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Indoor Gardening Maintenance

The Most Common Indoor Plant Problems

As you start decorating your interior spaces with plants, be aware that they are living beings and even though all they need is a little bit of water to live, placing them indoors is often suboptimal and that it would often survive better outside. The most common indoor plant problems come from overwatering.

Here are the most common indoor plant issues you may encounter and how to remedy them.

Pots of plants placed in a cluster indoors.

1. Root Rot

Root rot occurs when the plant isn’t able to absorb the moisture and nourishment from the soil. It instead suffers from dehydration despite the soil being moist. Curing root rot can be quick difficult, so it’s best to prevent it at all costs by ensuring that you have a regular watering schedule and that your plants have adequate drainage.

If your plant is already affected by root rot, remove the soil by rinsing the roots of your plant and trim away the rotting roots. With fewer roots to sustain your plant, you may also need to trim some of the leaves.

2. Burnt or Wilting Leaves

Burnt leaves are a sign that your plant is in an area too hot for its liking and is getting burnt by direct sunlight. Tropically foliage is the most easily affected by burning, so keep your tropical friends away from direct sun and position them in bright, indirect light.

3. Curling Leaves

Plants get affected by leaf curling when subjected to drought conditions or low humidity. To remedy this, try to water regularly and mist the leaves of your plant.

4. Yellow Leaves

When plants get older, yellow leaves will drop off as the ageing process continues. This is considered completely normal. However, if your plant is young and a majority of the leaves on it are yellowing, including new growth, it could be a sign that the plant is getting too much light. Adjusting the plant’s position in your home to get indirect light may improve its conditions.

Yellow leaves can also be due to a lack of light, low humidity, poor soil drainage and wet soil as well as low temperatures caused by drafts and air conditioners.

5. Leaves Dropping

Dropping leaves can both be due to under and overwatering. You can test the moisture of the soil by sticking your finger in the top layer. As a rule of thumb, it is best to wait a couple of days to see if your plant is dehydrated. Saving an underwatered plant is much easier than an overwatered plant.

Defoliation can also occur as a result of poor lighting conditions and injury via low temperatures.

You may need to repot into a larger pot and check for insects and diseases. Low humidity and extreme hot and cold temperatures may also be the cause.

6. Browning Leaf Edges

The edges of your leaves might turn brown due to dry air conditions or under watering. Another cause may also be over-fertilising which causes leaf burn.

Soft water, dry soil and low temperatures can also cause brown leaf tips.

7. Sparse Growth / Leggy Plant

Leggy or sparse growth is an indicator that your plant is not getting enough natural light as it tries to reach toward the sunlight by creating thin, extended growth patterns.

8. Lopsided Growth

Lopsided growth can occur when one half of the pot faces the sun and the other doesn’t. Ensure that you are rotating your pots to get even growth.

9. Pests

The most common pests in indoor plants include: aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale, thrips, and whitefly. These critters often find their way into potting soil or may come from nurseries infected by pests. They can cause stunted growth, distorted and curled foliage.

There are a variety of chemical products and home remedies to get rid of your annoying pests.

So there are the most common indoor plant problems. We hope you’ve learnt the next steps in making your plants happy and healthy.

Check out our article on types of plant pots to pick a pot that has sufficient drainage for your plants.