Houseplants bring life and color to our homes. They are incredibly beneficial when they thrive, but when they start to wilt and die incomprehensibly, they are nothing short of exasperating. Houseplants suffer from various diseases and problems, and you can find the root of the cause and get your plant back on track. It is also essential to consider where you plan to plant your plant and choose a variety corresponding to the intensity of the location, light, temperature, and humidity levels.
However, even in similar circumstances, it will take time for your new houseplant to adjust after growing up in an ideal greenhouse environment. Most houseplant problems are environmental factors, pests, and diseases. Each has fairly similar symptoms, so it may take some detective work to determine the culprit. Like all plants, the best way to keep your houseplants healthy, pest-free, and disease-free is to make sure you choose the right plant for the right location. Let’s check out 20 common houseplants/indoor plants problems below.
Houseplants can suffer from many different bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. Identification can often be made through plant inspection and growing conditions. Some of the common problems with the houseplant result from poor water regulation, temperature, humidity, and light. While giving too much or too little to one or more of these factors is easy, it is also easy to correct them. The difficult part is when a problem is a combination of several factors.
20 common houseplants/indoor plants problems
Houseplant leaf tips turn brown
Symptoms of not giving enough water to your plant include wilt, bent, or brown leaves. This is especially common in large houseplants, which need more water than your average houseplant. One simple way to tell whether your plant needs more water is to pick up the pot and determine whether it feels unusually light. If it feels lighter, more water is required.
Solution – If the soil is completely dry, make sure you soak it with water to ensure that all the roots get enough moisture. Remember that it can be difficult to recover completely if your plant has gone through a drought.
Houseplant leaves curling
It can happen when the plant faces a long period of drought or low humidity.
Solution – Try and water as regularly as possible and provide extra moisture by misting the leaves.
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If your plant suddenly becomes strangely tall or long or sends out the spindly stems reaching to its light source, it needs light.
Solution – Move it closer to the window or switch it to another window that becomes lighter. Southward windows are the brightest, northward windows offer the least light, and east and west windows fall somewhere in the middle. Most houseplants require an average of 12 to 14 hours of sunlight daily. Search direct light, indirect light, or the appropriate amount of shade that your particular plant needs to thrive. Moving it elsewhere in your home or adding artificial growing light can help.
Few flowers, more leaves
The cause of this problem is too much nitrogen fertilizer.
Solution – Some plants need less fertilizer or a more balanced formula than what they are getting. For example, the houseplants grown for leaves benefit from promoting nitrogen; macronutrient helps increase chlorophyll production. But add a lot of nitrogen to a flower or fruit plant, and you get more leaf growth at the expense of flowers.
Houseplant leaves turn yellow
Yellow leaves can result from more water, less light, less moisture, and poor drainage. If you start to see leaves turning yellow, try changing the routine of your normal plants and see if it makes any difference.
Solution – You should know your specific plant maintenance needs and adjust your routine accordingly. You may need to give less water, increase light, keep it in a more humid environment or drain the pot.
Dropping flower buds or leaves is caused by temperature fluctuations, drafts, or lack of moisture.
Solution – If air conditioning or heating contributes, try filling a saucer with pebbles and water and sitting it under your pot. Or spritz the plant with a water sprayer occasionally.
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Distorted or misshapen growth
Pests can cause deformed leaves, especially on new growth. Thrips, aphids, and other pests can be small and difficult to feel until they cause abnormal growth patterns.
Solution – Closely inspect the plant for insect symptoms, and use sticky pest traps to help identify pests. Then, treat with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or in some severe cases, systemic houseplant insecticides. Let the leaves dry during the day (morning fog) and treat them as fungicides with neem oil.
Compacted soil or plant permanently kept very dry can cause leaves to become smaller than common or to be curled up like a taco.
Solution – If the soil is old, submerge it in a water tray and rehydrate; if the soil is hard and dry, use a chopstick or pencil to sip some holes for air and water more often.
Stretching for more light is often the reason for changing the shape of the plant’s growth. Sometimes plants become unbalanced or long and tall with long spaces between leaves.
Solution – Occasionally rotate the plant so all sides can be exposed, transmitted, or provided with by-side, artificial light if possible.
Houseplant showing stunted growth
It can be the result of poor feeding or excessive water.
Solution – The possible remedy is to feed the plant with liquid manure and stop watering for a few days. You may have to put your plant back into a large pot. Please note that some plants may come in the rest period in the winter season, which is normal.
Houseplant leaves wilting
The cause of the wilting may be due to lack of moisture in compost, excessive water or bad drainage, and root rot. Shade-loving plants wilt when placed in more sunlight.
Solution – The treatment measures are to regulate water, check drainage and ensure proper exposure to light.
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If leaves turn brown, it may be a good sign that your plant is too directly burned by sunlight. It does not necessarily lead to plant death but can result in stunted growth.
Solution – The solution is to remove the plant directly from the sunlight and place it where the sun does not directly hit the leaves. Remove the affected areas and closely monitor your plant to ensure it is not taking heat directly from the sun.
In the symptoms of root and stem rot, the affected plant is wilting from bottom to top, although the soil is wet, as well as the color of leaves and trunks turning brown, yellow, or black. Moreover, the roots will be mushy and brown or black instead of healthy white.
Solution – The best action is to throw the plant with root rot and start afresh. Often, as long as the plant shows signs of disease, the root system is affected and cannot be saved.
If you see the growth of white powdery fungal on leaves, it is a sure sign that it is powdery mildew. The disease can spread and affect plant growth too much, even causing leaf distortion in some cases.
Solution – Remove the affected leaves to prevent them from spreading. Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1/2 tablespoon non-detergent soap to keep the solution in a gallon of water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle and coat all the affected areas of your plant. This solution can help prevent the fungi from spreading, but remember that it can be harmful to your plants, so be sure to water your plant a few days after its treatment.
This fungus is a common disease commonly found in flowers and can spread rapidly, causing severe damage to your plant. It can be easily identified if you see brown spots on the plant that eventually turn into a thick gray mold. Don’t ignore these signs, as a gray mold can kill the plant.
Solution – Reduce moisture around the plant and increase air circulation. Like most species of fungi, the gray mold thrives in moist and humid environments, so it is essential to keep the plant in a dry place. In severe cases, you may use fungicides to treat the plant.
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Fungal leaf spots
The spots of fungi appear as spots on houseplant leaves and range in brown, black, reddish, yellow, or tan colors. Spots can grow simultaneously, resulting in leaf drop and distortion.
Solution – If you see a houseplant developing fungal leaf spots, remove any affected leaves and fallen debris placed above the soil where the fungus thrives. In severe infections, you can treat the fungicides protected for your particular plant with a spray that kills the affecting fungi.
Bacterial leaf spot
The bacterial leaf spot appears on the leaves by making black, water-soaked areas that can sometimes be a round yellow pattern around them.
Solution – There is no cure for this problem, and it is better to discard the used soil and not take the opportunity to affect a new healthy plant.
These small insects are extremely common and are commonly found under leaves or at the tip of the plant. If they have made your plant their long-term home, you may start to see the loss of feeding. This usually includes plant growth, small leaves, and deformed leaves.
Solution – Splashing water can remove insects, but if you want more quick solutions, you can choose indoor pesticide spray.
If your plant is facing root problems, you may have a problem with the fungus gnats. These little ones like to eat the rotten organic material in plant roots and soil, which can affect your plant’s growth and overall well-being.
Solution – Spray the plant with soap and water, or you can choose to get a yellow sticky trap.
Spider mites like to hang under leaves, and damage is usually caused by webbing produced on leaves and stems. Consequently, your plant will produce distorted yellow leaves.
Solution – Allowing dish soap to sit on the plant for a couple of hours can remove spider mites, or you can choose a solution like rubbing alcohol. Soak some cotton balls in rubbing the alcohol and clean it on the leaves. Wash the leaves with water after a few hours.
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These insects eat juice on plants or leaves, making them yellow and sometimes white.
Solution – Choosing fewer toxic treatments for whiteflies will fix the task. Spray some of these options including neem oil, insecticidal soap, or petroleum-based oil on the affected areas and repeat as needed.
These are dark brown insects and like to eat leaves and flowers. This can cause plants to become deformed and discolored over time.
Solution – If you can, prune and cut off any affected plant areas. A low-attack option includes mild treatments such as insecticidal soap and neem oil, which you can spray on parts of the plant that have a thrips attack.
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