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How to revive your indoor plants

Jamie Campbell

Jamie Campbell

3 years ago - 4 minute read

We’re all guilty of giving our plants either too much or too little love, especially when locked in. One of my plants was looking worse for wear, so I decided to look into how to take proper care of my chlorophyll child. See the video here.

I listened to every podcast, read every blog and scoured every site to get you the best advice from plant experts Alice Vincent, Lia Leendertz, Freddie Blackett, The Royal Horticultural Society, and UK plant stores including Prick, Grace and Thorn and Wild Plant Shop, on how they revive plants.

How do you check the health of your plant, maybe it’s just sleeping?

It’s… not. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! Here's three quick things you can do to bring it back to life.

1. Look at the leaves and stems

If there are any brown or crispy leaves, they are too far gone to be saved. The Royal Horticultural Society advises to remove them as they are taking nutrients away from where they are needed most. It’s the same with any stems that are completely broken or bent.

2. Check the soil

Grace and Thorn and Wild say to put your finger up to the knuckle in the soil to check if the plant is under-watered. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, you’ll need to give it water.

How much water should you give your plants?
Alice Vincent’s advice is to water until it runs out of the base of the plant. Make sure to drain for an hour and remove any water out off the base as plants do not like to sit and soak. Do good waterings like this every two weeks.

Image of someone using the water from a tap to water a pot plant
A good water is better than frequent waterings that don't allow the soil to dry properly.

3. What if your plant looks... really, really terrible?

Oh dear. It’s ok, we’re just going to have to up the attention. According to Emma Townshend, resident plant reviver, plants can be brought back to life. If the soil looks more similar to a desert and stems are floppy, you’ll want to submerge the pots in water for a couple of hours. After you take them out, you’ll want to keep an eye on your plants and water them a little bit extra for the next couple of weeks.

Try and identify any problems you can avoid

If your plant is sitting near a radiator, near a window or the pushed in a dark corner this may be causing your plant to die. Drafts, heat and sunlight are all factors in plant health. CEO of Patch Plants, Freddie Blackett says to move your plant to a place where there is indirect sunlight and the heating is not drying out the plant.

Image of someone moving a plant away from a radiator to another part of the room
This is a simple tip that can have a massive impact on your plant's health

My plant was in a plastic pot, should I transfer it across to the proper pot?

Plant shop Wild recommends that plants are kept in the plastic pot as “they have excellent drainage and prevent things like root rot from killing your plant.” If you need more aesthetic, place the plastic pot inside the new pot.

What if I don’t have the right equipment?

As I heard in the podcast Gardens Weeds and Words, Lia Leendertz talked about how in her first rented house, there was a small garden. With no gardening equipment she cut the lawn with scissors.

Though it’s worth investing in the proper equipment, by disinfecting your kitchen scissors before and after using them, you can use them to prune your house plants. If you don’t have a watering can, gently run water from your tap and move your plant around to make sure that the water is evenly distributed.

Is there any cactus or succulent specific advice?

Cactus and succulent providers Prick advise that you water every 14 days between March and October and allow your soil to dry. The key tip is to have gritty compost to make sure that excess water can drain out as these plants in particular do not like too much water.

Don’t have any plants but want to scroll endless through a floral feed?

I’m glad you asked.

Image of Flower Interpretation's Instagram page where they make floral arrangements that look like art
@flowerinterpretations took three hours of my life and I don't regret that at all.

Here are three Instagram feeds that cover plant inspiration, plant aspiration and one where you'll feel better about your plants.

  1. The Planted Gram - one stop to think about how to get plants in your home
  2. Flower interpretations - floral arrangements that mimic art pieces
  3. Shit Gardens - exactly what it says

UPDATED: A week later from using the above techniques - here is what the plant looks like now:

It works. It really works. Finally some peace to this lily

Any plant care questions? Let me know and I'll look into it for you.

Jamie Campbell

Jamie Campbell

3 years ago - 4 minute read

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