If Your Plants Are Drooping, Use This Common Appliance to Revive Them
You may already have one of these at home.
Houseplants are a welcome addition to any room, helping to liven up a space, add color, and even improve your mood. But when our plants start to droop and die, it can be disheartening, and you may be quick to think your ficus or fern is a lost cause. Thankfully, plant experts have creative approaches you can take to revive your plants, including one tactic you probably haven't thought to try. Read on to find out which common appliance could help restore your houseplant to its former glory.
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You likely have plenty of plant-saving tools at home.
Plants can be finicky, requiring TLC and ongoing care, especially when they start to wilt or droop. But before you head out to your local garden center, plant experts advise reaching for certain household products. Garlic, for example, can help control pest infestations, whereas Epsom salt is handy when treating yellowing leaves and magnesium deficiency. A hydrogen peroxide spray is another trusted approach for root rot, killing bad bacteria and releasing oxygen. And placing a sponge in the bottom of your planter can also get those rotting roots under control.
But if there are no signs of bugs and the roots seem fine, your plant could be facing a different issue, and the solution may be as simple as plugging in a trusty appliance.
Your plant could be drooping due to dehydration.
Just like humans, houseplants need to stay hydrated in order to thrive. If your plants lack water, this could cause them to droop and lose their luster. To combat this, plant experts recommend using a humidifier to increase the amount of moisture, or humidity, in the air.
"This is helpful because plants naturally transpire water vapor," Stephen Webb, editor and founder of Garden's Whisper, says. "By artificially increasing the humidity around the plant, you can help the plant rehydrate and recover from drought conditions."
Plants are then able to take in more moisture from the air, as opposed to taking it in mostly from their roots, according to Mason Roberts, owner of the website Just Houseplants. "This not only helps your plant thrive, but will actually make your life easier as an owner due to less frequent waterings," he says.
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There are certain plants that benefit from this approach.
Naturally, plants that require a more humid atmosphere will enjoy the added luxury of a humidifier.
"In order to give your houseplants the best chance of survival, you want to create an environment for them that closely replicates their native environment," Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love, says. "While not all houseplants need humidity, those whose native environments are in more tropical or naturally humid climates will need that moisture in the air to thrive."
According to Roberts, monstera, air plants, ferns, orchids, and philodendrons are just some of the plants that will appreciate a humidifier—which is particularly helpful during the drier winter months. On the flip side, you won't want to use this approach for succulents or cacti, which are accustomed to "arid regions," Webb says.
"These plants are adapted to dry conditions and will suffer if the air around them is too humid," he adds.
Consider these precautions when using a humidifier for your plants.
If you're ready to pull out your handy humidifier to rescue your wilting plants, experts have a few extra words of caution. Keeping the appliance clean is key, as well as ensuring it is free of mineral deposits, Webb says. In addition, when it comes to the water you use, don't just fill up the humidifier in the sink.
"It is also crucial to use distilled water in the humidifier to avoid further stressing the plant with tap water that may contain chlorine or other chemicals," Webb explains.
If you've checked these boxes and want to give your humidifier a go, place the appliance close to the plant, but don't allow it to touch any leaves, Webb notes. Also, make sure to use the humidifier sparingly, as too much humidity can lead to mold and fungus, according to Deepika Adhikari, a consultant at The Nature Hero. Adhikari recommends using a humidifier for four to five hours to avoid these growths and over humidifying the room. Running the humidifier in the mid-afternoon and stopping before nighttime is preferable, as plants are not able to absorb as much moisture in the evenings, she adds.
If your houseplant has been overwatered, you'll want to turn off the humidifier or simply move it farther away, Webb says. You can tell your plant has overindulged if its leaves are turning yellow or brown.
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