In horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands (HSSF-CWs), the main operational problem is clogging of the porous medium. In this study, the unclogging of HSSF-CWs was evaluated, at rest, by adding a nitrogen-based nutrient solution to the influent. For this, six HSSF-CWs were used, consisting of two uncultivated (CW-C), two cultivated with Tifton 85-grass (Cynodon spp.) (CW-T) and two cultivated with alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) (CW-A), which were fully clogged after being used for the treatment of swine wastewater. The results indicated that passage of the nutrient solution for 55 days through the bed of the HSSF-CWs resulted in reductions of 11 and 33%, respectively, in the total volatile solids (TVS) concentration of fine clogging material in the CW-T and CW-A. With regard to the TVS content of the coarse clogging material, the reduction was even greater, being 33% for CW-T and 62% for CW-A. Measurements of K0 made along the beds (thirds 1, 2 and 3) before and after passage of the nutrient solution in the CWs indicated respective increases of 7, 13 and 0.1% in CW-C; 21, 11 and 7% in CW-T; and 52%, 6% and -6% (decrease) in CW-A. Runoff of the nutrient solution decreased gradually over time, presenting at the beginning of the experiment 26, 35 and 150 cm, and at the end (after 55 days of application) 0, 0 and 50 cm in the flow direction of the CW-C and CW-T and CW-A, respectively.