Home Women The Reasons Your Houseplants Are Dying—and How to Save Them

The Reasons Your Houseplants Are Dying—and How to Save Them

We all know that plants are living beings, but what many of us don’t realize is how much they need our care and attention. Here are some tips for caring for your houseplants so they can live longer.

The how to save a dying houseplant is an article that gives the reader information on how to care for plants.

Another houseplant that has died? Make a case that it isn’t true. I just held a memorial service for a hoya Hindu rope plant, which wasn’t the first of my houseplants to die, and it won’t be the last. 

Plants, on the other hand, are rather predictable. It’s very simple to identify where you went wrong in your plant parenting since plants just need a few things to live and thrive—water, sunshine, and soil.

Emily Lynge, who runs Grow Plant Shop in Fort Worth with her husband Bobby, is here to assist. “Quite simply, we love plants,” Emily says of their decision to start Grow, which is based out of a 1978 Airstream Sovereign that they restored themselves in 2018. “Without our plants, our way of life would be very different. It seems that incorporating nature into your daily routine and around your house may help to balance your emotions and cure your soul.”

Operation Heal the Soul is now in full swing. Let’s break down the most frequent reasons your houseplants are dying—and how you may save them before it’s too late—to make sure your plant buddies remain happy and healthy. 

The quantity of sunshine reaching your plant is insufficient.

“It’s important to understand the quantity of sunshine your plants get in their native habitats,” Emily adds, in order to establish an optimal sunlight scenario for your houseplants. If a plant grows in the wild in full daylight, it will need many hours of direct sunlight from a window. Others who are used to living in the shadow or in filtered sunshine will not need direct sunlight, but will benefit from a modest quantity of continuous, indirect light.

What are the signs that your plant is receiving too much sun?

“You guessed it, sunburn is the most apparent indication that your plant is getting too much sun,” Emily adds. On the leaves, this may show up as yellowing, bleaching, or crunchy edges. “Sunburn is lasting harm to your plant, unlike the people who care for it.” Simply relocate it to a location with less direct sunshine, or install thin curtains to filter the light. 

Which plants thrive in low-light environments?

Some plants, such as ZZ plants, pothos, snake plants, and some philodendrons, are well-known for their ability to thrive in low light conditions. 

Your plant is suffering from root rot. 

Root rot, or the rotting of a plant’s roots, may be fatal to your plants. Just ask my fern and aloe vera plants, which are no longer alive. When water accumulates at the bottom of your planter, the roots are deprived of oxygen and die, thus drowning your plants. It may happen if your houseplants are in a container without a drainage hole, if the soil isn’t well-draining enough, or if you overwater them. 

How can you tell whether your plant is suffering from root rot?

“Your plant may have root rot if you see squishy stems and sad drooping leaves, frequently with black spots,” Emily adds. She suggests removing your plant from the planter and inspecting the roots. Your roots are rotting if they’re sticky and crumble when touched. 

Is it possible to preserve a plant with root rot?

Yes, if it is discovered in time. To prevent the rot from spreading, remove the rotting roots first, then treat the remaining good roots with diluted rubbing alcohol. Use a planter with drainage and well-draining soil for replanting. 

How can you keep root rot at bay?

To begin, make sure your planters have enough drainage. After that, just water your plants when they need it. Wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again, as a general rule.

There isn’t enough water for your plant.

Emily explains that “droopy or crunchy leaves are a typical indication of a thirsty plant.” Except for cactus and certain succulents, which can take biweekly watering, most plants need a thorough watering once a week. “When these plants get thirsty, they become fragile or wrinkly,” says the author. 

The drainage in your planter is inadequate.

Plant Parenting 101: Make sure your green buddies are in drainage-holed pots. This allows water to flow through the pot, which helps to avoid root rot. 

You have two choices if your planter does not have drainage. Emily suggests either drilling a hole yourself or leaving the plant in its nursery container and using the non-draining planter as a decorative pot. “When watering, take the plant out of the ornamental pot so the water does not leak into it.”

It’s time to repot your plant.

Houseplants, like us, grow out of our houses from time to time. You may need to repot it in a bigger pot on occasion to allow its roots to expand and continue to develop. 

When is it appropriate to repot a plant?

“Repot your plant if you see roots whirling excessively around the interior of the pot or sprouting out the drainage hole,” Emily advises. It’s possible that your once-thriving plant has become root-bound and is no longer getting enough nutrients from the soil.

How often does my plant need fresh soil?

Emily suggests that you refresh the soil in your planter once a year.

Transplant shock is affecting your plant.

Moving a fiddle-leaf fig tree in the midst of a Minnesota blizzard may be too much for it. It may also cause shock if you moved it from a sunny location to a shady one. 

What causes plant shock?

A sudden shift in temperature, exposure, or humidity are three frequent causes of shock in houseplants. “When we import exotic plants, we’ve found this to be quite common,” Emily adds. “We keep our plants in our greenhouse until they’ve had time to adapt to their new surroundings and develop a pair of new leaves,” says the author.

What does a plant look like when it’s in shock?

Plant shock manifests itself in a variety of ways. To a gentle touch, leaves will become yellow or brown, wither or darken, and fall off.

What should I do to keep my plants from going into shock?

If you buy plants from a local nursery, the light and humidity levels are likely to be similar to those in your house. “We recommend finding a place with strong, filtered light and letting the plant bask in an ocean of UV goodness, depending on the plant you’re bringing home,” Emily adds. “This will keep the plant content, warm, and photosynthesizing on time. It’s also never a bad idea to add some humidity.”

Spider mites have invaded your plant.

Spider mites are a pain in the neck for houseplants, are difficult to eradicate, and may spread rapidly via the air from plant to plant. 

What is the best way to get rid of spider mites?

After quarantining the plant from other houseplants, thoroughly saturate the leaves and soil of the plant with a Bonide Systemic Insect Control spray mixed with water. To fully eliminate the infestation, you may need to repeat this procedure many times.

Emily explains, “Spider mites are small, dust-like organisms that cluster on each side of the leaves, near to the plant’s petiole, or stem.” “Spider mites spin very thin webs and practically suffocate the plant, resulting in drooping, discolored leaves.” Your plant will ultimately die if you do not treat it.

In addition to spider mites, other frequent pests to watch out for include aphids, thrips, and mealy bugs, which may all decimate a plant if left untreated. 

Is it possible to cure and prevent a plant infestation using natural methods? 

Emily suggests watering your plant with a diluted neem oil combination once a month and washing the leaves off with neem oil for an all-natural cure to plant infection.

Your plant has been overfertilized.

You may have overfertilized your houseplant if its leaves seem to have serious burns. To avoid burning the leaves, Emily advises fertilizing at half the intensity recommended on the package.

Using all-natural products will also assist in avoiding this. “Using earthworm castings in your soil or watering with liquid seaweed or fish emulsion on a daily basis will not damage your plant,” Emily adds.

Help, my plant seems sad, limp, and perhaps dying! So, what’s next?

“The first thing to do if your plant is looking unhappy is to examine the soil,” Emily advises. “Is it bone dry?” says the narrator. It’s likely that your plant needs to be watered. Is the ground damp? Examine the foundations. Check the leaves whether the soil and roots are in good shape. “Are there any pests?” Every time you water your houseplants, give them a thorough examination to make sure they’re doing well.

You may also take some pictures and contact a reputable nursery, particularly if you bought the sick plant from them. There are also many internet forums devoted to plant discussion. “Most of them are open to all kinds of inquiries, and there is a good possibility that someone else in the group has had a similar problem,” she adds.

You now know what the three elements are: sun, soil, and water. Friends, have fun with your plants!

P.S. You can help Grow Plant Shop by purchasing anything from their online store!

Here are a couple of our personal faves from their extensive menu:

Calathea Makoyana on the left, Clay Bell Planter on the right Monstera Adansonii ‘Narrow’ on the left, Timeless Planter on the right Postcard on the left: “Don’t Kill This One” | Hoya Carnosa on the right

The how to tell why your plant is dying is a question that many people have. There are many reasons why plants die, but the most common reason is because of the wrong light conditions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you revive a dying house plant?

The best way to revive a dying house plant is to put it in direct sunlight.

Why are my indoor plants dying?

It is possible that the plants are not getting enough sunlight. If you have a window, try moving it closer to your plant and if you do not have a window, try using a light with an LED bulb or grow lights instead of regular bulbs.

Can you save a plant thats dying?

Yes, you can save a plant that is dying.

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