Well, unfortunately, sometimes there is just no helping some dying plants. As I have learned from experience, the one most important chore to remember is to water—but not overwater—your plants. Most people will forget about their plants after a week or so, only to return to find droopy leaves and dry soil. If you catch it in time, there may be help for your plant if it is not dead already.
When trying to revive a dying plant, the first step is to try and discover why the plant is dying so that you can heal it properly. The problem may be attributed to several different causes. Some common causes are:
Once you have determined the problem, treating and preventing the problem will make for happy plants.
Just like humans, plants need a little bit—or a whole lot—of sunlight to make them happy. Sunlight gives them nutrients and food that plants need to survive. Plants make their food through the process of photosynthesis, so they need sunlight to remain healthy. Some plants have greater appetites than others, so it is up to you as the caregiver to provide your plant with the appropriate amount of sunlight—whether it needs a lot of sun, more shade, or partial sunlight.
Some plants can get too much sunlight, which can cause scorching, wilting, or sometimes—ouch!—death. Nobody wants to kill a plant by exposing it to too much sunlight. You can remedy that problem by moving your plant to a shadier area and feeding it some water to “pick it up.” It is amazing what a few drops of water can do!
Yes, it is amazing what water can do…though not always for the best. We all know that plants have a healthy thirst, and most of us love to keep our plants happy. However, watering can become a big hassle, especially when you have lots of plants (not to mention the high water bill during hot, dry summer months!). However, your plants can starve if they do not get enough water, and it is easy to “forget” to water them every day or so. Without enough water, plants can begin to die.
On the other hand, overwatering is the main cause of death of houseplants. Sad isn’t it? Plants breathe through their roots, and when there is too much water in their soil, they can become suffocated and eventually die. Overwatering can cause root rot, which damages not just the roots in contact with too much water, but it can also spread to healthy roots as well.
It is important to be sure your plants do not get too much water or that they are sitting in water drainage. Depending on the type of plant you have, some plants enjoy only the smallest amount of water, so check your plant’s water needs before you begin to feed its thirst.
Root rot…the words sound somewhat gross. The condition may not compare to…oh, say, gangrene…but it can be traumatic to a plant. Root rot is not just caused by too much water, though that is a very common cause; it can also be caused by a root fungus.
The best way to cure your plant of root rot is by removing the plant from the soil that it is in and rinsing it under water. Remember, plants are fragile, so be gentle when handling your little friend. Remove the soil and rotted areas from the roots and allow them to dry. You may have to trim the exposed roots if the damage is particularly bad. You must repot your plant, but make sure that you use a clean pot and dry soil. Do not fertilize the soil or you may risk damaging the plant further.
Some common killers of plants are disease and bugs. There are tons of diseases and bugs out there that are just waiting to feed off your unsuspecting plant, so the best way to prevent a severe problem is by keeping a close watch on your plants. If you spy leaves that are spotted, mottled, discolored, or with other strange intruders, then you may need to try an insecticide.
Plants are a lot like us, at least in the fact that they can become prey to diseases from bacteria, fungi, and viruses. When a plant is attacked by a disease, it will weaken it and usually kill it. Unfortunately, there is practically nothing that can be done for a diseased plant. You would be better to try to prevent further spread of disease than to try to find a cure. Prevention involves measures like ridding of the diseased plant, clearing away dead leaves and debris, and keeping an eye on weak plants that do not seem to be growing well, since they are more susceptible to disease.
All plants need a certain amount of nutrients to keep them healthy and growing properly. That is the reason we fertilize plants. Fertilizer contains important nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all which are essential to plant growth. Too little fertilization will limit the plant’s ability to grow properly, so if your plant is limp and not growing properly, then you may need to fertilize. On the other hand, too much fertilization can cause plant burn, a higher susceptibility to disease, and sometimes even death. Getting just the right amount of fertilizer is important because you want what is best for your plant.
Taking proper care of plants is more than just a hobby; it is a chore. Yet, the results are definitely worth the effort. It is just very important to ensure that your plant is getting the proper amount of sunlight, water, and fertilization necessary for proper growth. You may need to consult advice about how much your plant needs of these essential elements because not all plants require the same amounts. If your plants are not growing as they should, do not give up on them; do some research, take a trip to a local garden and lawn care center, or ask someone who seems to be successful at raising plants. The trick may be something as simple as moving your plant into less sunlight. So go grow your plants and enjoy spending time with your little friends!