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How to Revive a Struggling Plant

Plant SOS

Garden Guru, Mike Westphal, walks you through his best tips for saving a struggling plant.

For whatever reason, sometimes plants just have issues. There are many reasons why your plant may be struggling - not enough light, too much light and overwatering are just a few of the reasons why your plant may not be thriving. Luckily, there are some things you can do to nurse your plant back to health:

Remove Brown, Yellow or Spotted Leaves:
It’s important to remove any unhealthy leaves from your plant in order to conserve energy. Plants use a lot of energy when trying to keep unhealthy leaves alive. Once bad leaves are removed, the plant can focus on keeping healthy leaves growing and formation of new leaves.

Check the Condition of the Soil & Repot if Necessary:
Soil that is black and shows signs of mold needs to be replaced. A good potting soil helps the plant to retain moisture, provide enough air for growing roots to be able to breath and not rot, and supports your plant by providing anchorage for the roots. McDonald Potting Soil is an all-purpose soil specifically formulated for Hampton Roads and is available in both traditional and organic formulas.

To refresh soil, remove the plant from its container and loosen-up and remove soil around the plant. Place a thin layer of fresh potting soil in the bottom of the container and place the plant back into the pot. Next, fill in around the plant with potting soil.

TIP: lightly packing the soil around the plant will help to prevent air pockets and will also help to establish a good root to soil connection.

Fertilization is key, as plants need a lot of nutrients in order to sustain large growth and blooms. Every time you water, the nutrients that the plant has not already used are leeched out of the soil. By consistently feeding, you are ensuring that your plants maintain all the nutrition necessary to grow and bloom big. We use McDonald Greenleaf Fertilizer (available in organic or traditional formulas), which was developed specifically for plants in Hampton Roads and is a great general all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer. Simply sprinkle two tablespoons of Greenleaf around the basket or container.

Add a Vitamin Supplement:
Once the plant has been repotted and refreshed with new soil, add a vitamin supplement to help revive and reduce the amount of stress the plant may have been experiencing. We recommend Superthrive. Simply add a capful to a gallon of water.

Water your plant as usual and in two to three weeks, it should be healthy and thriving once again.