Menu Close

Revive Wilted or Dehydrated Chili Plants

Chili Plants are like people they will grow weak if not given enough of the basic necessities such as sun, water, air and nutrients. The tell tale signs of a sick looking chilli plant is when it starts to wilt. When your chili plant starts to wilt you must act fast to revive the suffering plant.

Chili plants in pots and particularly prone to dehydration and wilting. When you do not water your potted chillie plants enough, the soil tends to harden and clings closer to the roots and away from the pot’s sides. This creates gaps in which water can run off and out of the pot through the drainage holes, effectively starving the roots of your potted chillie plants.

First aid for sick Chili Plants

1. Fill a bucket, sink, container or basin halfway with water. Make sure the container is large enough to fit the entire pot, all the way to and over the rim.

2. Plunge the whole pot and plant into the water filled container. The water must cover the whole plant even over the pots rim. It’s all right if water covers some of the foliage. You may need to weigh down the pot with a brick or a stone to keep it from floating in the water.

3. Keep the plant in the container until bubbles stop rising from the soil. Bubbles indicate air pockets in soil and roots.

4. Keep the plant in the water for at least a half hour after the bubbles stop, to ensure that the soil is completely saturated.

5. Remove the pot from the container and allow the plant to drain.

6. Place the potted plant in a plastic bag and close it tightly. This step will provide much needed humidity to the foliage while the roots go back into action. Keep the bagged plant in a shady area so that the moisture doesn’t dry out.

7. Remove the plant from the bag and move it back to its original location once it has revived. This could take as little as a few hours, or several days. Do not put the plant back into the sun till its looks healthy and green again as the sun will extract water from the plant.

8. Give the post some mulch that will hold moisture and humidity. Remember to water your growing chillie plants regularly. Once a day is ideal.

Other Tips for Dehydrated Chili Plants

– Any brown leaves or stems will been to be cut off, they are dead and we cannot save them.

– Plants in the ground or in pots too big to shift can be treated by pushing the hose as far into the soil around the roots as possible so that it can soak the roots and eliminate any air pockets or dry root balls.

– Moisten the leaves when watering as it increases humidity around the plants leaves keeping them moist and reducing dehydration.

The reason i wrote this article was because i went on holidays for 8 days and my plants got dehydrated. I was so upset to come home and find 6 wilted chili plants. Luckily doing these steps revived all but 2 of the chili plants.


  1. ChileGardener

    Thank you so much! I woke up today around noon to find my cayenne completely wilted and I feared the worst. I followed your steps and within an hour all the leaves have perked back up and the plant seems absolutely fine.

    I think my problem was that my potting soil got too dry and was not absorbing water fast enough so most of the water I added simply ran down around the edges of the pot and spilled out the bottom. Following this method completely re-hydrates the soil and solved this problem so I think you not only revived my plant helped me win the battle, but put me on track to win the chile growing war!

    Thanks so much!

  2. Suline

    Hi what can I do for my chilli plants, I water them once a week really good. But for some reason my leafs are all dead and the ends of my branches are brown. I keep cutting off my dead ends but they keep on growing back dead and seem to be growing each time further and further.

  3. Natty

    Would this be the same remedy for a seedling? The stem is still green, but all the leaves fell from the bottom to the top. The very last top growth remained, but dried and seems to be slowly drying out the main stem from the top towards the root. Should I cut away the drying out parts before it gets closer to the root? (In an effort to save the noticeable plant life)

  4. victoria smith

    I have pruned my chilly plant both top and roots. I followed a YouTube video and re potted it. I did this as I had a bad greenfly problem.
    One of my plants has reacted really well to this and has started to grow many healthy looking leaves. however the other is looking like it is dying.
    Is there anything I can do to help the dying plant? it has lost all of its leaves and the branches are looking weak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.