How to Rescue Plants
You’ve heard of pet rescues, but have you heard of plant rescues?
It turns out that sometimes plants get a rough first start at life, too. But that doesn’t mean they’re unsalvageable.
If you come across a plant that’s looking a little rough, you may be able to revive it. Here’s how…
Remove sick leaves
First thing’s first. When you see a plant that is looking sickly, you can go ahead and cut off any of the leaves that don’t look good. If they’re brown or yellow instead of a vibrant, healthy green, that’s usually a good sign that they need to go.
You’re not going to kill a plant by pruning sick leaves. Many plants can be more resilient than you think if you know the right first aid for them.
Do leave in place any leaves that still look mostly green and healthy. The plant can use those to produce energy for itself. Don’t worry, though, if you need to remove most or all of the leaves. The plant can still recover.
Prune the stems or branches
Now that you’ve removed the leaves, it’s time to prune back the stems in the case of most houseplants, or the branches in the case of small trees kept indoors.
If the stems or branches look dead, cut them back to find where the plant is still moist and healthy inside. This makes it easier for the plant to produce new growth.
Check for pests
Spider mites are one of the most common pests that can kill houseplants. Fortunately, they’re not too difficult to treat if you catch them.
To treat a plant for spider mites, spray each of the leaves with neem oil. The leaves are where the mites will attach themselves to the plant. It’s safe to treat a plant with neem oil even if you’re not sure if it has spider mites, especially since these pests can spread quickly to other plants.
Provide light, water, and nutrients
Once you’ve pruned the plant and gotten rid of all the dead leaves and stems, you can just provide all the usual things a plant needs to thrive: light, water, and nutrients.
Tip: Make sure that you’re not overwatering the plant. Plants that are unhealthy especially benefit from letting the soil dry out completely before watering again because they are more susceptible to root rot.
If the plant still has potential in it to recover, you should see new growth with healthy, green leaves on the plant within a few weeks.
If certain areas don’t seem to be growing, you can try pruning those particular stems or branches again.
If the plant has absolutely no moisture inside when you prune it, then it is unlikely to bounce back at this point. Moisture in the stems or branches indicates a functioning vascular system.
Come into The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights for plant nutrients and other houseplant necessities.