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Reviving Drought Stressed Houseplants

You went on vacation or life just got busy and you forgot to water your houseplants. Some survived the neglect while others are wilted, looking near death. Try reviving them before moving them to the compost pile.

Start with a gentle shower of lukewarm water. Then partially fill an old dishpan or other container with several inches of water at the same temperature. Set the pots in the water for about 45 minutes. Remove the pots from the water and allow them to drain. Once the water stops dripping you can return the plant to its usual location and wait to see if it recovers.

This method also works on potting mixes that have dried to the point of shedding water.  The water rolls off the surface, down the sides of the pot and out the bottom. Rewet the potting mix with a soak in lukewarm water. Adjust your watering schedule in the future to avoid these problems.

A bit more information: Your finger is the best moisture meter.  Poking it into the top few inches of potting mix is the best way to monitor your plants’ watering needs.  Most plants benefit from a thorough watering when the soil is just starting to dry.

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