You can tell a plant is starting to wilt when its leaves start to droop. Permanent wilting will cause the plant to die. However, if you address the underlying cause of the wilting as soon as you notice it, you can save the plant. Here are the top seven reasons that cause plants to wilt and how to fix the problem.
1. Under watering Plants derive their nutrients from water. If you under water a plant, it will not receive enough nutrients and it begins to die. The solution to this problem is simple water the plant more often. Unsure of how often to water? It really depends on the plant and its location. For example, an outdoor location that is exposed to the sun and winds will need more water than plants that are in the shade. To see if your plant needs water, simply touch the soil. If the soil is dry, then water the plant. If you need to, do this every day until you see a pattern showing how many days it takes for the soil to become dry.
2. Over watering Is just as dangerous as under watering. Too much water means that the roots of the plant cannot get enough oxygen, which is crucial for carrying the water throughout the plant. The short-term solution is to drain the excess water from the pot. The long-term solution is to give the plant less water. Remember however, it is more important to do a thorough watering once a week than to give the plant smaller amounts of water more frequently. The reason for this is because a thorough watering will allow the plant to develop a healthy and robust root system.
3. Root bound plants When there are more roots in the pot than soil, your plant is root bound. The reason that these plants wilt is that there is no soil to store any water for the future, so unless you water everyday, they don't get the water they need. The solution? Re-pot the plant into a larger pot using lots of compost rich soil and water well.
4. Too much sun and heat The sun can scorch and burn both indoor and outdoor plants. As well, it is possible for plants to get too much heat. The solution is to move them if you can or provide a source of shade. Each plant is different in the amount of sun and heat that it can tolerate. If you are unsure, ask the staff at your local nursery. Not only will they know what each plant can tolerate, but they will also be familiar with the local climate and temperature zone.
5. Not enough light All plants need light to grow, although each one is different in the amount of light it needs. The first step in the solution to this problem is to check the recommended level of light for your particular plant. The next step is to move the plant to a sunnier location, or if it is an indoor plant, use artificial lights that are specifically designed for this purpose.
6. Over fertilizing Plants can burn if they receive too much fertilization. When adding fertilizer to the soil, be sure to carefully follow the directions on the package add no more and no less then what is stated. Also, fertilizer is best added during the growing season.
7. Broken stems Since the stem is broken, it cannot carry nutrients to that part of the plant. This can't be repaired and it is best to remove the broken stem. For certain plants, such as African Violets, you can transplant the stem as long as it hasn't been broken for too long. To transplant, simply put the stem in a small pot of soil and keep the soil moist. After a week or two, you will see new leaves starting to grow. The original stem may die, but it has grown roots and a new plant has been started.