Common Problems With Houseplants And How To Fix Them

With the increased interest in houseplants due to their purifying air capabilities and wellness and mental health benefits, people might encounter some issues.  Here are our tips to troubleshoot some of the more common houseplant problems.

Problem:  Not Enough Light

Find the right place for your plants. Make sure you do the research and find the right plants for the amount of light your house or apartment offers. If you start seeing the leaves on your plants turning yellow or new leaves on your plant fail to grow, this is a sign the plant might not be getting enough light so move your plant to a sunnier location.

Problem:  Overwatering

Overwatering is the top cause of houseplants dying. First, never let your plant sit in water. After watering your plant if there is excess water in the saucer, get rid of it.  Let the soil dry out between waterings. To prevent overwatering your plant, label it with water and light requirements.

Problem:  Dry Air

Most plants do not do well in an environment where the air is dry.  Try misting your plant to prevent the leaves from drying out.  We have mentioned in other articles that you can also put your plant on a tray of stones to increase the humidity.  Just make sure you keep the room temperature consistent.

Problem:  Root Rot

This is a big problem that is very easy to fix. Without proper drainage, plants can experience root rot. Gently rinse off the roots and trim off the roots that are affected. Select a new pot with a drainage hole. Put some gravel or stones at the bottom of the pot and repot the plant.

Problem:  Nutrient Deficiencies

If you find the leaves on your houseplants looking slightly discolored, it could be due to a nutrient deficiency. If you have this problem, try feeding your plant with a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Get detailed information on fertilizing your houseplants here!

Problem:  Room Temperature

If the temperature in your home fluctuates a lot this could have a negative impact on your houseplant. The constant shift in temperatures will cause the plant to react to those changes. Don’t shift your plants around your home as this, will help keep conditions consistent for the plant.  In the evening, you might have to take the temperature in your home down to reflect conditions the plant is used to in its natural habitat.   

Problem:  Not Enough Water

While overwatering plants is a bigger problem there are times when you might find you are not watering your plants enough.  Again, it is important to know about your plant.  If you have a cactus or succulent, they do not need as much watering but there are houseplants where the soil has dried out and needs to be watered more often than other houseplants.

Problem:  Fungus And Bacteria Diseases

The first thing to do if you discover this problem is to pull off the infected leaves and throw them away.  Do not compost them or use them in mulch.  Make sure when you water, you do not get the leaves wet. Another thing to do is not to crowd your plants.  Try also providing air movement with a fan on a low setting. There are also sprays and neem oil that can help with this problem.

Problem:  Pests

There are some pests that are hard to see. One of them is spider mites. They are not insects but are related to spiders and are tiny. They usually come into your home on infested plants. They produce webbing on leaves and stems and can cause distorted yellow leaves. Other pests you might encounter are mealybugs.  These insects are easy to spot by the small, cottony masse on joints or undersides of leaves. There are also aphids, scale, whiteflies, and fungus gnats.  Here is a guide that can help you deal with each of these houseplant pests.

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