Sunday, August 12, 2007

When bad people happen to good plants. How to save your plant.

It happens to the best of us. It happens for many different reasons. It could be due to a cataclysmic change to your life such as a car accident, a new busy job, a trip to the emergency room, having to go somewhere for a prolonged visit somewhere. Maybe you've been paying too much attention to some plants and neglected another. By accident. It wasn't intentional, you love all your plants equally. You're a great plant person, you've got the greenest thumb within 3 consecutive counties. But sometimes it happens. One of your plants is dying.

Sound your alarm, Red Alert!

No, it's not because a naked man falls out of thin air! One of the most common problem of dying plants is lack of water.

Thristy Plants Symptoms
a) leaves are yellow or brown, and very brittle. Some green is still present in some leaves and stems. This is fixable.

b) you try to water the plant but the water just leaks through the drainage holes immediately. This is because your soil is so dry it cannot retain any water. Think of it like a dry sponge, or a dry cloth dinner napkin. You will not be able to soak up a spill because the air holes are constricted shut, and will not allow water to take rest in these small caves.

But this problem is easily fixable! As easy as 1-2-3.

1. Cut off dead leaves. Anything brown must go. This can even include stems. Why let the plant use up valuable resources to try to save parts that have no hope? Focus on what you've got.

2. Bring the plant to your kitchen sink. If it is a large plant in a large pot, take it to your bathtub. Douse the pot in water. Let the pot fill up with running water for five seconds. Let it drain by itself and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

3. Repeat step 2 until the soil is completely hydrated and can retain water itself. Once this is done, leave it alone for at least 3 days. This also depends of whether the plant is an outdoor or indoor plant. If it is an indoor plant, you may want to wait a whole week to a week-and-a-half before watering it again.

If you are afraid the water has washed away important nitrates and other fertilizer, sprinkle a little bit of worm castings into the plant. One to three tablespoons per square foot should do the trick.

Worm castings is Worm poo! It's my favorite kind of fertilizer because there is no odor, does not invite swarmy flies, is nicer to touch than other kinds of fertilizers, and is made from earth worms! All the stuff the earthworm eats is vegetarian, and the worms seem pretty happy.


Helen said...

Honestly, how did you get to know so much about plants? I find you weird.

Julie said...

Dilettante finds you weird...I find you amazingly interesting! LOL!!! Seriously.