How to Care for Sick Plants

Having house plants can make you feel a little closer to the outdoors while you bask in the comfort of your home. Keeping your house plants healthy is important, though, or they may detract from your home instead of adding an attractive green touch. Garden plants can also fall ill and create an eyesore in your yard. There are many causes of sick plants from diseases to pests, but you can always fight back against the forces that would do your plant harm. Follow a few simple guidelines to care for your sick plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Clippers
  • Coffee
  • Light bulb
  • Water
  • Plastic bag
  • Tape


    • 1

      Fertilize your plant. Just as you would eat and drink a little extra when you are sick in order to get your health up, your plant needs extra nutrients while it battles an illness. Do not overfertilize during this time, however. Overfertilization can be just as dangerous as the illness.

    • 2

      Prune away any sick-looking foliage. Pruning that sick foliage helps redirect energy to healthy areas so your plant can fight off the sickness without expending energy on dead growths.

    • 3

      Pour some room-temperature coffee into your plant’s soil. The acids in coffee can help perk up wilting plants. The coffee should be weak, though. Plants do not have the same caffeine tolerance as people, so you want to make sure you do not shock the plant with coffee that is too strong. For some plants, you can even sprinkle fine-ground coffee directly onto the plant’s soil.

    • 4

      Set your plant in a sunny area where it can recuperate. The sunlight gives the plant a little extra energy to help it fight its sickness. You may even want to move indoor plants outside to help them soak up as much sun as they can. If a sunny location is not available, set your plant under a 75-watt light bulb for a few hours a day.

    • 5

      Water your plant generously during its illness. Make sure no water is pooling in the soil, though. Stagnant water can attract pests that could further damage your plant. The best time to water is in the morning. You should also avoid getting water on the plant’s foliage.

    • 6

      Wrap and secure a plastic bag around the plant. This creates a personal greenhouse where your plant can rest and recover. Remove the bag at least once a day to ensure that no mold or rotting is occurring.

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  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

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