How to Care for Damaged Plants


Plants become damaged from neglect, abuse from an animal, disease or other outside sources. You must take steps to ensure the plant returns to its natural beauty so it continues to grow and thrive. Proper maintenance and quick action help to care for a damaged plant and bring it back to full health.

Step 1

Isolate the plant to remove any more threat of injury. If it is an indoor plant, keep it away from other plants to keep any disease or pests from infecting the healthy plants.

Step 2

Determine the cause of the damage, whether it is not enough water, too much sunlight or some other problem. If the problem cannot be diagnosed by observation, research the plant to determine if it is susceptible to a specific parasite or pest infestation.

Step 3

Remove any unhealthy growth or dead leaves from the damaged plant using a hand pruner. This will allow you to see the extent of the damage and possibly reveal the true cause.

Step 4

Re-pot the plant in a new container, if necessary, to give the plant a fresh set of nutrients to feed from and to remove it from any pests or disease in the old pot.

Step 5

Maintain the proper amount of light and water for the plant type. Add fertilizer or plant food to the soil to give the damaged plant a much-needed boost.

Step 6

Watch for new growth and remove older leaves as the new ones appear to keep nutrients going to the new growth. Keep a careful eye on the plant, and when it starts to show signs of recovery, move it to a more suitable location for optimum growing conditions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not move an injured plant back into direct sunlight or more damage could occur. Gradually bring the plant back into the optimum light.

Things You'll Need

  • Isolated area
  • Water
  • Hand pruner
  • Light source
  • Heat (if applicable)
  • Soil (if applicable)


  • Texas A & M University: Houseplants
  • Washington State University Cooperative Extension: Common Causes of Plant Damage
Keywords: damaged plant care, re-pot, unhealthy growth

About this Author

Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.