There are a lot of people who have great intentions when they bring a plant into the house, only to watch it slowly die. Even people with the greenest thumbs outside can kill off indoor varieties. Rather than watch your cash wilt away or murder a totally savable life, there are some ways to assess what’s going on and turn your plants life around.
There are a few plausible reasons your plant is dying. Too much water, not enough water, poor positioning, not enough light, or too much light are all possibilities. So how do you tell what’s the problem with your plant?
Leaves reveal a lot about the health of the plant. A common problem is when leaves turn brown or yellow and fall off. In some cases, this is a natural occurrence in the life of the plant. However, there are several fatal reasons why this is happening. Where and how it is occurring can be a key indicator of why this is happening. For example:
- Lower leaves or leaves on one side of the plant turning brown and falling off indicates lack of light.
- Wilting leaves which curl, turn brown and then fall off, indicate too much heat and possible lack of water. Also try to increase airflow to reduce heat stress.
- Wilting leaves which turn brown and fall off, usually starting from the bottom and working their way up, indicate lack of water.
- Brown leaf tips or black spots on leaves indicates lack of humidity. Many house plants are tropical varieties and require a degree of humidity. If you move the plant into the bathroom, it will probably thrive.
If any of these things are happening to the leaves on your plant, correcting the conditions should improve the life of the plant. It won’t happen overnight, so give your plant time to heal. Apart from these indicators, there are a few other factors which could identify poor health of your plant which will eventually lead to its death. These include: the plant being oversized for the pot, the pot sitting in water, diseases, pests and fungus.
If the plant has outgrown the pot, it will be unable to retain water. The best solution is to upsize the pot or if possible, separate the plant and place it into different pots. For pots sitting in water, place some stones or pebbles under the pot to lift it away from the water run off. This will reduce the chance of root rot, which will effect your plant.
Disease, pests or fungus will require more work and some further research. As each problem differs, take a photo of an affected area and either take it to a nursery or search for it on the internet to identify the problem. There will be a particular care plan, including a specific spray or home remedy for each issue.
Remember that plants need food as well as water, so don’t forget to fertilize. Be careful to place your plant in an appropriate area and be aware of temperature differences due to heating and cooling, inside the home.
The last essential tip is to follow care instructions on the purchasing tag and keep it for reference should illness strikes your plant. With a little care most plants can bounce back to life and will thrive in correct conditions.
By Kim Chartres