilla plant to identify any signs of overwatering, such as discoloration in the leaves.

If the leaves are severely wilted and discolored, there’s a very good chance that root rot is affecting the roots.

Pruning Leaves & Flowers

Before reporting and pruning the roots, remove any damaged or unhealthy leaves and flowers.

This will allow the plant to focus its energy on producing new, healthy growth. When pruning, use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts close to the stem.


Once the leaves are pruned, gently dig your Mandevilla out of the soil and pull the root ball out.

Inspect the roots for signs of root rot:

  • Mushy Roots
  • Discolored Roots
  • Roots Emitting A Foul Odor

Any affected roots will need to be pruned with a pair of sterilized pruning shears. Treat the rest of the healthy roots (if there are any) with fungicide and repot in fresh soil to prevent any further spread of root rot.

Use a well-draining soil mix that contains peat moss and sand.

What If All The Roots Are Dead?

If all the roots have died, repotting the main plant will not work.

Instead, take cuttings and propagate them. Not that this can only be done from an established plant that has bloomed for at least one season.

Adjusting Watering Practices

After you’ve pruned and repotted your overwatered Mandevilla, it’s important to adjust your watering practices to prevent future issues. Mandevilla plants generally prefer their soil to be consistently moist but not waterlogged.

To achieve this, water your plant thoroughly until water drains from the bottom of the pot, and then allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering again.

In Summary

You should now be able to not only identify the signs of overwatering on your Mandevilla but address them before your plant suffers a lot of damage.

Remember to adjust your watering schedule based on the weather, and always check the top inch of soil to make sure it is dry before watering.

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About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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