If you’re beginning to think you have more of a brown thumb when it comes to rearing house plants, don’t fret. The solution is probably quite simple. Here are the four reasons your house plants keep dying and what you can do to save them.
House plants don’t just die, so if yours is looking a little sickly, chances are good that it’s down to one of these common problems.
Watering Too Little or Too Much
If your beloved plant starts to show signs of droopy leaves (or if the leaves fall off completely), it could be because it’s not getting enough water.
When potting soil is very dry, water passes through it without soaking in, leaving your plant thirsty. The answer is to saturate the soil with water and then let it dry out before watering again. Place the potted plant in a sink and slowly pour water onto the top of the soil until about half an inch of water goes through the pot and collects in the sink. Allow the plant to soak for a few hours, then take it out and let it drip dry before putting it back in its planter or plate.
If the soil is moist but the leaves are turning yellow, or there are signs of fungus growing, then you’ve most likely been overwatering.
Few plants can handle daily watering in a typical potting situation. Shade-loving plants like it when their soil is moist for a while, but water them as soon as you can see their soil is starting to dry. Succulents enjoy baking in the sun, so let them dry out outside for a week before you water them again.
For most plants, a good idea is to wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again.
The Pot Has Poor Drainage
Poor drainage could be one of the main reasons why your house plants keep dying.
Drainage is when there is either a hole in the bottom of the pot, or a layer of something like terracotta shards, gravel, or small stones. These help to prevent too much water from collecting around the roots because when roots sit in water, it leads to root rot. Similarly, when you water your plant, remember to always empty the tray in which it sits.
Re-pot your plants into bigger pots as soon as you bring them home. More soil holds more water and stays moist longer. Any time that your plants look unexpectedly ill for no reason, consider moving them to larger vessels.
ALSO SEE: Best Indoor Plants To Keep In Winter
Not Enough Light
Is your plant looking pale, floppy, or shedding its leaves? It could be that it’s not getting enough light. Opt for shade-loving plants that are better suited to tropical climates as they will do best in the darkness of a lounge. For plants that need more light, move them to windowsills and keep the blinds and curtains open.
The Air Is Too Dry
The air in your home could be the key reason that your house plants keep dying. If it’s too dry, plants that prefer a humid climate may suffer, particularly in winter when the air is drier.
Plants with woody stems do better in this kind of atmosphere, as well as succulents and bulbs. Humidity-loving plants will thrive in a well-lit bathroom but it also helps to group house plants together as plants raise the air humidity around them.
Remember that plants can recover after significant trauma, so while you may think your plant is beyond help, a little love may be just what it needs.
Trim the dead bits and ensure that it has good quality potting soil as well as enough drainage. The best way to keep a plant happy is to make sure that you can give it what it needs before you bring it home.
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst
As the food and decor editor of Woman&Home, Claire enjoys nothing more than eating great food in beautiful locations. In a perfect world, she would travel for a living and have a Lord of the Rings marathon every weekend.