Plants, Problems, & Prognoses
Watching your houseplants suffer can be extremely frustrating, especially after spending so much time and money taking care of them. However, many of the issues facing your plants are super manageable! We decided to make an outline of common houseplant problems and how to fix them so that you and your plants can continue to thrive.
Stretching is when your plant shoots out spindly stems or grows abnormally tall and long towards the light. This is problem has to do with lighting and is quite easy to fix. Simply move you’re your plant closer to the window and make sure to rotate it every couple of days so that is grows evenly. If you are still having issues with stretching after moving your plant, try out an LED light kit! For more information on lighting, see our lighting guide.
Leaf spots can be caused by fungus or bacteria. If your plant’s leaves are taken over by brown spots with yellow halos, you could have a fungus issue. To make sure it’s fungus, take a magnifying glass to the brown spots and look for tiny black dots. In more severe cases, entire leaves may start to die and fall off. Bacterial leaf spots manifest themselves differently than fungal leaf spots. In most cases, bacterial leaf spots appear as water-soaked dots that may also have yellow halos. Luckily, the solution is the same for either fungal or bacterial leaf spots: remove any infected leaves, increase air circulation around the plant, and try to avoid getting water on your plant’s leaves. (A great way to avoid getting leaves wet is bottom watering! Check out our other blog for more details!)
Yellow leaves aren’t always a pressing issue. For example, if your plant has a few yellow leaves, simply remove them, and go on with life. However, if yellow leaves are excessively consuming your plant, you could have a problem with watering, lighting, or temperature control. Over-watering is very common and kills just as much plants as under-watering. Don’t panic, however, because it is very easy to turn around. When it comes to watering your plants, you want to make sure they are never sitting in water. This means watering until the soil feels damp about ½ inch – 1inch deep and having proper drainage holes to protect the roots. If you feel your watering habits are healthy, your plant’s yellow leaves could be caused by low lighting. To fix this, just move your plant into a location that receives more light. The last possible cause of yellow leaves has to do with temperature control. If you keep your plant near an air conditioner, a door, or a drafty window, the colder temperatures could be the culprit. Relocate your plant to an area with consistently warmer temperatures to avoid yellow leaves.
Notice a white powder on your plant? This is a certain kind of fungus that can kill your plant’s leaves, leaving it bear. To combat this fungus and keep your plant healthy, remove the contaminated leaves and increase the air circulation around the plant. Additionally, make sure you are not oversaturating your plant’s soil with too much water or fertilizer. Follow the fertilizer guidelines in our instruction booklet to make sure your plants receive the correct amount!
Lack of flowers:
If your plant is not producing as many flowers as expected, you could be facing a couple of issues. The first issue is a simple fix: change the lighting! A plant with few flowers, but normal growth, is most likely receiving improper lighting conditions. Move your plant to a new location better suited for its light level, and watch the flowers begin to bloom! (For more information on light levels, consult our lighting guide). If your plant is failing to flower, but also experiencing excessive growth, its soil probably contains too much nitrogen. Do not panic! You have a few options for amending this issue. First, try giving your plant a hefty soak to carry the nitrogen deeper into the soil. This will decrease the amount of nitrogen available to your plant. Second, add some nitrogen-free topsoil to your potting mix to dilute the total nitrogen concentration. Additionally, you can also try adding a lair of fine sawdust on top of your soil to absorb the excess nitrogen. Overall, the best way to combat a nutrient issue is to use a balanced fertilizer! A balanced fertilizer will ensure that your plants receive the correct amount of all the nutrients they need.
No one likes to see a weak, wilting houseplant. However, it may be one of the most common ailments plants encounter. Luckily it also one of the easiest to fix! Most plants experiencing feeble growth are also experiencing incorrect lighting and unsuitable soil conditions. To improve your plant’s growth, move it to an area with proper lighting and avoid over-watering. Overwatering your plant will lead to damaged roots, causing wilting and stunting its growth. Take caution, however, because wilting can be caused by over-watering OR under-watering. So, the best practice would be to give your plant the correct amount of light and keep your watering consistent.
If we did not address a specific issue your plants are experiencing, feel free to reach out to us on social media or via email!