Saving an Overheated Plant

August 1, 2008
Maidenhair Fern


Is there help for an over heated claw plant? It was bombarded with hot air from the backside of my window air conditioner unit. It has wilted and slumped over its pot. I have relocated it and gave it water. Any help is appreciated! Thanks.

Hardiness Zone: 7b

April from Demorest, GA



Eventually this question (reviving plant from intense heat) comes up for every gardener. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what kind of "claw" plant you are referring to. Lobster claw? Cat's claw? Bear's claw? Devil's claw?

So to that end, the best thing I can advise you to do is move it into a cool, shady spot. Plants in the sun use more water.

Give it some water. Keep it consistently moist (not wet) and do not let it dry out between watering. Did the soil in the pot completely dry out? If that soil has pulled away from the side of the pot, any water you give it is likely to run out the bottom before reaching the root ball. If this is the case, you may need to submerge the entire pot under water for 20-30 minutes until air bubbles cease to rise from the submerged pot (air bubbles indicate air pockets around the root ball). After the soil in the pot is completely saturated, remove it and return the plant to a cool, shady spot.

I would recommend misting the plant daily (several times a day) to provide adequate humidity while the plant is recovering.


Even if the leaves turn brown and die, the roots/rhizomes are still likely to be okay so you can propagate a new plant. The most important thing is to avoid putting it under any additional stress right now. To that end, do not fertilize it again until it fully recovers. Remove any dead foliage with a scissors.

Good luck!


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