The spooky season is upon us, but ghouls and ghosts aren't the scariest things around for plant parents... dying plants is far more terrifying! We are all guilty of the occasional bought of plant neglect; going on holiday, working away from home, or just being busy can mean temporary plant abandonment. However, most plants can be brought back from the brink with a bit of TLC! You will need to be able to see some signs of life: for example, some green leaves and soft stems. If you can see these things, read on for our top tips to revive your plants...
Plants that get too much water will be wilting and will feel pulpy, with browning and yellowing leaves. These may even be indications of the notorious root rot settling in (TERRIFYING). Firstly, you'll need to stop watering your plants. The next step is improving drainage - after removing the plant gently from the soil, use some pebbles or hydrokorrels and place a layer about 2 inches deep at the base of your pot.
This will make sure that your roots aren't going to be sitting in water, which is the deadly part of overwatering. Sitting in water prevents the roots from drawing oxygen from the soil, and essentially suffocates the plant.
Photo credit: @zoskavivi on IG.
There is no one-size-fits-all with watering plants - each plant will have different needs, so they need to be monitored carefully. As a general rule, succulents and cacti need to be watered very infrequently - less is more. With all other plants, check our care information for watering requirements, which can be found on all our plant products pages online. For example, Calathea's will die if they're given tap water, they need filtered water or rainwater to survive.
Let there be light! Light is one of the most important things to get right with a plant, as it is their food source - the plant uses light to photosynthesize. You're plant will have yellowing leaves if it isn't getting enough light, and when these leaves turn brown they've crossed over into the plant afterlife.
Another sign of not enough light is leggy growth - this is when leaves grow far apart and the plant looks sparse, and some plants will have stems that grow really long, as they're trying to 'reach' sunlight. If you notice any of these signs, your plant needs more light ASAP.
However, don't move your plant into direct sunlight too quickly, as this can make the plant go into shock. Gradually move you plant closer to a natural light
source, until it's in an area to suit its
requirements (which is typically bright,
indirect sunlight). Wiping the leaves down Photo credit: @plantinazym on IG
with a damp cloth every few days is a good
habit to get into, as this really helps your plants absorb light better.
What's that coming over the hill? It's a... spider mite! Forget vampires, spider mites and their entourage of nasty friends are the real life-drainers. Pests can be common houseplant killers, but luckily there are methods to get rid of them. Pests damage plants in different ways - for example, fungus gnats (small dark flies) lay eggs which can damage the roots of a plant. Spider mites suck at the sap in leaves, draining the plant of its nutrients. Many pests can kill a plant, given enough time.
Photo credit: @koppertbiologicalsystems on IG.
So, how to stop them in their tracks? Firstly, quarantine your plant away from any others in your home, as you don't want your infestation spreading. Any leaves that have been damaged need to be pruned away - this leaf on the right is an example of one that should be pruned.
Now for treatment! Giving your plants a thorough spray of organic pesticide is the best method for getting rid of these nasty guys.
We recommend using SB Plant Invigorator, as it is a three-in-one pesticide, Photo credit: @plantannaplant on IG
plant food, and anti-mildew
spray. Once the plant is sprayed fully, give it a daily spray for a week or so, or until the pests have died off or have evacuated.
Water, light, and pests are the big houseplant killers, but if you've tried all of these tips and you still don't notice an improvement, drop us a message on our social media or our plant care specific email, firstname.lastname@example.org , or pop in-store and have a chat with our Plant Experts! We're always happy to help. Happy plant resurrecting!