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Dried plants do not always have to be disposed of, because in most cases a rescue attempt is worthwhile! Read here how you can recognize dried-up plants, feed them back and protect them from drying out in the future!

When beloved plants slowly dry up, it doesn't necessarily mean saying goodbye. Because in many cases the affected specimens are not dead, but only battered. If you act in time, you can revive the supposedly dead plants with a bit of skill. We have summarized how this works best in this article!

withered plants

Why do dried plants die?

The answer, of course, is that they don't get enough water. Because a sufficient hydration is an essential part of photosynthesis, which takes place in the leaves. However, if the plant receives too little water, the leaves will no longer be adequately watered. The consequences: Photosynthesis is impaired and the plant no longer has enough air to breathe. If nothing is done, the plant will eventually die.


In most cases, of course, insufficient water supply is the cause of the dehydration. Both the frequency of irrigation and the amount of water play an important role here. These factors must always be individually adapted to the plants and their environment. Because dehydration can also be favored by the following factors:

  • Evaporation: watering at the wrong time
  • Weather: dry heat periods
  • Health: damaged roots
  • Cut: too many leaves removed
  • damaged vessels: water leaks out

Is the dried up plant dead?

If the plant has already dried up significantly, it should not be disposed of immediately. Because a dried up plant is not always automatically dead. Even if the above-ground parts of the plant have died, it could well be that there is still life in the plant itself. You can test whether the plant is still alive as follows:

  • Trunk is still damp despite withered branches
  • scrape off bark
  • Plant is alive when green is visible
  • Leaves are yellow in color
  • fallen leaves are green
  • Flowers hang limp
  • leaves gather

notice: If a plant is actually dead, it cannot (unfortunately) be revived.

Save dry plants in 3 steps

In general, it can be said that the rescue attempts are promising as long as the root are not damaged. Likewise, usually only perennial Save plants, but annual specimens should be discarded. If a rescue attempt is worthwhile, the best way to proceed is as follows:

1. Fluid supply

The cause of dehydration is mostly missing water, which is why the plants should primarily be supplied with liquid. However, reaching for the watering can is not necessarily recommended, because you can quickly overwater potted plants. It is better to treat the plants to a water bath. Here you place the plant together with the pot in a bucket filled with water:

  • Fill bucket with water
  • Add potted plant and pot
  • Remove when no more air bubbles are visible
  • Roots and substrate have absorbed enough water
  • do not leave it in for more than 24 hours!

notice: It is important that the pot has a drainage hole. If this is not the case, you must take the root ball and the soil out of the pot and place it in the bucket of water. After the water bath, it is advisable to let the root ball air dry before returning it to the planter.

2. Repotting and relocation

Many hobby gardeners know that once the soil has dried out, it will no longer be able to store water as well. Of course, this can be counteracted with increased watering. However, this is an alternative repot so that the plants can enjoy fresh substrate. In addition, a change of location is often worthwhile, because a window seat can quickly become a heat trap.

  • repot plants if necessary
  • preferably in a clay pot
  • ensures good ventilation
  • Do not put the plant in direct sun
  • or provide sun protection

3. Fertilizing and cutting

When a plant dries up, it is also very weak and has less energy available. Proper fertilization provides the plant with important nutrients and thus valuable life energy. Now, however, it is important that the plant puts its recovered strength into the strong main shoots. This can be done with a radical pruning promote effectively:

  • remove all brown shoots
  • Cut out what is dried out
  • also remove individual, dried shoots
  • if necessary, cut back to the stick

notice: Fertilizing is not absolutely necessary if the crops are not yet completely dry. Here it is usually sufficient to water them extensively.

Save dried-up bedding plants

While potted plants can always be rearranged and repotted as you wish, the situation is different with plants in beds. You can carefully dig up small plants and place them in water. Larger specimens, on the other hand, are usually tied to the location and thus to the conditions prevailing there. However, dried-up plants in the bed can also be saved with a little skill:

  • Loosen the soil around the plants
  • water extensively, directly to the roots
  • 10-20 liters over several days
  • cut off dried shoots
  • apply sun protection if necessary
  • mulch

tip: In order to supply the plants in the bed with liquid evenly and regularly, automatic watering is not necessarily required. Because PET bottles and small pots are also ideal for storing water.

Nurture dried up lawns

Ideally, a lawn is colored in a bright, lush green. However, it can happen, especially in particularly dry heat periods, that the grass dries up and therefore turns yellow. This is usually not a cause for concern, because a lawn can usually be nursed back relatively quickly. For this you should first water it extensively, preferably twice a day. The lawn often recovers after just a few days. If this is not the case, you should scarify the lawn:

  • Scarify the soil with a scarifier
  • Remove weeds, moss, etc
  • This loosens the soil
  • Roots can absorb water better

tip: When scarifying, it is quite possible that bare spots will appear. However, new lawns can easily be sown on these. So that the grass can grow unhindered, the areas should be walked on as little as possible.

Avoid drying out of plants

Although many plants can be pampered well after drying out, this still represents an enormous burden for them. Accordingly, it is desirable to avoid drying out as much as possible. The following tips have proven useful for this:

  • always water sufficiently
  • preferably early in the morning
  • water more during hot periods
  • automatic irrigation or water storage
  • before the holiday put the plants in a water bath
  • Choose location well
  • Avoid heat stroke
  • Always take good care of plants
  • mulch

tip: Keeping the top 15 centimeters of turf covered with plenty of water at all times will encourage a deeply developed root system. This keeps the lawn moist longer and prevents it from drying out.

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