8 emergency tricks for sick houseplants
Indoor plants are not just pretty dust catchers. Fresh green in the apartment has been proven to increase well-being! Plants ensure mental equilibrium and support the ability to concentrate; In addition, their foliage supplies the room with oxygen and filters pollutants from the air.
The best ideas for garden design are here. (Scroll down to the article.)
So there are many reasons to buy pot dwellers. However, houseplants need special care. It is therefore good to know their “language” in order to take the right action in an emergency.
Plants need sun, water and something to eat. They usually get the latter from the earth. After a while, however, even the largest pot will run out of the last of the nutrients. So if your house plants are limp with only small leaves, they don’t necessarily have to be sick, they probably need fertilizer. You can mix yourself a great all-purpose fertilizer with eggshells, coffee grounds and banana peels. Old tea bags, small remains of beer or cooled potato water are also suitable as a power meal for your greenery.
It is important not to fertilize too much and, if possible, to wait for the mild seasons between spring and autumn. Do not fertilize if the sun hits the leaves constantly, otherwise the plant will “burn”; once the flowers fall off after the nutrient boost, however, this is completely normal.
2. Brown borders
Do the leaves turn brown from the top and look dry even though you water regularly? Then it could be a reason that you fertilized too much. Vigorous watering helps with some plants. Plants that shy away from moisture, on the other hand, need new soil. Knock off the loose soil around the root ends and replant the patient.
Another reason for brown borders could be too much sun and / or warmth. Not every flower likes this. If your houseplant is facing a south-facing window or above the heater, try changing its location.
3. Rain of leaves
If your green friend loses leaves from the trunk, he probably gets too little light. Either you prepare a place for him in the sun or help with a special plant light.
Does your pot plant suddenly lose its leaves when you just bought it? Temperature fluctuations are usually the cause for this. But don’t worry: your new acquisition will recover over time. Next time you just wrap the plants in the store with some paper so that they don’t freeze when you take them out. Sensitive candidates like Ficus benjamina react to drafts with leaf loss. A change of location helps here.
If the leaves turn yellow and feel soft, this is a sign of too much water. Brown stems also indicate waterlogging. The solution: Drain excess water, carefully remove the plant from the pot and let it drain for a while. You should remove yellow leaves so that the plant quickly regains its strength. If not present, drill a hole in the pot to allow the water to drain. High-quality soil and a little expanded clay on the bottom of the pot support the water absorption capacity.
Orchids are not watered, they are watered. Put in a saucepan full of water, let it steep for a few minutes and then drain off all the water.
5. White earth
If whitish deposits form on the potting soil, it is important to take a closer look. If they have a crumbly structure, they are harmless salt and lime residues from watering and fertilization. These can be ignored or removed superficially.
If, on the other hand, the structure is furry, it is mold that must be removed urgently. Carefully knock off the entire root system and replant. To avoid mold, you should let the earth dry out between each watering and avoid waterlogging. Occasional loosening of the surface also ensures ventilation and prevents mold from forming.
6. Sciarid gnats
Without thinking of anything bad, you put on the watering can, and suddenly an armada of tiny mosquitoes buzzes upwards. The larvae of these fungus gnats damage the roots and endanger seedlings. Glue traps, so-called yellow stickers, are a tried and tested means against flying pests. For larger pots or extreme infestation, the use of nematodes, microscopic roundworms that eat the larvae of the sciarid gnats, is recommended. Especially when using compost, heating the earth beforehand in the oven (10–20 minutes at 200 ° C) can have a preventive effect. Even if sand is scattered on the ground, the mosquitoes cannot lay their larvae and reproduction is stopped.
7. Lice and mites
Mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects and aphids are among those guests that you want to get rid of as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the small pests are very persistent and require detailed treatment.
Basically, it is advisable to separate infected plants from healthy ones and to place them in a cool but sunny place. The little crawlers feel particularly comfortable in dry, heated air. Next, the plant should be thoroughly showered. Wrap a plastic bag around the pot to prevent the potting soil from rinsing out, and hold the plant at an angle to get the underside of the leaves off as well. You can pluck severely affected leaves in advance. If the roots are affected, you will need to remove the soil and rinse the roots.
For follow-up treatment, mix 2 liters of water, 30 ml of alcohol (or vinegar) and 30 g of detergent. Spray the ailing greenery every two days with the mixture. With sensitive orchids, use a brush to apply. So-called beneficial insects such as lacewings, predatory mites or parasitic wasps are also excellent companions in the fight against the plague. They can be bought. Homemade nettle manure has a preventive effect; the old household remedy of extracting pest toxins from cigarettes is no longer allowed.
8. Complete disaster
Does your plant show no specific symptoms, but does it appear to be dissatisfied with the overall situation? Young houseplants in particular that are still growing have to be moved to a larger pot every two years. Even if the potting soil is very old, hardly stores any water and has little air space, it is time to repot. Your green roommate will initially look even more suffering, but the repotting treatment will soon straighten him up again.
If you want to do something quickly about the symptoms of your ailing plant, aspirin can also help. Researchers have found that the acetylsalicylic acid contained in the headache pill inhibits the release of pain hormones, similar to that in humans. Of course, plants don’t feel like we do, but the acid helps to recover faster. You already know what you can do about the real causes of their suffering!
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Sources: food52, housewife tips, mein-schoener-garten
Thumbnail: © pinterest / myfirstorchid