[How to revive plants] 3 common problems + solutions

Posted By: Manuel Gaviño In: Plant care Comment: 0 Hit: 2752

Are your plants withered? We tell you what to do depending on the case (if it is due to lack of irrigation, excess or pests)

If you are reading this post, it is most likely that your case is one of these:

  • You have returned from holiday and you have found your plants withered.
  • You've overwatered and drowned your pots.
  • One of your plants is wilting because it suffers from a pest.

And that is why you have entered Google to search for “How to revive a plant”.

Well, don't worry, because you have reached the right post.

Here we are going to explain what to do in these cases to recover your plants and make them healthy and vigorous again.

Shall we start?

How to revive dried plants after the holidays

First: stay calm.

Even if you see your plants withered and dry, many times the problem is not as serious as it seems. As long as the roots and most of the plant is intact, it is possible to save it and grow it back.

We tell you how to do it.

1. Why has your plant dried up? (And what consequences has it had)

This question seems obvious, right?

If when you return from holiday you have several dry pots, the most normal thing is that it is because you have not been there to water them during the time you have spent on vacation, and you did not have any neighbours who could take care of them.

But beware: sometimes the answer is not so simple.

For example, when you went on holiday, did you leave the pots near a window to get the sun?

Is it possible that, in addition to the lack of irrigation, these plants are receiving too many hours of light, and that this has caused them to wither?

Also, a dry plant is an easy prey for pests. So also see if aphids, mealy bugs, whiteflies or any other unwanted visitor have appeared in any of them.

It is important that you take into account all these factors; if not, even if you give the plant water again, that may not be enough for it to recover.

2. Remove wilted stems and flowers.

The next step is to prune the plant and remove all dead parts.

Even if you see them withered, the plant continues to send leaves and nutrients to those stems, which is a waste of energy that can prevent it from recovering.

Before you water it again, make sure you leave only the healthy parts.

3. Water it again (but in moderation)

Be very careful.

No matter how thirsty your plant has been, that doesn't mean you have to water it in industrial quantities. That could end up hurting her more.

To start, look at the layer of soil that is in contact with the surface. Has a kind of hard crust formed due to lack of moisture?

If so, the first thing is to remove that layer of the substrate. If not, being so compact, it will act as a barrier and prevent some water from reaching the roots of the plant.

Once done, the ideal is that you take the entire root ball out of the pot and put it in a basin of warm water for at least 10 minutes. This will soften the substrate and allow the plant to slowly pick up water through the roots again. 

After that time, return it to its pot. From here, you just have to continue watering it normally during the following days, and see how it responds.

By the way, in plants that allow it (such as tropical ones), you can also use a spray bottle to moisten the leaves.

Keys to reviving a drowned plant

Now let's see another very common case: you have watered your plant more than necessary.

In most cases, when a plant suffers from this problem, its leaves begin to turn yellow, and eventually dry up. 

If you detect these symptoms in your plants, do the following:

    1. Remove the root ball from the plant: gently tap the edges of the pot so that the soil loosens and the root ball comes out more easily.
  • Eliminate the remains of soil: once you have the root ball in sight, gently remove all the remains of wet soil from the roots. You can use a soft bristle brush or even a paintbrush. Be careful, do not use more water, because that could aggravate the problem.
  1. Dry the plant: wrap the roots in absorbent paper and let it rest for a whole day. If you find that the paper is getting too wet, change it from time to time.
  2. Eliminate brown roots: after a day, examine the roots and look for all those that have a brown colouration. This is a sign that the root has rotted and, therefore, you must remove it so that it does not damage the rest of the plant. 
  3. Replant plant: back in a pot with new substrate and wait a few days before watering again.

Remember that excess watering is just as dangerous or even more dangerous than scarcity. Always find out about the water needs of your plants and use pots with good drainage to avoid issues.

How to revive a sick plant

Here the way to act will depend on whether your plant has been infected by:

  • Fungi.
  • Pests (insects, mites, etc.).

We see them separately.

  1. Reviving a fungal plant

Let's be honest with you: saving a plant from a fungal attack is very complicated.

The fungi infiltrate the plant tissue and infect it down to the roots. If this is the case for your plant, it can be very difficult to completely remove the infection and get it to recover.

But we're not going to give up without trying, are we?

The first thing you should do is determine what has caused the fungus to appear and fix (in many cases the reason is excessive watering).

Once done:

  • Clean the leaves: to remove traces of spores that may be on them. If you notice any signs of disease, prune them.
  • Take out the root ball: and clean the roots to eliminate any possible remains of fungi that are both in them and in the substrate. 
  • Disinfect the pot: and completely renew the substrate to avoid reinfection.
  • Sow the plant again: and wait a few days to see how it evolves.

In addition, it is highly recommended that you use a fungicide to help the plant fight the fungus.

Reviving a plant with a pest

Pests are generally much easier to deal with.

The process to follow will largely depend on the type of pest in question.

However, it is usual to apply a specific phytosanitary product (acaricide, insecticide, etc.), to eliminate the specific pest.

In addition, it is important that you identify what has caused the appearance of that plague to prevent it from recurring. For example, sometimes the problem is that the plant is weakened for some reason, while in other cases the source of the problem is an excess of fertilizer.

Ready to revive your sick plants?

We hope that the tips we have given you in this post have been useful to you.

If you have doubts about which product to use for your plants, remember that you can contact us through this form.

We will gladly advise you.


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