Helping Plants Heal

Left to right, top down on the ‘Before’ side: mystery plant, prayer plant, catnip, celery, cat grass (wheatgrass)

When I came back from my break, some of my houseplants were not doing well. In particular,

  • The catnip was browning and extremely droopy;
  • The celery had several yellowing and droopy stalks and very wet soil;
  • The catnip was almost completely crushed and browned;
  • the prayer plant looked weak and definitely had kitty cat tooth holes;
  • the mystery plant is almost completely wilted and browned.

I’m trying hard not to be annoyed and heartbroken by this and instead focusing on what I can do to help the plants. So let’s talk TLC.

The wheatgrass has been given a similar regimen – more regular than usual watering and a watchful eye. As for the celery, for now I’m just keeping a close eye on it; with soil as wet as it was, I don’t want to overwater even though celery can take and likes a lot of water.

The most important lesson here is getting to know your plants – what they like, what they dislike, and what they look like when healthy or unhealthy. My relationship with each plant I live with is what’s helping me know how to give them the specific rejuvenation each needs.

I don’t have any good pictures of how the catnip looked when I first arrived home – it was completely disheveled, drooping, and browned. It seemed only weakly situated in it’s soil, and when I first watered it most of the water filtered right on through – I doubt the roots got much at all.

On the left is how it’s looking after 6 days of extra-special care, i.e. careful and near-daily watering, organic pet-safe fertilizer, open windows for fresh air, and a close eye. You can see some leaves look full and green again, and it’s starting to show some lift!

Now, the prayer plant was actually relatively well-off. It did seem a little unhappy, but I simply refilled the powerless humidifiers next to it, which were empty, and pruned any dead leaves. It’s been moving better now (remember: prayer plants are called such because they fold up into prayer-hands position each and every night! it’s incredible to see!)

But now, the ultimate heartbreak – so sad to me that I didn’t even include a picture in the opening post collage.

The little mystery plant I’ve raised since it sprouted, which survived being pulled out from the roots by my cat, is really not doing well. It really isn’t even standing, and the watering I’ve been giving it hasn’t seemed to help. I don’t want to move it out of the bright sunlight because it’s thrived there in the past, but I may have to as it seems extremely dehydrated.

In better news, my two basil propagates are doing incredibly well, as is my jade propagate, my orchid, and all the other plants (knock wood).

(FYI, the orchid may look browning and droopy, but I’ve talked to some more experienced orchid gardeners and they said that’s normal – the flowers will drop and you can trim the spike; so long as the roots are “bright green and pliable”, as this website says and my sources concurred, you’re good!)

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