Common Causes of Houseplant Death
4 mins read

Common Causes of Houseplant Death

What indoor gardener hasn’t wondered about this? As beneficial as houseplants are for both your health and your décor, it may often seem that they simply love to die—especially if you’re new to indoor gardening. Worse, in many situations, gardeners are perplexed as to why their favourite plant perished.
The good news is that plants don’t simply perish for no cause. In reality, depending on the species, houseplants are pretty predictable, and the great majority of houseplant deaths are all caused by the same few variables. The following are the most common causes of houseplant death.
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Excessive Water
Too much water may seem impossible, yet it is not only conceivable, but also a fairly frequent error. In a normal potting setting, very few plants, including many of the tropical plants we enjoy inside, can withstand regular watering. 1 The ancient adage that you should wait until the top inch of soil is dry is a solid rule of thumb. Look for indicators of thirst in your plant, such as drooping or withering leaves. In general, you should wait to water your plants until they are thirsty.
Drainage Issues
This is overwatering’s first cousin. Watering and drainage are so intertwined that it’s difficult to tell them apart, yet there’s no denying that poor drainage kills a lot of plants. Poorly drained pots, which may contain root-bound plants or just old potting soil, can easily hold water in the bottom of the pot, even if the top of the pot is dry. As a consequence, roots sit in water, producing ideal conditions for root rot. Similarly, many individuals water their plants until the water runs out of the tray, but then fail to dump the tray, leaving the plant lying in a pond. This is also a recipe for root rot. As a general rule, the better your drainage, the more often you can water and the more leeway you have to make irrigation errors.
Repotting is not required.
It’s all too usual for a plant owner to have a plant for a year or two, during which time it grows and looks beautiful, only to be surprised and perplexed when the plant begins to deteriorate for no apparent cause. This is often caused by a root-bound plant that is no longer obtaining appropriate nutrients from the soil (since there isn’t much left). Not all plants need to be repotted every year, but you should look for root-bound plants on a regular basis. 2 Using Upcycled Potting Soil
This is also linked to not repotting. The majority of potting soils are made from peat, which degrades over time and becomes more acidic. As peat degrades, it becomes more difficult for water and oxygen to reach the root zone, causing the plant to starve slowly even if nothing else changes (e.g., your watering schedule). The best approach here is to repot the plant as needed. Take cuttings if your plant is too old.
Inadequate Water
This is usually due to carelessness, thus it’s reasonable to assume that individuals who let their plants die due to a lack of water just don’t care.
Fertilizer Concerns
There is a notable lack of light and fertiliser concerns on this list. The fact is that many plants may be quite adaptive provided you get the watering and drainage perfect. A plant with a healthy root zone can typically withstand temperature variations, poor lighting circumstances, and even less-than-ideal light levels. Plants, in this sense, are similar to buildings in that they need a solid foundation to survive. However, if you supply the proper amount of light and use fertiliser sparingly, your plants will grow.