It is always with a lot of love that we buy a new plant for the house or garden, but sometimes the plant has difficulty adapting to its new environment.
Brown leaves, dry stems, … don’t throw the plant in the trash right away! Even when plants look dead, there is often still life left in the stem and roots, and therefore the possibility of seeing them return to all their beauty.
Follow these 7 tips to resurrect a dead plant before it surrenders, your garden will thank you!
1- Check if the plant is still alive
The first step is to check if the plant can still be saved! To do this, scratch the base of the stem with the tip of your fingernail.
If you find green under the first layer, the plant is still alive. If the centre of the stem is brown, that part of the stem is dead.
You can also test the stem by trying to bend it gently. A living stem is flexible. If the stem breaks dry, that part of the plant can no longer be saved.
However, do not throw the plant directly into the trash. Even if the stem is dead up to the base, the roots may still be able to produce a beautiful plant if you give it a little push!
2- Cut off the top of the stem
Once you’ve determined that part of the stem is dead, you have to cut it off. With the pruning shears, remove all the dry, brown part of the plant.
If you are not sure where the stem is still alive, cut every three centimetres from the top. As soon as you see the green heart of the stem, you’re done!
If you have to, cut the stem all the way down to the base, leaving only the roots, after which you’ll just have to be patient to see whether or not the roots will produce a new plant.
Be careful with outdoor plants, you must wait until the winter is over before proceeding to this step.
If you expose the green heart of the stem just before a frost, it could be fatal to your plant!
3- Move the plant
As you probably know, exposure to the sun is essential for the plant’s survival. However, all plants are unique and do not need to be placed in the same place.
Some will be healthier with only indirect light, others need to be in full sun.
If your plant looks dead, it may be because it is not getting the exposure it needs. Whether it’s a house or garden plant, now is the time to move it if necessary.
Find out about the special needs of your plant and watch out for shadows from trees and even from your house!
4- Modify watering habits
In addition to sunlight, the plant also has a vital need for water. But again, not every plant should receive the same type of watering.
Some require abundant daily watering, others simply moistening the leaves and soil.
Find out how much water your plant needs and observe its appearance: if the stem and leaves are completely dry, the plant probably did not receive enough water.
On the other hand, if the base of the plant and the roots have started to rot, the plant was receiving too much water!
For houseplants, you should also consider the general humidity of the room in which you place the plant. Plants also absorb moisture through their leaves, so the air quality contributes to their growth!
5- Look for a nourishing fertilizer
To give your plant a boost, you need to prepare a good and nourishing dish.
Go to a garden store with the name or photo of your plant to ask for a suitable fertilizer. The salespeople will be able to tell you the most effective fertilizer for your plant.
Indeed, roses do not need the same components and minerals as a mimosa!
Also ask at the store for the method of administering the fertiliser. While most of the time the fertilizer is simply added to the soil around the stem, some plants sometimes react badly to direct contact with the fertilizer. In this case the fertilizer must be diluted with water!
6- Saving cuttings
If you don’t think you can save the plant but there are still a few bits left alive, there’s still time to make cuttings!
Cut off the still living parts of the plant and put them in a glass of water. You can also place them in cotton or water-soaked paper if your cuttings are really small and fragile.
Wait a little while to see if the plant parts start growing again in this new environment. As soon as possible, transfer your cuttings into the soil, into a pot or directly into the garden!
If the plant has died despite your best efforts, you can still give it a second life by composting it!
Once in the compost bin, the plant will eventually become a perfect fertilizer that will help your new plants grow healthy.