Zombie Plants

How to Revive the Dead

Abigail Lowrey

More stories from Abigail Lowrey

Campus Flora
March 31, 2021

I know the pain all too well of forgetting that you even have a plant. I write a lot about plants but I have definitely killed quite a few. The poor ivy at my bedside was neglected as I completely forgot that it was not a fake plant. After tending the plant, cutting off any dead leaves and parts, I was able to bring the plant to a safe point. The picture I’ve included features a fungus known as powdery mildew infecting my mint plant. This fungus can be easily combated with water. Plants are a lot like people, if there’s a bad person in the group the mentality can spread to everyone else. I’ve been able to rescue a few plants from the brink of death and even from death itself. First thing is to isolate the plant, if it has anything to do with fungi or illnesses that the plant may possess it is better to separate it from your other plants. Once you have the plant isolated I like to repot it, almost like a hospital for the roots. Using a mixture of perlite mix and regular potting soil create a mixture, preferably in a clear pot where you can keep an eye on the roots. The roots on a lot of plants may be dried and crispy and need to be removed. If that’s the case your best bet is to use hydrogen peroxide cleaned scissors and cut off the dead roots, like a hair cut almost. Water the plant as you would normally, making sure if there’s a special “plant food” to add that occasionally. Plants that thrive off the food are ones such as Orchid and the occasional fern food. The food can be found at any nearby plant store.  Be cautious on how much nutrients the plant is given though. For extra precautions, a few sprays of dish soap and water or even mouthwash will clear it of any fungi or infection. Nursing your plant around an illness may be daunting but in the end, it is worth saving your little friend.