How To Revive A Dead Plant Beginners Guide

How to Revive a Dead Plant, simple and actionable techniques proven to work!

Do you feel like you may have missed too many water days?

How to revive a dead plant wilted indoor tree

Did you skip the much-needed research on how to care for your new plant?

Did you go on a long trip and forget to make provision for your houseplants?

Now you’re back and you can’t believe what’s staring back at you. Your plants are looking extremely sick and your greatest fear has come true.

Your houseplants are dead from lack of care!

Now you have to start all over with a new plant. But what if there are other options?

What if there was something you could do to bring your dead plant back to life?

Well, there are.

Do not give up on those shrouded leaves just yet; there might be hope on how to revive a dead plant.

In this post, we are going to discuss practical steps you can take to get your dead plant alive and kicking again.

However, before you can discuss how to revive a dead plant, you have to be sure it is dead first.

If you’re not exactly sure what state your plant is currently in, here a few tips on how to tell if your plant is dead.


How to Tell If Your Plant Is Dead


Different plants react in different ways to changing seasons. Some plants go through a dormant period as seasons change from one to another.

If you do not have all the information, you might think your plant when it’s really not.

Just because the leaves have turned brown or are falling off doesn’t mean you have something to worry out. So how do you tell if your plant is truly dead?

First, check the stem of the plant.

Just make a small scratch on the stem.

If you see some green underneath, your plant still lives. On the other hand, if it is brown and hard, then you might start to worry.

Next, work your way down towards the root. The plant may have started to die from the top but might still show some signs of life towards the bottom.


Next, you need to inspect the roots.

Even if the parts above the soil may have started to die, if there’s still life in the roots, there’s still hope.

If you check the roots and they are mushy with an offensive smell, that is a sign that they are dead and have started to decay.

If they are light and supple, then your plant is still alive, it might just be sleeping.

So now that you know how to check for signs of life in your plant, we can go on to discuss what reviving your dying plant entails.


How to Bring a Dead Plant Back to Life


Find out what is killing it: If you are going to successfully nurse your plant back to health, you have to deal with it from the root cause.

If you don’t know what you’re doing that’s killing it, you may revive it only to kill it again.

Here are some tips to figure out what is killing your plant.


If you have over watered your plants to death, you will notice a yellowing of leaves accompanied by very moist soil.

If the opposite is the case, the leaves will turn brown and start to drop and the soil will feel hard and dry to the touch.

Also, if you plant is not getting adequate nutrition, you will notice deformed or discolored leaves, weak stems and stunted growth.

Exposing your plant to too much sun will cause the leaves to dry out and leave dark patches while not enough sun will manifest in pale leaves and weak stems.

Looking out for these signs will help you identify what has killed your plants so that you can do better next time.

Tips For Reviving A Dead Plant


Trim back the dead parts: With your pruning shears or scissors, you should cut off the parts of the plant that you have confirmed to be dead.

Start from the top of the plant and cut off little bits at a time.

When cutting of dead leaves, make sure to leave some small buds because that’s where new growth will begin.

Also, as you cut the stem, look out for the color of the parts that you cut.

As long as they are dry and brown, you are good to continue cutting.

Once you start to notice some green, stop cutting!


Think about re potting: When you have your little houseplant, its fit is just right.

Now it is grown and maybe that space has become too small for it.

If the opts of your plants are starting to wrap around the inner walls of the pot, or they have started to poke out of the root ball.

That is indication that you need a bigger pot. Choose a larger pot; get more healthy soil and go ahead to repot.


NB: Re-potting is a very delicate process. In order not to further damage your plant, do some research on the specific re potting needs of your plant and follow them all the way through.


Control how much sunlight you’re letting in: Even though plants need sunlight to flourish, when they are exposed to too much of it, it becomes detrimental.

If your plant is showing signs of overexposure or underexposure to sunlight, you may need to work out a more efficient exposure plan for your plants.

how to revive a dead plant leaves wilting from to much sunlight

Leaves with dark patches from too much sunlight

If you have just recently trimmed the plant like earlier suggested, you will want to reduce the amount of sunlight it gets by about half.

When it starts to show new growth, then you can switch it up.

If your current window spot gets too much sunlight, you may want to try out a different window, or even a different room.


Add some nutrients: Just like all other living things, plants need good nutrition to survive and thrive.

Your plants may be dying because there are not getting enough of that.

For mild cases of malnutrition, you can introduce some tea bags or coffee grounds to your soil.

In more serious cases, you may have to introduce plant fertilizer.


Check for pests and diseases: One of the causes of plant death are pests and diseases.

If you notice holes in the leaves of your plant or you notice wilting and leaf spot, you should know that your plants have been exposed to pest and disease.

In that case, you have to introduce some pesticide to your plants depending on what kind of pests they are.

For diseased plants, finding out what is causing the disease is the first step. For example, a common fungicide would be effective in treating plant fungal diseases.

how to revive a dead plant leaf spot disease

Leaf spot disease

NB: It is important that you do your research on plant diseases before you go ahead to douse your plants in chemical substances. If you’re thorough enough, you might even discover organic alternatives to dealing with plant diseases.


One of the most common cause of plant death is inadequate water.

It’s either you’re not watering enough or it is losing more water than it is getting.

Either way, your plant is suffering from a lack of water.

When plants do not get enough water, their stems begin to lose rigidity and they become droopy.

This condition is known as “wilting”.

Once you notice that your plant has started to droop, you need to swing into action if you intend to save it.

We will discuss some tips on how to revive your plant when it starts to wilt.

How to Revive a Plant that is Wilted
wilted rose plant

Wilted rose plant

If you notice wilting in your plant, the first thing you should do is check the plant soil.

If it feels dry then it is probably lacking water. In order to quickly revive it, place the pot in a sink filled with room temperature water.

The water should be about half way up either side of the pot.

Leave the pots in the sink for at least an hour (some plants might take longer). Once the top of the soil starts to feel wet, you can take out the pot.

In case you are wondering how this helps since you’re not pouring water directly into the soil, the answer is capillary motion.

The soil will absorb water upwards from the drainage holes at the bottom.

Doing it this way will ensure that the roots get enough moisture.

Once you have successfully re hydrated your plant, you have to design a more efficient watering pattern so that this does not happen again.

Although lack of water is the most common cause of wilting, sometimes over watering, overexposure to sunlight and pest attacks can also result in plant wilting.

In that case, you will need a different approach from the one discussed above to revive the plant.

If you have over watered your plant, you have drowned them and prevented them from being able to breathe effectively.

This means that they will be unable to absorb water and nutrients effectively.

You can increase the number of drainage holes in your pot so that the excess water can flow out.

You can also take them outdoors for a few hours and elevate the pot using stones or bricks.

If you notice that you constantly have to drain your plants, then the soil might just be the problem.

It might not be draining well enough. In that case, you may have to re pot your plant with a soil that is well draining.

If your plant is being exposed to too much direct sunlight, you know what to do. Change its position.

Now that you have all the information to revive a dead plant, it is important to know that prevention is much better than cure.

Instead of waiting for your plants to give up, before you step in to rescue it.

You should be observant for signs of ill health so that you can fix it before it is too late. In that case, here are a few ways to identify when your plant is close to death.


Dying Plant Symptoms


The first way to recognize a dying plant is by looking at the leaves.

If they are not a healthy green, then there is cause for concern.

If the leaves of your plants are yellowing, browning, spotting or drooping, then that is a sign that they your plant is not okay.

Next, if it is a flowering plant, you should look out for the flowers and flower buds.

If your indoor plant starts to lose flowers suddenly, you might have a problem on your hands.

However, you have to be sure about the blooming periods of your plants so that you are not worrying for nothing,

If your local nursery does not have the information you need, the internet will.

If it is indeed not a blooming issue, you can cut off the dead buds, give your plant some water and nutrients and watch to see if it recovers.

Another way to know how well your plant is doing is to observe the roots.

How stable does your plant seem in the soil?

Do you notice any lifting, tilting or wobbling of the plant base?

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it may either mean that the roots of your plants are sick, or your plant is not lodges deep enough in the pot.

Also, if the roots are not deep enough, re potting is all you need to get it going again.

Finally watch out for signs of wilting.

Under no circumstance does wilting represent anything good.

As earlier discussed, find out what is causing your plant to wilt and handle it accordingly.


Remember, just because your plant looks dead doesn’t mean it is. Check out for all these signs of ill health and assess the extent of damage. Who knows, you might still be able to save your beloved plant.

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