Growing beautiful house plants is the goal, isn’t it? They look beautiful, they purify the air, and they can really turn your house into a home.
But, “Why do my houseplants always die?” is a common question on the lips of us green fingered wannabes! Let’s look into the reasons in more detail.
What You'll Learn Today
Why Do My Houseplants Always Die?
The first thing you need to do if your plants are always dying in unexplained ways is to look at your growing conditions.
- Do your plants have enough light? Without adequate sunlight, plants will not thrive, and in some cases they can give up the ghost entirely.
- Are you over or under watering? Both of these things can cause issues for plants – not enough water and they will wither and die; too much and the roots will rot.
- Are your pots big enough? Plants need space to spread their roots; if they do not have enough space to grow then they simply will not.
- Check your potting soil. This should be rich enough to nourish the plant, as well as loose and free draining enough that the roots don’t get overly wet.
- Consider fertilizer – if your houseplants are getting the right mix of nutrients then they will grow strong and healthy.
- Keep an eye out for pests. If a plant is battling an insect invasion, it can become very sick pretty quickly.
If you like a little video to explain things further, check out this one for reasons your houseplants die and how to prevent this:
How Do You Revive A Dying House Plant?
It can be really heartbreaking when your favorite houseplant shows signs of distress, especially after you have done everything you can to save it.
But, take heart! There are a few ways that you can save your dying houseplant. Let’s look into the ways:
- Give it a drink. If your plant is turning brown and starting to wilt, and its soil is dry as the Sahara, it is definitely time to get the watering can out!
- Hold off on the water. Your plant can also look sick because of too much water as well as too much! Excessive watering can cause root rot, so if it is too soggy and dying, hold back on the water for a bit.
- Repot it. Sometimes houseplants can start to die because they don’t have enough space to spread their roots, so having a new home can help them.
- Add some fertilizer. Houseplants living in pots can be short of some nutrients, so adding a bit of extra feed can help them to thrive better.
- Move it. It could be that your house plant is not in the right lighting conditions, so moving it to give it more or less light can be beneficial.
How Often Should You Water Indoor Plants?
Giving your plants water is essential to help them stay healthy and alive, right? But beware – too much or too little water can damage your plants!
A good rule of thumb is to water when the soil feels dry. Stick your finger into it up the first knuckle, and if it is dry then it’s time for a drink!
If the soil feels moist or even damp to the touch, you should hold off on the watering to give your plant a chance to absorb the water it already has.
Check your plants around once a week for levels of dryness; this should be often enough to give them the right amount of hydration.
Alternatively, you can use a self-watering pot of watering globes – this means that your plant only takes in what it needs, with very little effort on your part!
Each plant has different watering requirements, so you should always do a little research to find out what each one likes.
Will Plant Food Help A Dying Plant?
To establish this, you first of all need to establish the reasons as to why your plant is dying in the first place.
If its roots are rotting because of overwatering, no amount of plant food will save it! If it has got too dry then a good drink should cheer it up.
Fertilizer can help to boost a plant’s health and vitality, so if the cause of its’ dying is an insect invasion, fertilizer can help.
If a plant is simply withering away because of a lack of nutrients, plant food can help it immensely.
You need to be careful with the application though – too much too soon can shock your plant and cause it to die further!
A water soluble fertilizer is the best option; this will release its nutrients slowly and allow the plant to absorb the nutrients it needs.
Try to catch your plant in the early stages – while the leaves are discolored and wilting, before any real damage has occurred.
Houseplants are susceptible to dying from a lack of nutrients, as without feeding the soil can quickly become depleted.
Try to keep on top of your fertilizer game, especially during the peak growing times of spring and summer.
Do You Water Plants In The Morning Or Evening?
As long as you are watering your plants they should be happy, right? Well, yes… But there are better times to do this to increase their happiness!
If you have time before you have to leave the house, try to water your plants first thing in the morning.
The reason for this is that as the sun rises, the plant’s natural rhythms start to kick in, and it will “wake” and start to use the water it needs.
Another good reason for morning watering is that the soil has time to dry out during the day, which can prevent root rot, mildew and pests like slugs and snails.
If you don’t believe us, here is a little article showing you the best time to water, and why (this is based on garden plants, but the same is true for house plants).
Now that you have figured out the reasons why your houseplants are always dying, hopefully you can take steps to stop it from happening!
Figure out the best ways to keep your plants healthy and happy, and you can join the ranks of people enjoying an indoor rainforest. Here’s my selection of plants that are harder to kill than others.