8 Reasons Why Your House Plant is Dying & How To Fix It

  1. Lack of water – this one’s kind of obvious. If you don’t water your plants they will die lol. Signs of an underwatered plant are dry, brown , falling leaves, and very dry, cracked soil. When watering, the water will run right through the soil and out the bottom, not getting absorbed by the roots. In order to fix this, repot the plant and completely change the soil to packed down fresh moist soil. Be careful not to overwater when trying to revive a dying plant, because too much water will also kill it.
  2. Too much water – overwatering kills plants just as easy as lack of water, and is easier to do than you think. Signs of an overwatered plant are yellow leaves, moist soil, and possibly a fungus growing at the base. Research your plant’s water needs when purchasing and after letting the overwatered plant dry out a bit, resume that schedule. You also want to make sure all your plants are in draining pots, because not plant likes it’s roots sitting in water.
  3. Too much sun – While sunlight is much weaker when filtered through a window, not every plant likes direct sunlight. Signs of too much sun are blanched drooping leaves. Remember to pay attention to which direction the windows on your house face, and how much sun they get throughout the day.
  4. Not enough sun – plants that are not getting enough sun will grow spindly & stretched out as they reach for the light. Researching your plants light needs will help you figure out placement in your home.
  5. Fertilizer – When a plant grows in nature, the soil is infinite; the roots can keep stretching out to find new nutrients. But in a pot, that’s their entire world. Once the nutrients have been exhausted, the plant will stop thriving. Fertilizer is important for longevity. Too much fertilizer, however, and your plant will get crispy edges, called salt burn, and the leaves may turn brown or black.
  6. Pot problems – A rule of thumb is that the volume of the plant should be two-thirds above ground and one-third below ground. The soil level should be within an inch or two of the rim, depending on the pot size, so when you pour in water it can pool before seeping in. When you buy a plant that comes in a plastic pot, repot it right away. “Plants are sold overgrown; they’re not meant to live in those pots. They need room to grow. Don’t let your soil get too old. “Potting mix does decay and get mucky over time,” says Chris. Even if you’re fertilizing regularly, swap out some of the soil every year or two. It’s also a good opportunity to see if your plant needs a larger pot. If you want your plant to not get any bigger (like my ginormous monstera lol) do not upsize the pot, just periodically change out the soil & prune the plant.
  7. Humidity – Dry air is very bad, causing plants to crisp their leaves. Keep plants well away from vents, heaters, radiators, and air conditioners. To combat low humidity, buy a humidifier – they’re good for people too! Misting can help if it’s done regularly, but as soon as the mist dries, the effect is gone. You can also group plants with similar needs to create a microclimate—but note that if you get pests, every plant will be infested.
  8. Pests – Using an insecticide like Raid is way overkill, not to mention pretty toxic substances that you don’t want in your house. Instead, wash the plant with warm water, then wipe it down to remove as many bugs as possible. Follow up with a spray of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap, being careful to reach the crevices and the undersides of the leaves. The prevent pests, keep your plant clean by dusting or wiping its leaves gently.

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