Pot and fertiliser tricks help save every dying flower

Some of us form a special bond with our houseplants, and then it’s disappointing to discover one day that our green friends are on their last campaign, their leaves shriveling and drying up helplessly. The good news, however, is that there is no need to mourn prematurely, as there are several ways to resurrect a dying plant.

Replace a designer pot with a more suitable and practical one

If your plant is barely breathing, it could be because you’ve put beauty over practicality and put it in the wrong pot. Your plant doesn’t really care if its “outfit” matches the pattern of your new curtains. What it needs is a healthy environment to grow and flourish. If your plant is in a pot without drainage holes, or in a metal pot, you need to free it from this captivity. Metal pots keep the heat in and your poor plant’s roots literally boil there. Ceramic pots without drainage holes ensure that water stays inside the soil and induces unhealthy moisture around the roots.

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Hand treat the roots or trim any dead parts

Sometimes it’s time to repot a plant to give it more space. Before repotting, be sure to clean the roots and untangle them so they can absorb water and nutrients more efficiently. Do this carefully so as not to break the roots and give them more room to breathe. If most of the plant is dead, remove any dead or unattractive bits that remain on the plant. This includes shriveled yellow or brown leaves that cannot be saved, or stems with no leaves at all. Cut off the lifeless stem at a 45-degree angle, leaving as many live leaves as possible.

Use only filtered water on your plants

Despite the notion that tap water is filtered, it still contains some chlorine and other chemicals that can be the final bullet for your plant. Let the water sit for 24 hours before watering. Distilled or rainwater is also good for your plant, as both are slightly acidic and will naturally wash away any chemicals and salts that have already accumulated in the soil due to previous tap water use. You can either collect rainwater in a tank or leave the plants outside to soak up some moisture when it rains.

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Feed adequately with a water-soluble fertilizer and try yogurt

While fertiliser may seem to work wonders, this is only partly true. In fact, it depends on the amount and the correct application, especially for your weak, non-living plants. The “more is better” approach will finish off your poor plant. If you prefer natural remedies, lactic acid bacteria can also provide nutrition. Yogurt is a natural disease killer and helps keep the soil in optimal condition. You can “feed” your plant with a few teaspoons of yogurt and add it to the soil to enrich the plant’s base with organic acids and help your green friend regain vitality. Other tips for good plant health:

  • Consider organic pots to create a more natural growing environment.
  • Get rid of pests on leaves and in soil.
  • Don’t use unproven substrate.