Houseplants are a wonderful way to brighten up any room in your home and purify the air. However, sometimes they can be a little finicky and may start to exhibit problems. If you’re having trouble with your houseplants, don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this blog post, we will take a look at 15 common houseplant problems and what you can do about them.
Common Plant Pests
These tiny insects are one of the most prevalent, usually spotted on the undersides of leaves or at the end of the plant. You may start to notice feeding damage if they’ve become your plant’s long-term home. Stunted growth, smaller leaves, and deformed foliage are common symptoms.
A simple spray of water may remove the insects, but if you want something more immediate, an indoor insecticide spray from your local gardening shop is an option.
2. Fungus Gnats
If your plant has a fungus gnat infestation, it’s possible that you have a fungus gnat problem. These little creatures like feeding on plant roots and decaying organic matter in the dirt, which can have an impact on your plant’s growth and health.
The most common ways to get gnats out of your garden are as follows: You may use a steam cleaner, insecticidal soap, or environmentally friendly sprays. Alternatively, you may purchase yellow sticky traps from the store. Not only will this method attract gnats, but it’s also a good way to get rid of potato bugs. You can even use spare potatoes and cut them into pieces or place them in the dirt — the gnats will be drawn to them!
3. Spider Mites
These are, in fact, arachnids rather than insects, and they’re extremely tough to spot. If you want to inspect your plant, take a piece of white paper and shake a leaf onto it; soon you’ll notice red and brown spots crawling on the sheet of paper. Spider mites prefer to reside under the leaves of plants and may cause damage by webbing that is produced on the plant’s leaves and stems. As a consequence, your plant’s foliage will be deformed in an unsightly yellow color.
Spider Mite Solution:
To get rid of spider mites, spray the plant with dish soap for a few hours, then rub alcohol is another option. Soak numerous cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and wipe the leaves with them. Wash the layer with water after a few hours.
Gnats, sometimes known as midges, are tiny flies with soft bodies that tend to be white or light yellow in color. Despite their name, they are not a type of fly but do have wings and can fly. These pests prefer to feed on plant sap or leaves, which causes the foliage to turn yellow and even white.
Whiteflies might be dealt with in a variety of ways. Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and petroleum-based oils are just a few examples of less hazardous treatments. Spray the contaminated locations with one of these chemicals and repeat as needed.
The larvae of these insects are difficult to detect with the naked eye. They’re light tan to dark brown in color, and their diet consists of foliage and blooms. They pierce the plant with their mandible and suck out the fluid that flows from the injury. Over time, this can result in a bent or discolored plant.
Trim and chop any afflicted portions of the plant if you have time. Insecticidal soap and neem oil are two mild treatments that may be used to treat thrip-infested areas of the plant.
House Plant Diseases
6. Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildew manifests as a white powdery growth on your diseased plant, which is an exact indicator of its presence. Although this illness is not usually deadly, it may spread and have a significant influence on plant development, even causing leaf deformation in severe cases.
Powdery Mildew Solution:
Remove any damaged leaves from the plant to prevent it from spreading. 1 tablespoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon non-detergent soap, and 1 cup water are combined in a gallon of water.
Apply the solution to your plant’s entire surface affected by disease using a spray bottle. Reduce mildew growth with this solution, but remember that it can be detrimental to your plants, so make sure to water them for a few days after application.
7. Root Rot
Root rot is an illness that can be extremely harmful if not treated. If you find that your plant’s roots are soft and black, it’s a sign of root rot. This may eventually cause the plants to wilt and die, so it’s important to act quickly.
Root Rot Solution:
The most frequent root rot source is overwatering, so keep it in mind the next time you water your plant. For the most cultivars, only water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. Remove any sick roots and repot it in fresh potting mix with a new container if your plant has a severe case of root rot.
8. Gray Mold
Brown streaks on the plant that develop into a thick gray mold are an indication of this fungus, which is common among plants and can quickly spread. It’s simple to identify if you see brown marks on the plant that grow into a thick gray mold. Do not ignore these signals if gray mold kills your plant!
Gray Mold Solution:
Reduce humidity and increase air circulation around the plant. Gray mold, like other types of fungus, thrives in humid and wet conditions, so keep the plant in an airy location. If the sickness is severe, you can use a fungicide to treat the plant.
9. Leaf Spots
Spots on your plant’s leaves that are black, brown, yellow, or tan in color are referred to as “leaf blight.” When these spots combine, the leaves may be destroyed and the leaf distorted.
Leaf Spot Solution:
Remove the ill leaves and provide additional air flow in your home. Get water on the leaves rather than using unclean potting mixes. Also, make sure to water early in the day so it has time to dry before nightfall!
Typical Abiotic Issues
Problems that aren’t pest or disease-related may also affect plants. Abiotic difficulties might be caused by environmental, physiological, and other nonbiological factors. When you know what symptoms to look for, you’ll be prepared to care for your plant.
10. Sunburned Leaves
If the leaves or tissues have turned brown, it’s an indication that your plant has been scorched by too much direct sunlight. This won’t necessarily kill the plant, but it might cause it to grow slowly.
Sunburned Leaf Solution:
Remove the plant from direct sunshine and put it in a location where the sun’s rays do not directly strike the leaves. Remove any affected areas and keep an eye on your plant to make sure it isn’t receiving direct sunlight.
It is important to water plants, but in small doses. Overwatering is quite prevalent, resulting in yellowing leaves and root rot, which indicates the plant will not be able to take in any more water.
Check for any drainage holes in your pot and make sure to drain any excess water at the bottom. Not only does overwatering promote root rot, but it can also attract pests like fungus gnats. When the soil feels dry to the touch, only water your plant.
12. Brown Leaves
Keeping your plant too wet or too dry can lead to a variety of problems, just as overwatering may do. wilting, drooping, or brown leaves are signs that you’re not watering your plant enough. This is especially true for large indoor plants, which require more water than normal houseplants. Also, check for any yellowing or browning of the leaves. This is due to an imbalance in the humidity and oxygen level of your house.
Brown Leaf Solution:
If the surrounding soil is dry, alter your watering habits accordingly. If the soil is totally dry, give it a thorough soaking to ensure that all of the roots have enough moisture. If your plant has been subjected to a lengthy period of drought, it may be difficult for it to completely recover.
Plants that don’t get enough sunshine might be recognized by light green leaves, which bend towards the light source. Finding the correct amount of light for your plant in seasons when sunlight is limited, such as late fall and winter, may be difficult. Depending on the specific plant’s light needs, you may position it in your house as needed.
If your plant requires 6-8 hours of sun, place it near a south-facing window, which is generally the brightest. Rotate your plants so that all sides receive the same amount of light. If you’re still having difficulties with light, a plant light is always an option.
14. Weak Growth
Multiple causes might be to blame for this issue, including lack of adequate lighting and a damaged root system due to overwatering. The plant will slow down or stop growing.
Weak Growth Solution:
Depending on the sort of plant you have, place it in an area that gets adequate light and only water every few weeks.
15. Yellowing Leaves
Yellowing leaves can be caused by overwatering, insufficient light, low humidity, and poor drainage. If your plant’s leaves start to become yellow, consider changing up your usual routine.
Yellowing Leaf Solution:
Given that some plants have a high water requirement, be sure to research the precise care instructions for your plant and adapt your technique as needed. You may need to water it less, provide extra light, keep it in a more humid condition, or drain the pot.