If you've found odd bite marks on your plant's edges or the whole plant tipped over and soil spilled on the floor, you might have a "plant eater" in the house. Eeek! Luckily, even quite damaged plants have a chance to survive this doggy or feline carnage. Here are a few tips on how to save a plant after it has survived kitty chomps or dog digging!
Trim and Treat
First, make sure your pet is okay! Check for any signs of distress if you've discovered your pet has ingested one of your plant babies. Double check the toxic and non-toxic plant list at ASPCA. If you suspect your pet has ingested a poisonous plant, contact your local veterinarian or the 24-hour emergency poison hotline at 1-888-426-4435. Those on call will want to know how many leaves were ingested, the symptoms your pets are displaying, the approximate weight of the pet, and how long ago they consumed it. Keep this number on speed dial and posted on your fridge for safekeeping. Different signs include agitation, tremors, convulsions, nausea or vomiting, seizures, and diarrhea.
Once your pet is feeling fine, take steps with our pet-prevention plant guide here to arrange your plants so that your fur babies won't reach for another bite!
ICU for your Plant Bites
After the mishap with your fur baby and plant, no need to call 911 for your plants. Lively Root expert, Miss Debbie, says, "Dust your poor plant off and give her some love. Tell her this will never happen again and elevate her to new heights!" She repeats our recommendations here for keeping your plants out of reach. Then, she says, "inspect the leaves chewed and wash off with water. If the leaf or leaves are goners, cut them all back to the base of the plant." Next, she says to be patient and wait. Treat your plant like she's in ICU, giving her some serious TLC!
Nursing Your Plant Back to Health
To nurse your plant baby back to her original self, please keep her surroundings as she would want it if her leaves were healthy and growing. Continue to water consistently for your plant's needs. Ensure to take the grower pot out of the decorative pot and to the sink. Water with filtered, bottled, or tap water that's been sitting out for at least 24 hours to help the chemicals dissipate. Then, feed with one of our fertilizers, such as Arbor organic plant food, Dyna-Gro (a foliar mix), and use our House Plant Invigorator to kick start the recovery!
If your plant is balding (with no leaves in sight), you can place a large plastic clear bag over her to keep the humidity high until she sprouts a few leaves. This option will help the leaves to grow and flourish faster. Every little bit helps like bandages on a boo-boo! Then make sure she recovers in her favorite light. Eventually, she will rebirth new leaves from the root base. (And your pet will be out of the 'dog house!')
Plants go through all kinds of environmental hazards and rebound. Unless the roots were chewed and swallowed by your little rascal, you can save the plant. Years down the road, when you're repotting new younger plants from this momma plant, you can tell them the story about how 'grandplant' almost didn't make it!