Hand holding plant seedDo you love to garden? Are you interested in using as few chemicals as possible in your gardening? Homeopathic remedies are a safe, non-toxic and effective tool for the gardener.

In his book Homeopathy for Farm and Garden Vaikunthanath Das Kaviraj recommended a First Aid 4 pack of remedies to cover most problems encountered when transplanting plants, shrubs and trees. This is like my list of the First Aid remedies every parent should have in their diaper bag (or soccer bag) – and there are some overlaps!

The 4 First Aid remedies are: Arnica, Calendula, Carbo vegetabilis and Silicea.

Arnica is the most common first aid remedy for transplant shock and root damage. It should not be used on open wounds (see Calendula). For wilting of plants or shrubs after transplant Arnica can be sprayed gently onto the leaves. For weeping wounds caused by pruning Das Kaviraj suggests Arnica be applied to the roots, not to the open wound.

Calendula is useful for tears and breakage of leaves and stems. To speed the recovery from transplant and promote root growth cuttings can be dipped into a solution of Calendula tincture.

Carbo vegetabilis is often thought of as a corpse reviver remedy for humans. Similarly, it is used for plants that are slow to recover or actually look like they are dying following transplant.

Silicea can strengthen weak and spindly plants.

How to apply

Place 3 pellets of the remedy in a spray bottle or watering can, then add water.  Spray the plants evenly and then wait.  The strength or potency recommended is 6C, although some gardeners report success with a 30C.

Less is more

As with any homeopathic remedy, it is important to wait for the plant to improve and not repeat the remedy too frequently, as this will interrupt the healing process.

Where to apply

Gardeners have experimented with spraying the solution directly on the leaves of the plants versus into the soil surrounding the plants.  Both seem to be effective, except in the case of open wounds where other than Calendula the remedy should be applied to the roots/soil.