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How to Revive Your Dying Plants in 5 Easy Steps

Still see a hint of green in your struggling house plant? Then there’s still hope to turn its fate around even if you don’t have a green thumb! Just follow these five easy steps to see it spring back to life on its own.

Have you ever returned home only to find one of your houseplants struggling to survive? It was most likely neglected for one reason or another. Maybe you went out of town and your house sitter missed your favorite potted plant in your book nook, or you were just too busy enjoying the summer outdoors to remember how many times you watered it. No matter the reason, you can save your struggling indoor plant by following these steps.

Give Your Dying Plant a New Home

Repotting your plant into a new home full of fresh soil or potting mix can bring it back to life. You’ll need to find a new container with ample room for the roots to grow.

Pick a pot that is considerably wider than the old one. A quick trim of the foliage may seem like a step backwards for the plant, but it can be helpful if there is a lot of damage to the roots. This will give the plant a fighting chance because the root system will not have to support a large amount of foliage.

Is Your Dying Plant Lacking Nutrients?

When adding fresh soil to a larger container, provide your plant with essential nutrients by using a high-quality mix. You can also boost performance by adding fertilizer.

A word of warning: Be sure to follow the directions on the bag—don’t overdo it as too much fertilizer can finish off your plant just as easily as forgetting to water it can. Depending on your plant, you might choose to use a slow-process fertilizer variety instead. This may take some time, so be patient.

Source: R Coates/Shutterstock

Evaluate Your Plant's Environment

Your potted plant may be declining for reasons other than the occasional forgetful watering spell. The environment may not be right for your type of houseplant, especially if it's of the indoor herb garden variety. You can tell if the plant's current spot is too sunny if the leaves look bleached or have dark patches.

The touch test is another good indicator. Poke the compost with your finger to feel if the surface is dry. The foliage may even become brittle in the process.

Select a shadier spot and trim the lifeless leaves and water the soil well. To increase your plant's chances of surviving even more, you can also increase the surrounding humidity by rigging up a tray with water and gravel for the pot to sit on.

If your plant's leaves are pale and small, then there's it's likely lacking sunlight. You will want to move the plant to a brighter area and see if doing so has a positive effect on future growth.

Should I Give My Dying Plant More Water?

It could be possible your plant is being harmed not from you under-watering it, but from you overwatering it, especially during its dormant phase. If the soil becomes oversaturated, then the roots may start to rot. The pot may even begin to grow mold or mildew.

Your plants should be fed and watered well during the growing season, but less water is needed when the plant is dormant. This typically happens in the winter. Learn about your particular plant to give it the best care.

Spider mites are leaf suckers and chewers that can deprive the leaf and plant of nutrients. | Source: Jana Janina/Shutterstock

Keep Pests Away from Houseplants

Your houseplants are the perfect place for insect invaders to hang out. Pests like aphids, fruit flies, spider mites and fungus gnats love the environment your plant provides. This is unwelcome for both your home and your plants.

Stop these invading freeloaders by wiping down the leaves on your plants with a damp cloth or mild soap solution from time to time. Doing this will help removes the pests, along with any dust that may be floating around your home. Dusting your plants removes the organic compounds pests love to snack on.

Don’t get discouraged if it seems like your efforts are going to waste. It may take a few weeks to observe true improvements in your neglected plant. After completing these steps, give it some time to let your efforts bear some fruit. Eventually, you’ll be amazed when your plants are restored to vigorous health because of your well-thought-out actions.

3 Ways to Revive Your Lawn from Winter Dormancy

With spring knocking on our door, you may be looking at your sad, dormant lawn with concern – but not to fear! There are three things you can do to revive your lawn from its winter slumber and actually have it come back better than ever. The biggest jumpstart your lawn can have is a good fertilization treatment, which will supply your lawn with the nutrients that it needs to grow strong. Weed control will also help your lawn recover from winter dormancy by eliminating weeds that would otherwise compete with your lawn for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Aeration is also important as it loosens compacted soil to ensure that nutrients and water can be delivered straight to the roots of your plants.

1. Fertilization will jumpstart your lawn's revival and growth.

Fertilizer is food for your plants, and if you think of how hungry people can be in the morning after sleeping, you can imagine what your lawn may need after being dormant over a whole season. By boosting your lawn with a fertilizer treatment, you're providing it with the perfect blend of nutrients it needs to have a strong start for the growing season. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and early fertilization helps jumpstart your grass for the best possible start to the season.

The most important nutrients commonly found in fertilizers are nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.

2. Weed control will eliminate weeds so they can't steal nutrients from your grass.

Your lawn will likely have weed seeds just underneath your soil that are waiting just like your grass to start growing in the spring. When these weeds start sprouting, they will compete with your grass for nutrients, water, and sunlight. Weed control ensures that the sprouts you'll be seeing are your desired plants because it will eliminate weeds from your lawn. To prevent weeds from running rampant come spring, it's essential to treat early with weed control to give your lawn the best start after winter dormancy. There are two types of weed control: pre-emergent and post-emergent. Pre-emergent will prevent new weeds from sprouting and post-emergent will eliminate existing weeds. It's best to invest in both of these treatments to ensure your lawn stays weed-free.

3. Aeration will improve root access to water and nutrients.

Over winter, your soil will be compacted by factors like the weight of snowfall and regular tamping down from foot traffic. Aeration is basically a hard reset for your lawn, breaking up the compacted soil by poking holes in the ground. Like an upgraded delivery system, this brings life back in the form of airflow and improved access to water and nutrients for those deep roots. Aerating as winter dormancy comes to a close will allow the roots of your grasses to absorb and store plenty of nutrients so that as soon as spring arrives, they have everything they need to thrive.

Let's give your lawn the jumpstart it needs. Call us today to get a quote!

At Sharp Lawn Care, we offer three different fertilization and weed control packages as well as an aeration service, so you can count on us to give your lawn the jumpstart it needs to grow healthy and strong all season long. We have been offering our services to residential, commercial, and HOA property owners since 2005.

Ready to get started? Call us today to get a quote! If you're in Sioux Falls, Tea, Harrisburg, Brandon, or nearby cities in South Dakota, call us at (605) 251-6880, and if you're in the Sioux City, IA area, call (712) 253-8024. We look forward to helping your lawn look its best this spring.

Dividing daylilies to revive a flower bed

Daylilies are a very popular perennial. They’re easy to grow and will thrive under a wide variety of conditions.

Eventually, after they grow, mature and get older, the center of a clump will stop producing flowers and eventually die off. That leaves an unsightly dead area that gets taken over by weeds. It’s up to the gardener to fix that situation. If left alone long enough, the daylilies will continue to expand in a circle, leaving dead space behind without filling it back in.

Digging up existing clumps of old plants, dividing them and replanting is a regular part of garden maintenance that will keep a flower bed looking fresh.

Daylilies are tough plants so they can be divided just about any time of the year, but late summer is one of the best times.

They have fleshy roots, and it is those roots that are separated from each other during division.

A garden digging fork is the best tool to use to dig up the old plants. The tines of the fork will slip past most root rhizomes as opposed to a shovel that will cut through them.

To divide a clump, first cut down the tops so only 6 or 8 inches of leaves remain. That will make it much easier to handle the divided plants later on. Keep in mind some daylily varieties have long, large roots; others have smaller roots.

Insert a garden fork or shovel all the way around the plant you’re working on to loosen it from the soil and lift it from the soil. Use your garden fork or a pair of garden forks to separate the roots. If you don’t have a garden fork or if the roots are too tough for you to handle, use a shovel to cut the clump in half, then again into quarters or eights if you want.

If you want to fill in a larger space with more plants, divide the roots even further by teasing them apart by hand. You can divide them as small as a single fan of leaves as long as there are a set of roots attached.

I needed to fill in that area so I ended up with small divisions that had one, two or just a few fans of leaves per piece.

The daylilies I worked on had very few single large clumps. Instead, after many years, they had spread into that circle of growth I talked about earlier. Most of the time it’s best to divide them before they reach that stage when they are still growing in individual clumps.

Once all of the plants were dug up from the bed, I took the opportunity to clear the soil of grassy weed roots such as quack grass.

I also added a few inches worth of homemade compost and worked it into the existing soil. Daylilies are not very particular about what kind of soil to grow in so the compost may have been overkill. But the resulting fluffy soil made it easier and a lot more enjoyable to plant in.

The pieces were planted randomly anywhere from 6 to 12 inches apart with the crown of the divided piece about an inch deep. I thoroughly watered them in and kept the soil evenly moist.

New leaves sprouted from the roots fairly quickly with the first ones poking up after a week or so.

As to be expected, weed seeds and stray pieces of quackgrass rhizomes also sprouted. Removing weeds while they are still small seedlings will help get the newly planted daylilies off to a good start and keep the bed looking tidy as the plants grow.

Using a pre-emergent herbicide will keep annual weed seeds from sprouting but will have no effect on perennial weeds like that quackgrass. Once the daylilies become established, they will shade out most of the seedlings, keeping weeding to a minimum.