HOUSE PLANT RESCUE | HOW TO REVIVE DYING HOUSE PLANTS!
How to Revive a Plant
Plants can add a natural decorative touch to your home or freshen up your yard. However, every plant has different needs, so it can be difficult to keep them constantly thriving. If you have a plant that needs reviving, identify the issue, water the plant properly, change the plant’s environment, and take good care of the plant’s leaves.
Identifying the Problem
Identify under-watering by shriveled leaves.If your plant’s leaves are shriveled up, then you may not be watering your plant enough. You may also notice that many of the leaves are falling off of the plant if this is the case.
Touch the soil to determine moisture level.Take a handful of dirt from a few inches below the surface, and squeeze it in your hand. If the soil clumps together and stains your skin, the soil is very moist. You may be overwatering. If the soil falls apart without staining your skin, the soil is dry. You may need to water more.
Identify over-watering by dampness and droopiness.If your plant is very wilted and droopy, it might be unhealthy as a result of over-watering. Another way to tell this is by feeling the soil just below the surface. If it’s very damp, then you may be giving your plant too much water.
Check the roots for root rot.Over-watering keeps the soil continuously moist and prevents your plant from getting enough oxygen. This can cause root rot. Carefully remove your plant from the ground or its pot and observe the roots. If they’re dark, mushy, and fall apart when you touch them, your plant probably has root rot.
Recognize scorched plants by dark and/or bleached patches.Discolored patches often form on the leaves of plants that have been exposed to too much sunlight. These patches are typically either very dark or very light in color.
Recognize overly shaded plants by their pale leaves.Your plant may be struggling because it’s not getting enough sunlight. If this is the case, then the leaves are most likely much paler and smaller than they use to be.
Look up care information for your plant.Different types of plants need to be cared for in different ways. While herbs and vegetables thrive when they’re exposed to a lot of sunlight, excessive sun causes issues for ferns. Either go online or head to a local nursery to find care information specific to your plant.
Watering the Plant
Soak the plant.Unless you find that the problem is root rot, a good soak can improve your struggling plant’s health. If the plant isn’t potted, then water it thoroughly with a garden hose until the water begins to pool on top of the soil instead of soaking in. If you have a potted plant, fill a bucket or sink with cold water and put the pot in the water for a couple of hours.
- If you find that your plant is severely scorched, soak it multiple times each day until you start to notice an improvement. Move it to an area with more shade to protect it from the sun.
Add water-storing crystals to dry plants.If you’ve found that your plant’s suffering is the result of dryness although you water your plant often, consider putting water-storing crystals in the soil. These crystals are made to help soil retain water, so they should help your plant better handle the periods of time between waterings.
Water the soil, not the plant.Watering the plant itself can lead to fungal disease. In order to keep the plant protected, make sure to only pour the water directly on the soil.
Monitor the soil closely and provide water as needed.Watering properly requires a delicate balance. Both watering too much and not enough can harm your plant. To ensure that your plant gets the right amount, always touch the soil and make sure it’s dry before you water the plant.
- For a rough estimate of the moisture level, stick a finger down into the soil. If it feels dry, you may need to water more.
- Research the plant’s watering needs and consistently water only at the recommended frequency.
Water less frequently during the winter months.Make sure to water your plant less in the winter time than you do during other seasons. The plant needs less water during this time because winter is its dormant phase.
Changing the Plant’s Environment
Re-pot your plant with fresh soil.Sometimes soil can become hydrophobic and begin to repel water if it’s dry for too long. Because of this, it’s a good idea to carefully remove your plant from its pot or from the ground, remove the soil, and replace it with fresh soil. You can put the plant back in the same location, but if it fails to thrive, you can try putting it in a new location.
- You will need to transplant indoor potted plants every few years. This will ensure that they continue to grow and thrive.
Test the nutrients of the soil.Go to a local nursery, get a soil nutrient-testing kit, and follow the directions carefully. Different types of plants often need more or less of certain nutrients in order to thrive. By testing the soil, you’ll be able to find out if your plant is getting the nutrients it needs.
- For example, high levels of Nitrogen will increase leaf growth but diminish the number of flowers or fruits a plant has.
Test the pH of the soil.You can also buy a soil pH-testing kit at a local nursery, or sometimes the nutrient and pH tests will come together in a kit. The pH test will determine how basic or acidic your soil is. It’s important that the pH is at the right level for your specific plant because if it’s off, then your plant may not be able to take in the nutrients available to it.
Switch out the current soil for better soil.Your plant could be having a hard time simply because its soil isn’t nutritious enough. If you don’t suspect that anything else is making your plant’s health decline, carefully remove your plant from the ground or pot that it’s in and replace the current soil with a high-quality potting mix.
- Choose a soil with a high organic material content. This soil will help your plant grow for many seasons. Commercial brands with lower organic content may only last for one season.
Give the plant fertilizer.If you find that your plant’s soil has low nutrient levels, then you may need to add some fertilizer to the soil. Get a “slow release” fertilizer to make sure that the plant isn’t fed too much too fast. Follow the directions that come with the fertilizer in order to add the right amount to the soil.
Adjust the soil’s pH if necessary.If you find that your plant’s soil is too basic, lower the pH by adding compost or a mixture of equal parts cold coffee and water to the soil.If you realize that the soil is too acidic, add Dolomite Lime, ground oyster shell, or dried, crushed egg shells to the soil to raise the pH.
Relocate scorched plants to a shadier area.If you think that your plant is having issues because it’s getting too much sun, relocate it to somewhere more shaded. If your plant is in a garden outside, carefully remove it from the soil and replant it in a shadier part of the yard, such as nearby a tree. If your plant is potted, simply pick up the pot and take it to a shadier area of your home or yard.
Relocate overly shaded plants to a sunnier area.If you think that your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight, move it to a sunnier area instead. If the plant is kept in your yard, move it away from any big trees and make sure it isn’t stuck in the shadow of your home. If your plant is kept inside, move it closer to a window with plenty of sunlight.
- In the northern hemisphere, windows facing south get the most sunlight; in the southern hemisphere, northern windows get the most.
- If the plant requires partial shade, you should put it in an east facing window.
Move the plant to a greenhouse for a few days.Your plant may need a more humid environment in order to thrive. If you have access to a greenhouse, cover the plant with a plastic bag and keep it in the greenhouse for 4-5 days.
Taking Care of the Plant’s Leaves
Wipe pests off of the plant.Insects such as spider mites, fruit flies, and fungus gnats often gravitate towards plants. To keep them from damaging your plant, wipe down the leaves with a cloth dampened with water whenever you see insects on them.
- If this doesn’t keep insects off of your plant’s leaves, consider dampening the cloth with insecticidal soap mixed with water.
Trim the dead parts of the plant.If your plant has a lot of dead leaves and stems, trim them off. This way, nutrients will only go towards the healthy parts of the plant instead of being wasted on the dead parts.
Mist your plant if it’s kept indoors.Put some tepid water in a spray bottle and give your plant a conservative spritz from time to time. This can give your plant the extra humidity that it may need. Misting regularly will keep your plant’s leaves from drying out and will also prevent dust from collecting on them.
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