Appearances are sometimes deceiving. No matter how badly your houseplants are painted, they can still be saved by taking the advice of experts.

If the death of several houseplants is already drying up in your soul, don’t be too strict with yourself. Sometimes even the least caring varieties end up with a similar fate. According to horticultural expert John Valentino, the most common background is inadequate irrigation, lack of sunlight, lack of nutrients,  pest control, or a sudden change in the environment, but if you intervene in time, the problem can still be fixed in most cases.

1. Look for signs of life on it

Even if a plant looks “dead,” it’s worth taking a closer look, because if there are any green parts left on it, there’s a chance you can save it. A horticultural expert also suggests looking at your roots as this can provide valuable information about your condition. There are times when the roots are able to absorb nutrients even after the leaves of the plant have dried out. As Jennifer Morganthaler, an agricultural lecturer at Missouri State University pointed out,

healthy roots are thick, brownish, whitish in color, and have white ends.

2. Check that it is not overflowed

Regular watering is essential for the healthy development of houseplants, but too much water can be harmful to them. “Over-watering can cause the leaves of plants to wither and turn brownish-yellow tones. It can also affect the roots, which can start to rot, ”says Valentino. If you see such signs on a plant, you need to act as soon as possible. Transfer it to a place where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight and continue to water it until its soil dries out. Morganthaler advises that if the ground is spectacularly soaked, replace it with the tile.

3. Make sure it is not dry out

This is usually the more likely scenario. If the plant is thirsty, it begins to wilt, its leaves turn brown and dry out until eventually they die and fall off. It can also be a warning sign if the soil cracks and “pulls” away from the edge of the tile. Of course, water is the solution to this, but it is important to irrigate the decaying plant with due care.

“You can quickly revive a heavily underwatered plant by letting it stand in water for a few hours,” said Vickie Christensen, Léon & George’s master gardener, and herbalist. From now on, all you have to do is water it more often than usual and give it the same amount of water each time. If you are unsure, a soil moisture meter can give you a more accurate picture of the conditions in your pot.

4. Remove the dead leaves

If the leaves are completely browned, cut them off so you can do nothing for them anymore. This can help the plant focus on growing newer leaves. You can remove dead leaves with pruning shears or scissors, or you can gently pinch them with your fingertips if none are at hand.

5. Cut back the stems

Once you have got rid of the excess leaves, cut off the dead pieces of the stems as well. If they are in very poor condition, it is sufficient to leave only 5 centimeters above the ground. This is a good time to change the soil and also to move the plant to a larger pot. However, do not expect a quick result.


6. Create the right lighting conditions

The light requirements of plants can vary greatly, so check to see if the species prefers direct sunlight, diffused light, or more shady conditions, and if necessary, relocate accordingly.

7. Take the humidity into account

If your dying plant is from the tropics, you may be in trouble with low humidity in your home. According to Morganthaler, this can cause the leaves to shrink and turn brown, and the plant may show signs of wilting. There are several ways you can help. For example, you might want to consider getting a humidifier, but you can improve the situation by arranging the plants side by side.

Don’t fall over the other side of the horse either, because too high a humidity can be just as problematic. This favors the development of mold and fungal infections and can lead to yellowing of the leaves. In general, it can be said that thicker, waxy-leaved plants are more tolerant of dry air, in which most homes may be affected, especially during the winter heating season. You may also want to reckon with the fact that plants don’t like to place them right next to the radiator or vent.

8. Take care of nutrients

Feeding the plants is especially important during the growing season, i.e. during the spring and summer months. Weak stalks or discoloration of the leaves may also indicate malnutrition, for which nutrient solution may be the solution. If the plant is in very poor condition, it should be introduced gradually because it is more sensitive to changes in its shocked state. Christensen added, transplant the plants every few years as the nutrient content of the soil can be depleted over time.

9. Wait a month

Don’t lose hope! It probably took a long time for your plant to reach the brink of destruction, so don’t even wait for it to recover in a few days. “Once you’ve taken steps to save a dying plant, it can take up to a month for your condition to improve or start growing again, so don’t give up too soon,” Valentino projected. Not just because it can take some time before you even realize the reason behind your decline.

+1. If nothing helps, compost it

If you’ve tried everything and you’re beyond the one-month waiting period, but your plant isn’t showing significant improvement, it’s time to say goodbye to it. However, instead of throwing it in the trash, use it for composting so that you can use the nutrient-rich soil extracted from it to feed other crops.


I'm a content writer and writing for 5 years for multinational companies.

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