Dropped Your Plant? Here’s what you should do


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Plants can fall from simply moving them around for repositioning or even repotting. Thankfully, there are things you can do to ensure it survives.

Dropping a plant is an unforeseeable incident that can be very traumatic to the plant. It can send the plant into a state of shock which can result in wilting and dieback. This can be avoided by repotting the plant into nutrient rich soil and allowing it to sit for 2 -3 days for it to properly recover.

In this article I have outlined the things I did which helped my plant survive after it has been dropped. A fall can result in broken pots, leaves and spilt soil and here we explain what you can do in each instance.

Access the Damage

Saving a Dropped plant

Taking some time to access the damage can give helpful insights on how to best move forward to saving the plant.

It can also reveal other things such as the quality of soil that the plant was in and if the plant should be repotted. 

In most cases however, many people who have dropped their plant were in the process of moving the plant for transplanting.

If this is your case then we do recommend using Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix from amazon which we use. It helps our plants stay strong and healthy long after repotting. You can find it by clicking here.

Remove Broken Leaves

Removing broken leaves from the plant or “deadleafing” can actually save the plant in the long run. 

Broken leaves if they don’t add any value to the health or look of the plant can be removed, especially if the plant has a good amount of foliage. 

When done correctly, the process of deadleafing is beneficial to plants. Removing decaying plant debris can decrease the likelihood of plant disease, as well as help keep a neat and tidy appearance to the planting.

Did you know you can also mix the dead and broken leaf pieces to the soil? It increases the organic matter in the soil and also adds nutrients for the plants. 

Check this article on the benefits of mixing dead leaves in potted plant soil.

Sterilizing broken leaves

Sterilizing broken plant leaves can be done by using cinnamon powder. Cinnamon powder has antifungal properties which kills fungal spores and prevents them from infecting the leaf.

If the plant has suffered broken leaves when it was dropped the leaves should be sterilized to ensure that no infections are formed which can eventually kill the plant.

Broken leaves are normally associated with plants with thick, stiff shoots such as succulents, zz plants, rubber plants and fiddle leaf figs.

Also larger plants like Monsteras, where the stems are also thick, can be broken easily from a fall.

If you would like to know how to repair a broken leaf you can view my detailed article showing you just how you can do this.

I usually keep my plant leaves strong and healthy with this fertilizer that I’ve found for a great price on amazon. You can find it by clicking here.

Saving a Plant that’s in Shock

Whenever a plant falls from a height, it can be a very traumatic experience for the plant, similar to that of transplant shock.

It can take between 2 – 3 days for the plant to recover.

Transplant shock is a term that refers to the stresses which occur in recently transplanted plants. It involves failure of the plant to adapt and root well in its new environment. This can lead to the death of the plant if not properly addressed.

What You Can do

Allow the plant to rest

In the case where you didn’t have intentions of transplanting, the plant should be watered lightly and placed to sit in a cool place with indirect light. 

This allows the plant to rest and adapt itself to its surroundings.

Continue with transplanting

If you are about to transplant the plant you should go right ahead as the plant is already in a state of shock. 

The new nutrient rich soil into which the plant is placed, will help the plant to establish stronger roots in a short period of time.

One thing to note is that the plant is already in a state of shock and placing it into a soil that is difficult to adapt to can further add to the stress causing the plant to take longer to recover or eventually die.

For this reason we recommend a sure-fix potting soil that would actually help the plant recover quickly. You can check out the potting soil we recommend for this on amazon by clicking here.

Monitor the Plant’s Health

Monitor the plant’s health over the next few days, making sure that the soil is slightly moist. 

There are many reasons why soil can become dry quickly and we have written a detailed article on how long should soil stay wet after watering which gives helpful insights on what you can do to keep your plants properly hydrated.

If the plant is not showing much signs of recovery, try changing its environment.

See our article where we recommend 7 safe places to put your plants at home.

The Cleanup

It can get very messy when a plant hits the floor from broken leaves to soil spillage. Now those are the easier things to clean. 

A simple shop vac can make little work of picking up soil particles while a scoop and a broom can deal with the rest. 

You should be mindful of broken shards of terracotta, glass or even ceramic material if the plant was in such pots.

Although many plastic pots can survive a fall with little or no damage there are some hard plastics that can crack and leave sharp edges.

Care must be taken when handling broken pieces of a pot and a protective glove should be worn. The pieces should be placed on paper and wrapped properly before it is placed in the trash.

Now you can proceed to repotting even if that was not your intention in the first place. 

Quick note: If you don’t have a pot to repot the plant right away you can simply wrap the plant in newspaper or brown paper that has been soaked in water. 

This can now be placed into a plastic bag until you find a more permanent solution for the plant.

The Other side of Things (hitting Plants)

There are some plants that actually like a little shakeup and a drop like from a height can actually do some good. Weird huh? 

Some people have claimed that hitting the plants from time to time promotes stronger stems and leaves and a little trauma can be beneficial for the plant. 

I would say that although this might be true for plants that can grow large, smaller plants may not share the same faith.

Wind and shaking actually does help a plant grow stronger.

What we have seen in many of our outdoor plants is that the wind can help the plant grow deeper roots as well as thicker stems. 

The only tradeoff is that they need to be watered more often as the wind dries the soil faster.

The Takeaway

So there you have the things you can do to help your plant survive from a fall. Remember to repot in a good potting soil and allow the plant to rest in a cool place and it should be fine after 2 – 3 days.

JayLea

JayLea has a passion for plants and has been gardening since 2015. He has valuable knowledge about gardening and houseplant care and can answer everyday practical questions that every plant owner has.

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