Learn to recognise your plants’ problems!
Have you come back from holiday and your plants suddenly don’t look so happy any more? It turns out that your PLNTSsitter was not the perfect plant parent after all! That’s not exactly coming home to peace. We understand that you want to keep the wonderful holiday feeling for a while when you get home. No worries! We are here to help you recognise the problems and solve them. Your plants will just be super happy again!
The PLNTS tips and tricks, recognise and act:
1. Do your plants look droopy?
Overwatered plants are likely to be droopy. Do your plants look droopy and is the potting mix damp or is the pot sitting in water? Quick action is required to save your plant. The roots of your plant can rot if they are wet for too long. When this happens, you are worse off. Take your plant out of the pot and check the roots. If they have all rotted away, the plant is only suitable for the compost (or perhaps for cuttings). If there are still healthy, white roots, the plant has a chance! Repot the plant in the same pot with fresh potting soil, and do give a little water to get the plant acclimatised. If many roots were damaged, the plant should be pruned back, as there will be less roots for the plant to lean on. Keep the plant out of bright sunlight for a while, water lightly when the potting soil dries out, and then wait for signs of new growth.
2. Do your plants look shrivelled and are leaves falling off?
These are signs that the plant has not had enough water for a while. Is the potting soil very dry and perhaps even a little hardened? Then you know for sure that this is the case. Put your plant in a sink or other container with water so that the pot can absorb the water. They do this at their own pace and exactly the amount they need. Leave the plant for about half an hour and then leave it somewhere where it can drain. This also for about half an hour. Keep the plant out of bright sunlight for a while, water lightly when the potting soil dries out, and then wait for signs of new growth.
3. Do your plants look scorched?
If a plant has had too much sun, it will look scorched. There will be dark or bleached spots on the leaves, the leaves will be crunchy and the potting soil will be hard. We know… this sounds terrible! Try to save your plant by watering well and cutting away the dead leaves. Move the plant to a more shady spot, and consider putting the pot in a container filled with gravel and water to increase the humidity around the leaves. You can also spray the plant occasionally.
4. Do your plants grow small, pale leaves or not at all?
A plant that gets small, pale leaves or grows long and spindly or not at all is a plant that has had too little light. The lower leaves may turn yellow and the plant will no longer grow or flower. A sunnier position is really the only real cure, but also try sweeping the leaves to remove dust, cleaning your windows and putting a layer of light-coloured gravel on top to help reflect the light upwards. You might also consider a grow light, and put the plant under the lamp for a while.
5. Check your plants for bugs.
Of course, it is also still possible that your plant is bothered by unwanted insects. A plant with bugs may have misshapen or discolored leaves, holes in the leaves, or folded/rolled leaves. The leaves may also show white patterns or abnormal growth on the leaves. Check the front and back of the leaves, the stem and the potting soil. To be sure if your plant is suffering from bugs and then to find out which ones and how to get rid of them again, we recommend you visit our PLNTS Doctor page. We also have a handy blog with some good tips. You can find it here!
6. Hold off on the fertiliser.
It may be tempting to give your plant a nutritional boost with some fertiliser, but don’t do it yet! If a plant is struggling, fertiliser can actually damage its delicate roots. Wait until the plant has recovered.
Stay in the good mood
We are convinced that with these tips you can still save (most of) your plants! So stay in the holiday mood and don’t be discouraged if your plants look unsalvageable at first sight. Are you really happy with these tips and do your plants glow again after this extra care? Share your beauties with us by using #PLNTS on the socials. Don’t forget that you can also always contact us, we would love to hear from you.
You can do this!
Lisa has spent quite a fair amount of hours in the greenhouse and loves to share her experience with others!