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How to Salvage your Garden Plants after the Storm

Storms and heavy rain can wreak havoc in our gardens by uprooting plants, damaging stems, and pulverizing blossoming flowers. Whilst it might look like an impossible task at first glance after a particularly bad storm, now’s in fact a great opportunity to clear out the old, dig up the weeds and revitalize those plants that are still salvageable. Here you’ll find 7 essential tips that are always top of our list when the clear-up begins.

1) Check for Exposed Plant Roots 

Check for exposed plant roots after heavy rain

Heavy rain and wind can have a dramatic impact on soil erosion leaving the roots of plants and shrubs exposed to the elements. Different soil types are going to have varying degrees of damage as well.

For those plants and shrubs that have literally been turned upside down, you’ll need to carefully assess the overall root structure to determine if the plant can be successfully replanted. Where there is less damage present and only a small fraction of the plant’s roots are showing simply cover with soil and compost and gently ease the plant back into its existing spot. 

2) Remove Broken Stems 

Remove broken stems in your garden after heavy rain

You’ll need to survey your plants and shrubs to identify broken or damaged branches and stems. Armed with a sharp pair of garden scissors or shears cut back the affected areas as close to the stem as possible. This will ensure your plant doesn’t waste any energy and will revitalise faster. 

3) Don’t fertilize immediately 

Don't fertilize immediately after heavy rain

Once you’ve cleared the debris, trimmed back the plants, repotted and patched up where necessary, give your plants and shrubs a period of time (at least 2 to 3 weeks) to recover on their own before considering any form of fertilizer or plant feed. The growth boost is not beneficial when the plant’s overall structure and health has been compromised.

4) Remove Plants and Shrubs that aren’t Salvageable 

It’s always a tough decision to completely remove a plant or shrub. If the storm was particularly damaging to certain plant life you’ll need to be ruthless and remove those with minimal chance of regrowing. Your garden will benefit from the re-introduction of healthy new plants and shrubs. 

5) Post-storm is a Great Time for Weeding 

The soft ground and soil is the perfect time for extended clearing of weeds. In addition to tidying up the general debris, remove all weeds present which will be much easier now compared to drier conditions. 

6) Drain Pots and Planters in your Garden 

Drain pots and planters in your garden after heavy rain

Stagnant water is one of the most common causes of root rot and fungal infections in plants. Be sure to drain standing pots and planters in your garden that have received excessive soaking due to the weather. 

7) Aerate the Soil 

Heavy rain can cause the soil to compact in garden beds and pots. A simple garden fork (or a dedicated aerator tool) can be used to create little air pockets and holes in the soil to allow air to flow and improve drainage.


I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe. I hold a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and have trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris.

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