Common indoor plant problems and how to solve them

Because sometimes growing plants is hard.

We love indoor plants. Plants look great, they improve air quality, increase our wellbeing and are great for the environment. Admiring an excellent selection of indoor plants from afar is one thing, but as it turns out, keeping an array of indoor plants happy and healthy all by yourself is not as easy as one would think.

The key to successful indoor gardening is paying close attention to how your plants grow and react to different levels of water and light.

Leaves that turn brown

If the edges of your leaves are turning brown it could be due to too little water or dry air. Try watering a little more often, and give it a spritz with water now and then.

Leaves that look burnt

If your indoor plant is located in a spot where it’s getting the full afternoon sun (such as a bright window) it could be too much harsh sunlight. Move it somewhere brightly lit, but out of the direct line of midday sun.

Lopsided foliage

Some plants will grow and stretch towards the brightest light in the room, making it heavy on one side. If this is happening, be sure to rotate the plant regularly for more even growth.

man watering indoor plants
(Credit: Getty)

Leaves that turn yellow

Older leaves turning yellow and brown with age that dropping from the plant after some time are normal, but if new growth is turning yellow it could be a sign off too much sunlight. Move it to a spot with slightly less sun and monitor any changes.  

Leaves are falling off your plant

This can be either too much or too little water. As a rule of thumb, only water the plant when the top two inches of soil is dry.

Curling or wilting leaves

Leaves can curl and wilt when the plant is dehydrated or in a low-humidity environment. Try watering a little more often and spritzing the plant with a water mister.

woman tending to indoor plants
(Credit: Getty)

Other tips for indoor plant care

  • Keep the foliage of your plants dust-free
  • Pot your plant in a pot that’s just a tiny smidge bigger than necessary. Too big and you could end up with root rot and other problems.
  • Ensure your pots have adequate drainage
  • Research each plant before you buy it and ensure you can provide the correct light and water conditions for optimal growth. Keep the plant tags for future reference.
  • Water directly into the soil, not over the leaves.
  • Only water when the top two inches of soil are dry
  • Be careful when fertilising, as a fertiliser mixture that is too strong can burn the plant, resulting in browning and burnt leaves. Go for a weak mixture over a strong mixture.

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