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Reviving Neglected Houseplants

Don’t send that drought stressed houseplant to the compost pile just yet. You may be able to revive it.

Vacations and busy schedules may result in neglected houseplants suffering from a lack of water. Most potting mixes are soilless and contain organic materials like peat moss that shrink away from the pot and harden when overly dry. Water runs over the surface, down the side of the pot and out the drainage hole without moistening the potting mix.

Start the recovery process by loosening the potting mix surface with a fork. Then set the pot in warm water until the potting mix is moistened and you no longer see bubbles in the water.

Remove the pots from the water and allow them to drain. Place in a cool well-lit location and wait for a few hours.  If you intervened in time, the leaves will perk up in a few hours.

A bit more information: Busy gardeners and those that travel a lot may want to grow more low maintenance drought tolerant houseplants. Cacti and succulents are great for those with lots of sunny windows. Gardeners with low light conditions can grow snake plants, cast iron plant and ZZ plant.

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