book3 600x120 7

by Reena
(Houston, TX)




My name is Reena, I live in Houston, TX. I fell in love with owning houseplants during my freshman year of undergrad and have kept mainly succulents and cacti.

After a string of difficult life events, I moved from my apartment into a house with windows that give very little light due to a sun screen obscuring any direct sunlight.

Due to this, I had no choice but to move my plants outside. I knew that this would be traumatic for my plants but I’ll admit I was distracted by everything going on and simply neglected to think about the well-being of the plants I’ve loved for so long.

After about a month of avoiding looking at my plants purely out of shame and embarrassment to what I’ve done to them, I confronted my mistakes.

To say they’re in bad shape is an understatement.

We’ve been having pretty heavy thunderstorms in Houston coupled with record temperatures. My plants have been in direct sunlight and rain and reside on the second floor balcony of my house.

Most of their pots have drainage holes. They’re on the backside of the house which I believe is south facing. I know this is a long shot but I want to at least try to revive them if possible. I’m not sure where to start due to the fact I’m a pretty novice houseplant owner but I owe it to them to try. I would appreciate any help or advice if you have any. I will do anything to rebuild what I’ve destroyed.

Thank you!

Comments for Desperately seeking help to revive my plants (if possible)

Aug 21, 2022
So sorry
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

I know the feeling well, of horror, when you finally clue in to what’s been going on.

Your plants don’t appear to be too bad, so there is hope.

I’ve made some suggestions here;

#1 looks like a type of hybrid between Sedum and Pachyphytum, hence the tendency to drop leaves. This is totally normal, even when they get perfect care. The best thing to do is to cut off the stem, and re-root it in fresh soil, so the bottom of the stem will get new roots. Leave the soil dry.

#2, some type of Aloe. Just pull the lower leaves off, and make sure it gets enough light from now on.

#3, Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvy’ – cut off the top and re-root in dry soil, as for #1

#4 looks like African Milk Tree, or Euphorbia tetragona. It looks totally fine – if you want to keep it shorter, cut off the tops of the stems. In its native habitat, it will get to over 20′ tall, so this is ongoing. Watch out for the white milky sap, which is caustic.

All in all, they are not as bad as they could have been. Putting them outdoors is fine, as long as it’s done gradually to harden them off, and they are protected from excessive rainfall.