Help! How to Rescue a Dying House Plant

If your plant is sick, follow these steps to save it.

If your plant is sick, follow these steps and you may be able to save it.

So, you received a beautiful house plant for your birthday – one that was guaranteed to be indestructible. But, it’s dying anyway. You told the gift-giver that you have a “black thumb”, but they didn’t listen, and now you’re trying to be philosophical about the death of what was once a beautiful plant. Don’t give up! There are ways to rescue a house plant that’s dying.

Look for Bugs

Now, when you purchase a plant from a reputable company, you won’t have any trouble with bugs. But, it is not uncommon for bugs to migrate from one plant to another, infecting every plant in the house. In addition, if you have your plant sitting on the porch or in an opened window, it can get bugs that way.

You may think that there aren’t any bugs on that plant – it’s just spotted. If you see little brown spots, see if they rub off. Chances are, it is some little bug that is sucking the life out of your plant. There are commercial pesticides that will kill these bugs. But, you don’t always have to use chemicals. Some mites and aphids can be rinsed off regularly. You can also handpick pests from plants, or use the yellow sticky traps.

Check the Watering Instructions

It is easy to overwater a houseplant. Many people who feel like they kill plants easily usually try too hard, and end up drowning the plant. Plants that constantly have wet roots will develop root rot, which is deadly. The best way to combat a root rot is to trim the plant back as far as you can, and repot it in clean, barely moist soil. Trim off as much of the rotted root ball as you can before you replant it, and give it a dose of root stimulator. This might save the plant.

On the other hand, you may have a plant that appears limp. If it is a green, leafy plant, and it seems to be limp and lifeless, with a few yellow leaves here and there, it needs a drink. Water the plant a little bit, then come back and give it a good drink of water a little later. The small drink of water will moisten the soil, making it swell up a little bit and surround the roots better. Then, when you come back with a larger drink of water, the soil will hold on to the water better. Otherwise, the soil is so dry that the water will just run through the dirt into the tray below. There will be little benefit to the plant.

Check the Light and Look for Drafts

If a plant requires indirect sunlight, it needs to be in a bright room, but out of direct sunshine. Anything else will kill it. In addition, some plants may suffer dieback in specific areas due to draft from air conditioning or heater vent location. If the top of a tall plant is in direct line to the heater vent, it could appear to be dying.

Sometimes, a house plant is so sick that it can’t be saved. Following these steps can help you determine if your plant is gone for good or can be brought back to life. If you’ve said goodbye to a beloved houseplant recently, treat yourself to a new one, delivered right to your door by Giving Plants!

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