Houseplants provide any room with a bright spot of color and life. All indoor gardeners do experience times when their plants are not happy. There are many causes of issues with plants, the most common being: overwatering, underwatering, too much sun or too little sun.
Reviving Overwatered Plants
Plants that have been overwatered are in danger of developing root rot. Overwatered plants have droopy leaves, and may be sitting in water, or be damp below the surface. Plants should be removed from their pots and the roots examined. If the roots are all rotted away, they are beyond salvation. If there are still some healthy, white roots, it can be saved. Repot the plant in the same pot with fresh compost and water lightly to get it to settle in. If there is some root damage, consider cutting back the leaves so there is less plant for the roots to support.
Reviving Underwatered Plants
Plants that are underwatered look shriveled and may begin to drop their leaves. The soil may also be dry and hard in the pot. Put the plant into a sink or bucket of water for a half hour then allow the plant to drain for a half hour. Monitor the plant for new growth and keep it out of strong sunlight until you begin to see it. Continue to water lightly.
Plants That Have Received too Much Sun
Plants that have received too much sun will appear scorched or have dark or bleached patches on the leaves. The soil may also be hard. Trim the scorched or dead foliage from the plant and move it to a shadier location. Monitor the plant to ensure the new location is providing adequate sunshine. Consider putting the pot in a tray with water to provide some humidity.
Plants That Have not Received Enough Sun
Plants that are not receiving enough sun will grow tall and spindly, or not grow at all. Leaves may fall off, plants may fail to flower, or they may not grow at all. The best cure is to provide a location with more sunshine. Try cleaning the window, dusting the leaves and turning the plant periodically to provide more uniform sunshine.
Karen Brown has been writing professionally since 2009. She has written for "The Metropolitan," her collegiate newspaper, and "Latitudes and Attitudes," where she combined her love of writing and sailing. Brown has a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from Metropolitan State University.