It’s undoubtedly distressing when any of our beloved plants show decay, and even more so when the victim is our favorite hanging plant. But if your hanging plant is struggling or dying, can come back to life?
Hanging plants will not come back after dying. However, hanging plants can come back to life after showing some decay, as there are still portions of the plant that are healthy and alive. A completely dead plant will be dried up, brown or black, and fully wilted.
Therefore, if the plant is still showing some greenery and signs of life, there are definitely steps that you can take to give your plant the best chance of survival. The rest of this article will discuss these steps in detail, as well as offer some suggestions for revival.
How To Revive Hanging Baskets
Reviving your hanging basket is pretty straightforward, assuming you know what the plant is struggling with. There are a variety of ailments that can cause plant death, so you’ll need to determine the root cause before treating it and successfully reviving your hanging basket.
Plants thrive best in particular conditions and will not survive if those conditions are drastically off. For example, a plants’ needs involve:
- Nutrient-rich soil
If a plant isn’t getting enough water or too much direct sunlight, it can experience stress and decay.
Therefore, put on your “plant doctor” cap and figure out how you can begin to revive your hanging basket.
Pay Attention to Your Hanging Plants’ Water Schedule
One of the first questions to ask yourself about your plant’s health revolves around its watering schedule and needs. Remember, although plants have basic necessities to survive, each species has differing conditions, so you’ll need to do some research about the plant’s species-specific needs.
I have a beautiful Pothos hanging in my dining room that has expressed stunted growth over the past few months. Pothos is a vine with heart-shaped leaves and requires moist but well-drained soil on a regular basis, so make sure you take a look at the pot, as pots without holes can cause problems.
Since my pothos hangs in the dining room, I often forget to water it along with the floor plants, which would explain its stunted growth. Therefore, in order to keep my pothos’ soil moist while also allowing it to dry between waterings, I water it no more or less than 1-2 weeks.
How To Treat Underwatered or Overwatered Hanging Plants
The treatment is simple — change your plant’s watering schedule based on its species-specific needs. My pothos needs a 1-2 week period between watering, but my Dieffenbachia can only tolerate watering once every fourteen days. Even needier are my avocado tree and hanging Begonia — these plants need watering every 2-4 days!
Ensure Your Hanging Plant Is Receiving Adequate Sunlight
Similarly, too little or too much sunlight on a plant can cause plant decay. When a plant receives inadequate water and improper sunlight, it has a greater chance of dying. So, once you’ve learned about the plant’s watering needs, you should also consider reading about its lighting conditions.
For example, pothos is a very resilient plant species and can survive in full sun and full shade; the sunnier the location, the more often it needs to be watered. My avocado tree, though, prefers indirect sunlight (think of a bright room) because it will burn quickly in direct light.
How To Treat Hanging Plants With Too Little or Too Much Sunlight
Move your houseplant elsewhere in the house and memorize which plant thrives facing which cardinal direction. A general rule of thumb is:
- North-facing plants thrive in full shade
- South-facing plants get full sunlight all day around
- East-facing plants enjoy morning sunlight and afternoon shade and;
- West-facing plants enjoy morning shade and afternoon sun
Additionally, consider whether plants like direct or indirect sunlight. As I mentioned, indirect light refers to a bright room, while direct sunlight refers to total exposure to the sun’s rays.
Put Your Hanging Plant in Nutrient-Rich Soil
The third problem that could be killing your plant in collaboration with its sun and water requirements is the plant’s soil. Most plants need nutrient-rich soil from which to grow, and only a few can withstand arid conditions.
How To Treat Hanging Plants in Soil That’s Lacking Nutrients
You’ll notice if the plant’s soil is lacking nutrients if it looks compact. Compact soil looks as though it may come out of its container holding the exact same shape, and it often has a ridge between the soil and the inside of the pot.
Think of it as a sponge that has been completely sucked dry of any water it was holding. Compact, nutrient-lacking soil is a dehydrated sponge that doesn’t promote root growth whatsoever. If this is the case, you’ll need to repot your plant in fresh, nutrient-rich soil.
Just follow these steps:
- Dig the plant and its roots out.
- Brush off any dry chunks of soil to find the root ball.
- Repot it with new soil.
- Water the new soil immediately and generously.
Immediately Treat a Pest Infestation on Your Hanging Plant
Pest infestation is its own serious problem that not only can kill your hanging plant but can affect all of your other houseplants as well. Numerous different pest infestations can occur, and all of them work to eat away at the plant’s leaves and stems.
At the same time, pests can transfer from one plant to another, and the infestation can take over your houseplant collection. It’s mandatory to treat a pest infestation as soon as you become aware of it.
How To Treat a Pest Infestation on Your Hanging Plant
Most pests can be treated by removing the insects and washing your plant’s leaves. Some common pests include aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. Separating the infested plants from the non-infested ones is vital since many of these pests can migrate.
Certain pests, like thrips, will need chemical treatment to remove them, and this process can take up to six weeks. However, other pests might just need to be sprayed with a homemade insecticide.
It’s important to note that some pesticides are very toxic, so reading the instructions and taking all necessary precautions before using them is essential.
Look for Signs of Root Rot in Your Hanging Plant
Finally, root rot is a condition that kills the plant over time through the rotting of the plant’s root ball. It happens when the plant gets overwatered to a point where the roots can’t absorb any more water and end up sitting in oversaturated soil.
If your plant suffers from root rot, you’ll notice the stems and leaves are black and soggy to the touch. Root rot, if left untreated, will surely kill your plant, hanging or not.
How To Treat Root Rot
If you catch the root rot in time, you can certainly treat it and save your plant. Start by digging the plant and its root ball out of the soil. The root ball, if healthy, should have lively white roots. In the case of rotting, the roots will be black and mushy.
Follow these steps:
- Prune away the black roots (if you can and if there are any).
- Prune away any dead leaves.
- Repot the plant and the root ball into fresh soil.
- Water right away, but be careful not to drown the plant!
Additional Factors To Consider When Reviving Your Hanging Plants
Many people use hanging plants as decoration on their front or back porches, and rightfully so — hanging baskets make any outdoor space look much nicer. However, if your plant isn’t feeling so hot, it may be a result of the environmental temperature.
Certain plants need to be brought indoors to stay warm over the winter when the weather changes. Similarly, if you’ve moved an indoor plant outside for nice weather, it could struggle to adapt to the new environment.
So if you’re watering your plants, they’re in the right lighting conditions with nutrient-rich soil and don’t have pests or root rot, look at the temperature the plant does well in. If winter is approaching, you may consider hanging your plant up inside the house.
Some plants can be propagated in water if you prune a branch at its nodes. The plants that can be propagated are usually of the vine variety, so if you can’t seem to bring your hanging plant fully back to life, it may be worthwhile to snip a branch off at the node and pop it into some water for propagation.
This way, you can start fresh with the propagated plant and won’t lose the species entirely.
Hanging plants can come back after they’ve shown signs of decay if you manage to treat the root cause of the problem before it gets out of control. However, if your plant has fully died, it’s impossible to revive it.