Favourite pot-plant on death’s door? Here’s how to revive it

If your plant has lost all its leaves and turned brown, don’t panic or dump it – plants can be deceiving. Even if one looks dead, there’s a good chance it’s not.

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So, decide whether the plant’s worth saving – keep in mind a plant might still die, despite your efforts – and if you decide it is, and really want to have a go at reviving it, have a go at these tried-and-tested methods.

Too much or not enough water?

It might seem like a good idea, however over-watering can be harmful for your plant. Is your plant wilted with brown or yellow leaves? If it is, repot your plant in dry dirt. On the other hand, if your plant is lacking water, the leaves will appear brown and dry. Usually if the first two centimetres of the soil is dry, it’s a good indication that watering is needed.

Too little or too much light?

Have you recently moved your plant to a new spot? If you have, there might be a chance that your plant is no longer getting enough light. Even if you didn’t move it, it’s possible that the lighting has changed. To fix this, try moving your plant to a sunnier spot. Likewise, if it doesn’t seem to be enjoying its new spot, it may be that it’s too sunny for it compared to its previous position, so try somewhere shadier.

Not enough nutrition?

Just like us, plants can get malnourished. If your plant is malnourished, the leaves will appear discoloured – lighter, yellower, or with a brown tip. To revive it, depending on the type of plant you have, use either a fertiliser or nutritional supplement. This will immediately help your plant recover, but keep in mind that over-fertilising can burn the roots of the plant so only use the product as directed.

Humidity helps most things

If your plant is lacking water or has been exposed to too much light, move your plant to a humid spot that is not too sunny or dry and give it some water. The humidity will help the plant absorb the water more efficiently and recover.

Compost the lost

If your plant still can’t be revived, it might be time to let it go. By composting your plant, though, you’re actually helping the next plant grow. When you compost a plant, the remains are recycled as a nutrient-rich dirt, which will help your next plant thrive.

How do you revive a plant on its last legs?