How to Revive a Plant


Uh oh. Did you come home to a less-than-happy plant? Don’t panic just yet! Your plant still has some hope before it meets its untimely demise.

What can you do to revive your dying plant? Most people immediately assume that they should water it, but an extra dose of water can actually harm a plant that doesn’t need it.

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Instead, know that a plant’s health fluctuates if it’s getting too much or too little of something. Most solutions to your plant’s health issues are easy fixes that restore it to its natural balance. For example, a plant getting too much sun simply needs to find a new home in a shadier spot.

We’ve identified all of the signs you’ll need to look out for and the best solutions for each issue your plant can have. To help you figure out just what your plant needs and how to revive a plant, we’ve identified all the signs you’ll need to look out for and the best solutions for any issue a plant can have.


Can I Revive a Dying Plant?

The answer is yes! First and foremost, the dying plant’s roots must be alive to have any chance of coming back to life. Some healthy, white roots mean that the plant has a chance at making a comeback. It’s even better if your plant stems still show signs of green.

To get started, trim back any dead leaves and some foliage, especially if the majority of the roots are damaged. This will make it so the roots have less to support and can recover more efficiently. Next, trim the dead part of the stems until you see green. Ideally, new stems will grow from these trimmed stems.

Now you know how to check for your plant’s chances of living. Read on to get familiar with certain warning signs and learn the particulars for reviving a dying plant.

Signs of a Dying Plant and How to Help it Recover


If your plant is suffering from too much water (more on that below), hold off on adding fertilizer or plant food to your plant’s soil until it’s fully recovered. The roots are sensitive and need time to heal. Keep water-damaged plants out of direct sun and lightly water until their roots have recovered. You’ll know its fully recovered when the plants leaves return to its normal green color and the soil is neither too moist nor too hard.


All plants respond differently to sun. Some plants thrive in full sun while others can’t handle the stress of direct sunlight. Sudden changes in a plant’s environment, like relocating to a different spot in the room, can put your plant in shock. Look up your plant’s specific sun needs so you know exactly how much sun your plant desires and where in your home it can thrive the most.


Plants are the perfect place for common pests to invade. Thankfully, most pests are easy to remove. You can also try adding insect-repelling plants around your other plants if you want to keep pests far away. Deformed or discolored leaves are a result of bugs nibbling and sucking on the plant. Abnormal growths in your plants are usually indicators of bugs who have burrowed partially or fully into your plant. Insect eggs are another reason why growths pop up in your plant’s leaves.


Your plant may be hungry and in need of nutrients. This can happen if you haven’t added fertilizer or plant food to replenish the nutrients in the soil your plant uses up. A lack of nutrients can inhibit a plant’s overall ability to thrive since it has nothing to fuel and support its growth. Homemade plant food is easy to make with common household items and has all the nutrients your plant needs.


If you feel like your plant has has crossed the point of no return after trying to bring it back to life, you can compost your plants to help keep your next plant alive. It can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months until your plant makes a full recovery, so be patient and keep a close eye on your plant’s progress during this time!

You’ll surely make your plant much happier after some well-deserved tender loving care. Make sure you keep up with your plant’s sun, watering and soil needs after you bring it back to life so it can stay healthy. Consider picking up some new plant friends to keep your plant company on its road to recovery. You can use our guide to the best houseplants for every room to get an idea of the best plants for your home. Looking for care tips for a specific plant? Check out our guides for pothospeace lilies and snake plants!