How to Care for Sick Plants

May 21, 2019

How to Care for Sick Plants

Plants are living creatures that require care and attention. We may do all we can to nurture them but there is still a possibility of them becoming sick. Brown and yellow leaves, wilting and pale stems are all signs that your plant is sick. Sometimes our plants can develop illness because of factors we were unaware of or unable to control. This isn’t a death sentence. We can care for our sick plants to revive them back to perfect health to live happy and prosperous lives.

Water Conditions

First things first. Every plant needs water. Water is essential for the growth and survival of your plant. If you wouldn’t drink a glass of water directly from your faucet, it is best to not give it directly to your plants. Try filtered water instead. Some plants require water to be given from the bottom such as African Violets. Find out if your plant is required to receive water from the top, bottom or both. The temperature of the water can also affect their wellbeing. If your plant thrives in humidity, spritz your plant using filtered water in a spray bottle once every few days to keep it moist.


Signs of overwatering include base leaves falling off and moss growing on the top of the soil.

A flooded plant means there is too much watering going on. Mold may have started to form inside of the original pot.  Repot your plant in another container. Opt for grow bags with a drainage hole instead of pots, they allow for breathability and circulation. Ease up on the watering.


Discoloration and leaf limpness are signs your plant needs more water and nutrients. Again, try using filtered water. Water more often. The soil may need more nutrients. You can use a pH tester to be sure your plant is receiving the appropriate amount of nutrients to be in good health. Put your plant on a fertilizing regimen using soil additives or different potting mixes to give it the food supply it needs. If your plant grows too large or the roots become entangled, it may be time to repot your plant. Always shoot for a grow bag or pot that is 2x larger than the size of the plant so it will have room to grow.

Pests and Insects

Pests and insects happen more often with outdoor plants, but they can also affect indoor plants. Leaves that are curling up or damaged are signs your plant may have a pest problem. Check the undersigns of the leaves to spot for insects. Apply a pesticide. Many pesticides are not harmful to humans, but there are natural pesticide alternatives if you are growing herbs or vegetables.


Burn marks on leaves means there is too much sunlight. Move your plant to a space with more shade or where there is no direct sunlight. Thin, weak and splintering on leaves means there is not enough sun. Move your plant to a sunnier spot or place it under fluorescent lights or grow lamps.


Brown and black spots on leaves, pale stems, spots of white foam, powdery mildew and  spider-like webbing are signs of a fungus problem. Treat with a fungicide. Be sure to repot. The fungus may have started inside of the pot to begin with. Always sterilize your pot before repotting as a preventative measure.

If your plant is sick, don’t fret! These solutions will help heal your plant. Remember some plants are just more temperamental than others. Do your research about what your specific plant needs before growing. Once you’ve got the basics down, apply these steps just in case you run into any trouble along the way!


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