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I have a large rubber plant that I re-potted in a larger pot with drainage holes and placed one of the water saucers/catchers underneath. I water the plant once a week and I've noticed the water is standing in the catcher, not evaporating. All the other house plants are set up the same way, no problems. Also, I didn't have this problem before I repotted the plant and it was set up the same way.

What could be causing it not to evaporate?

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I'm not an expert on house plants - strictly an outdoor plant grower but here's what I know is for certain:

The water in your rubber tree's saucer is evaporating just like it is in all the other plants' saucers. There's just more water there than you think there should be.

Now, some questions I would have are:

How's the moisture level in the soil overall? If you put your finger down into the soil an inch or two, is it moist?

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that it might be that the medium in which the plant is in is allowing the water to run right through the pot and not holding onto it. If that's the case, you'll need to make sure that the planting medium gets thoroughly moist. I had this occur with some container plants I had outdoors. The medium wasn't moist enough and most of the water just ran down the sides of the pots.

I've heard of folks submerging the entire plant pot under water to eliminate the air bubbles and thoroughly soak everything and then let it drain off the excess, but I've not done this personally.

  • Hi Matt, thanks for responding. Not to sound like an idiot (smile) because im not an expert, plain English, medium??? Are you referring to the pot or soil?? I do submerge my potted plants with water outside and let them drain but this indoor plant is TOO big to move about. I guess I could roll it out the door every weekend and water it and see if it still does that. – user2342 Jun 9 '13 at 4:48
  • Medium means compost I'm fairly sure - if the compost/medium is very damp or wet, I'm afraid you need to remove the saucer and empty it after watering, and empty it again if more water collects. If you've repotted into a larger container, the plant may well not need all the water present in the compost - it runs out into the saucer, and continues to seep out over time, which is why its not 'evaporating'. If the compost is very wet, reduce your watering for the time being, water only when the surface of the compost is dry to the touch, and water well, emptying out any excess after 30 minutes. – Bamboo Jun 9 '13 at 14:39
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    The planting medium is what the plant grows in - the soil mixture. Yeah, you wouldn't need to do that submerging thing every time - I'm sure folks don't do that - just the first time. What you're going for is a soil that will hold onto some moisture but not drown the roots. To reiterate my guess to the problem, the planting medium (soil) is allowing the water to wash right through it. Again, I don't know much of anything about house plants but my guess is that the soil's not holding onto much of the water for one reason or another. – itsmatt Jun 9 '13 at 20:02
  • the wetness or not of the compost in the pot is a guide - sopping wet, overwatered; dry with water in the saucer, compost is too dry and needs soaking. My money's on the first one... – Bamboo Jun 9 '13 at 22:48

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