Why is my Plant Dying?

We’ve all been there. We’ve all looked down at our sad little plant and asked ourselves this question… Why is my plant dying? Believe me. I’ve had my issues with dead plants too. But the key is to figure out what is wrong, change it, and nurse your little guy back to full health! So what are the main reasons our plants die? 

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#1 – Improper Watering

Let’s just get this one out of the way. Overwatering is the #1 reason for plants dying. People just have this feeling like if their favorite vine doesn’t look to great, well, maybe I should water it more. No. Stop. Don’t water it more.

Then there are those of us who just get so busy with life that we come home one day, look over, and the plant has collapsed. We look in the pot and see the Sahara desert staring back at us. Yep. Been there too. Oops. These are the times when you should water it more. Try setting an alarm on your phone, or marking it on your calendar. That way it will be easier for everyone.

If you think your problem is incorrect watering, then check out my post on How to Water your Houseplant. This will give you some great watering tips!

#2 – Light Issues

So for many of us living in apartments, one of our biggest problems is either not enough light, or too much light. My little succulents are just not thriving thanks to this problem of having too little light. (That, and it’s hard to keep them away from my one-year-old!). If you need more light, try a grow light. I know Amazon has several options available for those just needing a light or two.

Also, make sure that you aren’t giving a plant too much light. Most of our interior plants are tropical plants, taken from the wild understory of the jungle. Now, a lot of these plants are used to either low light or medium light. Only a very few need bright light. But regardless… most of these plants aren’t used to direct sunlight. That means my poor little dieffenbachia that I had back in college didn’t enjoy my enthusiastic placement of it in my windowsill. Basically, it got scorched. Leaf scorch to be technical. So know which of your plants want to be in that sunny windowsill and which ones would rather have a little protection… which leads me to my next problem…

#3 – Unknown Plants

Let’s face it. Not many people can tell me the common name as well as light- and water-requirements for their favorite houseplant. If you can, then you’re doing great! But for the rest of us, it helps to know exactly what type of plant you have. This will help you place it better in your house, as well as to know what it wants from you!

#4 – Drafts

Whether it’s a warm draft or a cold draft, most plants don’t like them. Right now in the winter, I need to take special precautions for any of my plants that are near the front door. They don’t appreciate the cold air gushing in every time I take the trash out. So, if it’s the change of a season (causing different temperatures in the house, as well as switching from heating to cooling or vice versa), then the decline of your plant is probably due to the changing temperatures caused by a draft.

#5 – Change in Location

If you recently changed a plant’s location, then it could easily be declining in health because it simply doesn’t like the new spot. This can be caused by one of the previous mentioned problems (like too much or too little light, or encountering drafts), but some plants can also just be picky and not like change. The biggest culprit of having tropophobia (the fear of moving… yes I had to look that one up), is the Weeping Fig. This ficus is the most stubborn plant as it likes to stay where it’s at. If you move it to a less-favorable spot, a common side-effect is that it will drop all of its leaves and die. Yep. Dramatic. I know. So be aware, and if you need to move your plant… give it some TLC the first couple of days.

So these are the most common reasons why indoor plants die. Some other problems such as insect or disease infestation, improper potting mix, or too little or too much humidity, can also cause problems in plants. However, these are usually less common indoors. Just make sure that you have a well-draining pot and that you know the requirements of your plants. For more information, check out my post, 10 Quick Tips to Keep your Houseplant Alive. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below!

Happy digging!

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