How to Save a Dying Plant – 5 Simple Steps

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how to save a dying plant

Modern-day lifestyle leaves us with very little time to pursue our hobbies. And if that hobby is gardening, then your dear little plants face the consequences of our being so busy. As a result, some wither and bid Adieu. But don’t be disheartened when you see one of your little buddies dead. Some plants only look like they are about to die, but they still have a good chance of survival. Over here, we will see how to save a dying plant and bring it back to good shape. All you need is a little patience and a little help from the internet.

There are many reasons why a plant suffers. Each plant has different needs and conditions to thrive. Expert gardeners know quite a bit about the needs of different varieties of plants. But they have acquired this knowledge after multiple cases of success and failures. They have spent a lot of time and effort amidst the green friends before becoming skilled at how to save a dying plant. But that doesn’t mean you can not be a successful gardener. With the internet by your side, you can search for the name of the plant you want to nurture and get all the details on caring for it. Here is a list of 5 easy fixes you can do right away to rescue a dying plant.

Don’t Throw it Away Just Yet

Your dying plant may not be completely dead yet. Before you judge the plant by what you see, dig a little deeper (pun intended) to find out how to save a dying plant. Look at the plant and the roots very carefully. If there is even a speck of green on the plant, then certainly it is alive. All it needs is a little nurturing and caring. If there’s no such indication on the upper part of the plant, then dig out the roots. That will tell you if the plant has a good shot at reviving. If you find them white or tan colored (some even have fleshy white tips), then rest assured your little green champion has a hundred percent chance of returning to life. If the roots are brown and crumbly, it means that the roots are unhealthy, and the plant is, let’s just say, on its path to the compost.

How to Save a Dying Plant When it is Overwatered

Now that the roots look good, you need to figure out what went wrong. Why is your plant looking so yellow or brown and drooping with no joie de vivre? Could it be because you watered it a bit too much? You will be surprised to know that even some low-maintenance plants can also die due to overwatering, especially succulents. Most succulents require water only once a week during summers (when the temperature is high) and once a month during winters (when temperatures are lower than 40 degrees). As a general rule, do not water the plants excessively when the temperature drops. If you live in an area with high rainfall, try to keep the plants in a place safely away from the rain. Rainwater collects in the pot and makes the roots rot. Talking about how to save a dying plant that is overwatered, you can scoop off some of the clammy soil and mix more dry soil in the pot. That will help create the right atmosphere as the dry soil absorbs excess water, thereby reducing the dankness.

how to save a dying plant
Image Credit: iStock

Proper Drainage

Another reason why plants get overwatered is when the pot lacks a proper drainage system. Check if the soil is too moist. Most probably, the root of the plant is sitting in a lot of water that did not get drained out. As a result, it rots and grows mold. To avoid this situation, you can drill a hole through the bottom of the pot and put some rocks or pebbles before placing the plant in it. You can also use recycled terracotta pieces that are excellent for absorbing water.

An excellent trick for potting plants is using terracotta pots made of porous clay. Since they are porous, they will absorb water and help release excess moisture from the soil. They make excellent planters for plants that like to stay in dry soil, like succulents. The terracotta planters look good aesthetically as well.

how to save a dying plant
Image Credit: Freepik

How to Save a Dying Plant that is High and Dry

It is critical to check the moisture level of the soil regularly. To not overwater the plants, sometimes we forget to water them for a long time. This leads to under-watering, which is another reason why some plants start dying. If the soil is dry and hard and the leaves are brittle, chances are that your plant is dehydrated and requires water badly. How to save a dying plant if this seems to be the problem? Lightly water the plant and keep watering it lightly for a few days. Also, keep it away from direct sunlight as the heat can further dry up the plant, making all your TLC a futile effort.

Some plants, like the Dracaena, may not need much water, but they thrive well in a humid environment. So it is vital to keep misting them regularly to increase the humidity to save them from dying. Surprisingly, many plants die due to low humidity. If you see your plants turning brown and wilting, and you don’t have the time to keep misting them all the time, you can use a humidifier to create a more humid surrounding for them.

How to save a dying plant by protecting it from sunlight

Different plants have different requirements when it comes to sunlight. While some need direct sunlight throughout the day, some plants require little sunlight, some partial sunlight, and some plants prefer indirect light, like Pothos and Peace Lily. If you are a plant parent worrying about how to save a dying plant you need to check the light conditions required by the plant also and place your baby accordingly in the house. Sometimes the very life-supporting sunlight is the cause of plants turning yellow, withering away, and eventually dying. Before bringing home any plant, look up the internet or contact a local nursery to find out how much and what kind of light the plant needs. Then check if you have the right spot in your house for the plant to get the optimal amount it requires before purchasing. 

how to save a dying plant due to sunlight
Image Credit: Dreamstime

Provide a Nutrition Booster Dose

While learning about how to save a dying plant, you will come across the right kind of fertilizer and nutrition that your plant needs. Now don’t get carried away since at times to save a plant, we tend to feed it extra nutrients. Follow the directions carefully and give the right amount of fertilizers or compost to replenish the soil and revive the plant. Invest in a good all-purpose fertilizer and keep adding it to all your plants once a month or two, especially during the growing seasons like spring and summer.

Conclusive Insight

If your plant isn’t responding to any of the above methods, don’t lose hope. Sometimes plants take a month or more than that to show signs of revival. Now that you know how to save a dying plant and did everything possible to nurture it, be patient and maintain the moisture level of the soil regularly. Make sure that the plant gets exposed to the required amount of light. You can even talk to your plant and play music for it. Your plant will respond to all the love that you shower on it.