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Help! My plant is dying, what should I do?

A quick guide to reviving your dying plants: signs, solutions, and seeking community help. 

As gardeners, it’s inevitable that sometimes, you’re going to encounter plants that seem to be struggling or on the verge of dying. It can be disheartening to witness your beloved plants suffering, but fear not! This quick guide will help you identify the most common signs of an unhappy plant, provide steps to address the issue and guide you down the right path to seeking community help for a solution. Remember, each plant is unique, so research and community support are vital in nursing your green friends back to health. This is only the first step in your “Florence Nightingale for Flora” journey.

Recognising Signs of an Unhappy Plant:

Before you can take effective nursing action, it’s important to identify if your plant is truly in distress. Look out for these common signs:

  • Yellowing Leaves:Yellow leaves typically can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.
  • Wilting: Drooping or wilting leaves suggest underwatering, overwatering, or root problems. That pesky root rot gets even the best of us!
  • Brown, Crispy Leaves: This is often a sign of dehydration, sunburn (no, don’t grab the sunscreen just yet) or inadequate humidity.
  • Stunted Growth:If your plant is not growing as expected or has stopped growing altogether, it may be due to lacking nutrients or receiving insufficient light.
  • Pest Infestation: The presence of pests like aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites can cause damage and weaken plants. Sneaky little intruders.

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Identifying the Problem:

Once you’ve observed signs of distress, it’s crucial to determine the root cause (see what we did there 😋).

Consider the following steps:

  • Assess Lighting Conditions: Ensure your plant is receiving the appropriate amount of light. Some plants prefer direct sunlight, while others thrive in shade.
  • Evaluate Watering Practices: Check if you’re overwatering or underwatering your plant. Adjust your watering frequency and amount accordingly. Be patient with the adjustment,  though, as your flora baby may take a few days to recover from overwatering. It’s also super helpful to keep track of your watering via a calendar on the fridge.
  • Examine Soil Moisture: Stick your finger into the soil to gauge its moisture level. No don’t worry, it’s not some pretentious magical trick garden masters can do with a simple touch of a finger. Most plant instructions describe (in detail) the level of soil moisture one should feel according to the plant you’re caring for. Dry or waterlogged soil can harm your plant’s roots, and this is a hard one to recover from if not assessed and rectified in time!
  • Review Fertilizer and Nutrient Needs: Research the specific nutrient requirements of your plant and consider using a suitable fertilizer or plant food if needed. Look for a handy soil and PH balance meter to get it down to perfection.
  • Inspect for Pests and Diseases: Thoroughly examine your plant for any signs of pests or diseases. Simply scan over the stems, lift and look underneath the leaves and if anything looks irregular (unusual textures, colours or decay) or it may look like a manifestation of tiny bugs, it’s time for a bath! Take appropriate measures such as using organic insecticides or mixing a light batch of water and soap to spray and wipe away the pests. Diseases are a little harder to manage and require turning to the pros for assistance. Keep reading to discover the abundant resources of help available.

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Taking Corrective Measures:

Based on your observations, take the necessary steps to address the issues:

  • Adjust Watering: Modify your watering schedule to meet your plant’s specific needs. Provide adequate drainage and avoid water stagnation. You will be able to smell an overwatered plant, too – it’s an old, mucky smell that indicates something is dormant and dying.
  • Ensure Proper Lighting: Relocate your plant to an area with better lighting conditions or invest in artificial grow lights if natural light is insufficient.
  • Repotting and Soil Amendments: If the soil is compacted or lacking nutrients, consider repotting your plant with fresh, well-draining soil. Add organic matter or slow-release fertilizers to enrich the soil. Stunted growth could also be a sign of roots needing more space and requiring repotting into a larger pot. Set that root system free!
  • Pruning and Trimming: Remove dead, diseased, or damaged foliage to promote new growth and prevent the spread of pests or diseases is an imperative yet oft-overlooked part of the plan maintenance process.
  • Introduce Humidity: Increase humidity levels around your plant by misting the leaves, placing a tray of water nearby, or using a humidifier.

Research and Seek Community Help

Remember, knowledge is power, and there’s a vast community of fellow gardeners ready to assist, right here in the Garden Master family. Follow these steps:

  • Plant-Specific Research: Research your plant’s specific care requirements, including light preferences, watering guidelines, and common issues. If you’re having trouble identifying the plant to do more research, simply DM us a picture and description on our Facebook page and our plant pros will help you out. We love what we do.
  • Online Gardening Forums: Join online gardening communities or forums where you can seek advice, share pictures, and learn from experienced gardeners. Start with Reddit and discover a world of subreddits to join. From plain plants to house plants, hydroponics and more!
  • Local Gardening Clubs: Explore local gardening clubs or associations in your area. Attend meetings, workshops, or plant clinics to interact with seasoned gardeners who can offer valuable insights and solutions.

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Join the community and follow Garden Master on Facebook and Instagram! We love seeing your gardens grow, sharing tips with the community and helping each other out when and where possible.

Remember, when seeking help from the community, be sure to provide detailed information about your plant, its symptoms, and the steps you’ve already taken. Including clear photos can also aid in diagnosis, and will likely make your posts more engaging.

So, the next time you notice your plant showing signs of distress, don’t panic! Follow this quick guide, gather information, and engage with fellow gardeners. It’s not too late! Remember, gardening is a continuous learning process, and with the right support, you can become a master at nurturing your plants and creating a flourishing garden. A few casualties along the way don’t make you an unfit plant parent, as long as you treat them as learning experiences.

Happy gardening Garden Masters!