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How to breathe new life into limp-looking plants


With just a little TLC, you can bring a nearly-dead plant back to life with these simple steps.

If you fear you have a plant that has become a victim of harsh conditions (or your not-so-green thumb), before you decide to bin it follow this easy guide to bring it back to life first.

To start, you’ll need to determine whether or not the plant is in fact dead. Just because it’s limp or looking a little worse for wear, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily dead. If the stems or roots still have a hint of green and aren’t brittle or breaking off, there might be some life left in it yet. Here are a few useful steps for reviving a sorry-looking plant.

Don’t bin it – try to revive your sad-looking plant first. Picture: Getty

1. Nourish wisely

A balanced diet is just as important for plants as it is for us. If you have a plant that’s looking a little worse for wear, ask yourself if you’ve been providing it with a variety of ‘healthy foods’. To start, replace old soil with a good-quality potting mix and to ensure your plant is well nourished.

Read more: 6 failproof balcony plants to have at home

Depending on the plant, it might also be a good idea to regularly feed the plant with fertiliser. For instance, plants in containers need to be fed as they only have what you give them to grow; plants in beds, meanwhile, may not need feeding as they’re able to use the resources present in the garden soil.

To start, replace old soil with a good-quality potting mix. Picture: Getty

2. H20 schedule

It might seem straightforward when it comes to plants and H20… i.e. add water regularly. But it’s not that simple. For instance, different plants require different water levels in different seasons or conditions. Waterlogging and drought are among the most common reasons plants don’t do well, so if you have a sick plant on your hands, make sure you have the correct information about your plant’s water requirements.

Remember that many plant varieties require different water levels; it’s dependent on the season and conditions. Picture: Getty

3. Shine a light

Yes, for most plants it’s important to get sunlight, however, don’t fall into the trap “my plant has seen better days so I’m going to drench it in direct sunlight”. Moving a plant into direct sunlight can cause problems because it can be very hot. Rather, place a tired plant in indirect sunlight while it regenerates.

Read more: 6 best succulents to grow

Most plants require sunlight – but indirect sunlight might in fact be better for tired-looking plants. Picture: Getty

4. Different point of view

Just like a good holiday can revive our batteries and put a spring in our step, a change of scenery is always a good idea for plants, too. It’s as simple as transferring a limp-looking plant to a different pot with some fresh soil. To give the roots room to grow, and thus help a plant flourish, consider choosing a home (i.e. pot) that’s a little bigger than your plant’s previous digs.

A change of scenery is good for us and our plants, too. Picture: Getty

READ: These are three of the best easy-care miniature plants

This article was originally published as How to breathe new life into limp-looking plants by and is written by Alexandra O’Brien

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