Why Are All My Houseplants Dying

Maintain order around your indoor plants and clear away any fallen leaves or other trash.

A fresh wave of interest is being seen in house plants. This is fantastic news for Good Earth Plant Company. Since plants provide so many advantages for your health, it has been our purpose for more than 40 years to inspire people to incorporate nature into the places they work, live, and play.

Finding a spot in your house for a brand-new plant is enjoyable. However, after a few days, weeks, or months, you start to realize that it isn’t quite as fresh and green. Perhaps the leaves are dropping off or turning yellow. Or it’s just blatantly weak. How can you help? Can you bring back a dead plant? Must you attempt?

You should definitely give it your best shot. All plants have a natural urge to live. It’s incredibly satisfying to bring back a plant or a set of roots that you believe are dead. If it fails, you will have tried, and you may have learned something for the future.

For our clients, our horticulture technicians take care of thousands of plants. When they see a plant isn’t performing properly, they must first make a diagnostic and determine what is wrong in order to know what kind of remedy is required. Here are some advice we have for you if you operate as a home or office amateur horticultural technician.

Diagnosis: Overwatering. Cure: Stop watering so much.

a typical instance of overwatering This plant is NOT cared for by Good Earth Plant Company!

The main cause of indoor plant death is this. People water their plants, which kills them gently. Watering a plant on a daily basis won’t help if the roots have rotted due to overwatering. Rotted roots frequently allow a pathogen to enter the plant, which then kills it. Replace any mud-covered soil and any roots that are plainly rotting. To a little damp to completely dry state, let the soil dry. You might not be able to save it even then.

Diagnosis: Underwatering. Cure: Hydrate the plant.

Even in the heat, even if you may think your plant is pleading for water, don’t go overboard. Make sure to check often. Image: Tookapic, under a Creative Commons license

If the plant is wilting from a lack of water, hydrate the soil by submerging the entire pot for 15 to 30 minutes in a sink or pail of water. Watering from the top will probably run down the sides since the soil has become into a dried, hard brick. Don’t let the water sit on your plant; instead, let it drain completely. Then either get a plant that requires the least amount of watering, like a succulent, or set a calendar reminder to water.

Diagnosis: Potbound. Cure: Replant into fresh soil.

Try to avoid making the initial purchase of a rootbound plant. When it reaches this stage, gently divide and trim the plant, then repotted it in a slightly bigger container.

If the plant’s roots are getting choked out as a result of being overcrowded, you need to take it out of the container, gently separate the roots, and then repot it in new soil. Pick a pot that is just a little bit bigger than the one you are taking it out of. Going too far, too quickly, might lead to issues.

Diagnosis: Too much sun. Cure: Move into less harsh light.

Avoid allowing summertime sunshine coming in via windows to burn your indoor plants. Place them in a secure area. Image by Yanoch Kandreeva under a Creative Commons license

If you find brown or black spots on the leaves of a plant, check to see if it is receiving direct midday sunlight from a nearby window. Your plant is severely burnt and sunburned. Remove the plant from the direct sun and trim the leaves.

Diagnosis: Too little sun. Cure: Give it more indirect light.

In low-light environments where a live plant would struggle to thrive, it is sometimes preferable to employ replica plants.

It may not be getting enough sunshine if your plant’s leaves are slowly turning yellow or pale or falling off. The majority of hardy house plants can withstand some minor maltreatment, but they require a certain quantity of sunlight to survive. The greatest spot to start with your plants is in bright indirect sun. Without sufficient light, growing a plant is doomed to failure.

Diagnosis: Failure to thrive. Cure: Check the growing conditions.

Avoid over-trimming your plant in the summer to avoid stressing it. Never cut your indoor plants more than 25%. Creative Commons license for the image

Make sure you are aware of the circumstances your specific plant loves and make sure its location meets these requirements if there isn’t an obvious culprit, such as overwatering. Then determine whether the temperature at your office or home is too high or low for the plant. Check to see if the air conditioning is on in the building to see if the plant is getting burned while you’re away if it is left unattended in an office over the weekend. Another issue is when a plant is placed next to a vent that blasts chilly air.

No matter what is happening, you should never fertilize a weak plant. Both chicken soup and antibiotics are not fertilizer. Cut back any stems or leaves that are starting to wilt. Leave at least a few leaves for the sun to absorb and absorb. Make sure the plant’s container has sufficient drainage coming out the bottom. When it starts to grow again and you notice fresh growth, you should think about giving it a boost with a general water-soluble fertilizer.

Consider replica plants if you have a brown or black thumb or if you struggle to maintain your plants. There are so many wonderful ones out there, as we noted in our article from last week. We won’t condemn you.

Another choice is to hire experts! Do you employ someone to groom your dog or replace your oil? Call Good Earth Plant Company, and we’ll be pleased to maintain the health and growth of your plants. You can claim full credit.

Improper Watering

Plants often suddenly die because to improper irrigation. It’s possible that the roots dried up if you neglected to water for a few days. The contrary is more likely, though, as container plants that are given too much water frequently die.

Even if the plant appears to be in good health, root rot, which is caused by damp, poorly drained soil, may be taking place beneath the soil’s surface. If you take the dead plant out of the pot, the issue will be clear to notice. Rotted roots are mushy and resemble seaweed, but healthy roots are strong and malleable.

When you replace the plant, don’t try to water it too deeply. The majority of plants thrive best when the soil is allowed to dry out in between waterings. Before putting the plant pot back on the drainage saucer, give the plant a thorough watering until water drips out of the drainage hole. Never let the pot float in liquid. If the soil’s surface feels dry to the touch, only water it once more.

Make sure the plant is in potting soil—not garden soil—that has good drainage. The most crucial rule is to never put a plant in a pot without a drainage hole. Container plants that are dying are a sure sign of poor drainage.


If you find that abrupt plant mortality is not due to irrigation problems, carefully examine the area for insect indicators. Some common pests can be challenging to find. For instance, cottony lumps on the joints or undersides of leaves are a sign of mealybugs.

The thin webbing that spider mites leave on the leaves can be seen, even if they are too small to perceive with the unaided eye. Scale is a little insect with a waxy exterior.


Make sure your indoor plant hasn’t come into contact with any toxic substances, even if it’s highly rare. Make sure no fertilizer or other chemicals have been sprayed on the leaves.

Other Reasons a Houseplant is Turning Brown

The aforementioned explanations can apply if your houseplant is still alive but its leaves are turning brown. Additional causes of leaf browning include:

Can you revive house plants that have died?

Yes, that is the answer. For the dying plant to have any chance of reviving, its roots must be alive in the first place. The presence of some strong, white roots indicates that there is a chance for the plant to recover. It’s even nicer if the stems of your plant are still somewhat green.

Trim back any dead leaves and some foliage to begin with, particularly if the majority of the roots are harmed. As a result, the roots will have less weight to bear and will be better able to heal. Trim the stems’ dead ends next until you see green. Ideally, these clipped stems will produce new stems.

You now know how to determine the likelihood that your plant will survive. Continue reading to become familiar with some warning signals and discover how to revive a dying plant.

How frequently ought indoor plants to be watered?

Although watering houseplants may seem like a straightforward operation, many people either overwater them or neglect them until they get parched. Generally speaking, the potting soil for indoor plants should be kept damp but not soggy. In the spring and summer, they typically need watering once or twice a week; in the fall and winter, they require less watering. However, this isn’t always the case, depending on the kind of houseplant.

  • Only give orchids a small bit of water once a week to water them.
  • Succulents and cacti need relatively little water. When the potting mix has dried out, only water.
  • Water citrus plants more frequently and consistently than you would other houseplants.

The Westland Watering Indicator makes it easier to know when to water. This watering stick is very simple to use and may be used all year round. Just insert the stick into the pot of compost. The indicator will then turn red to let you know when the plant needs extra water. When no additional water is required, the indicator will turn blue. Within two hours of watering the plant, the indicator’s color should shift from red to blue.

Another crucial factor is the type of water used on indoor plants. This is due to the fact that many plants are sensitive to the salts and chemicals found in tap water. So it is advisable to use rainwater to water your plants.


To promote lush, robust growth, indoor plants must be fed while they are developing. Only while a houseplant is actively developing, not when it is dormant, should it be fed.

During the growing season (spring and summer), the majority of indoor plants need typically be fed every other watering, or around every 10 to 14 days. In the fall and winter, feed indoor plants after every fourth watering because they will need fewer nutrients.

Using a liquid concentrate feed is a good approach to feed houseplants. These are a fantastic way to feed and water your plant simultaneously. They work best, though, when the mixture isn’t created too powerful or too weak. Given that it is filled with the necessary nutrients, Westland Houseplant Feed is a fantastic plant food for indoor plants. Additionally, it contains a simple measure doser that requires only a squeeze of the bottle to fill the dosing chamber. Any extra plant food will be removed by the doser, leaving you with a 5ml dose to mix with 1 liter of water. This indicates that the combination you use to feed your plants is the proper strength.

The list of specialized feeds for various types of indoor plants that include the precise ratio of nutrients required for their growth is provided below.

  • Feed for succulents and cacti offers nutrients that improve flowering.
  • Citrus feed: provides nutrients that promote fruit development and set.

How can you revive a plant that has been overwatered?

  • Even if your plant need full sun, move it to a dark spot. Dead or dying leaves should be removed. These ought should be simple to identify.
  • Make sure your pot has adequate drainage, and if you can, add more space around the roots. The root zone will be able to receive oxygen as a result. Keep just the healthy roots and cut off any dead or dying ones.
  • Do not let the soil become overly dry; just water when the soil seems dry to the touch. At this point, you should also stop fertilizing the plant altogether until it is healthy again.
  • Use a fungicide to treat.

The ability of your plant to recover from overwatering is never guaranteed. Within a week or so, you should start to notice results if your plant survives. You can now return your plant to its original spot and continue watering it as usual.

It’s critical to provide your plants with adequate drainage and regular watering from the beginning. Choosing plants that are less susceptible to difficulties from excessive watering may be the best course of action if, despite your best efforts, you tend to overwater plants.

How does root rot appear?

Root rot is frequently difficult to identify until significant harm has been done. Slow growth, squishy stems, and wilting, yellow, deformed leaves are indications of root rot (especially when the plant has been well watered, as wilting leaves can also be a sign of a dry plant). Typically, the soil will smell foul and the roots will be reddish brown in color.

The best course of action is to remove and replace the plant if root rot symptoms have been found. The plant frequently can’t change its direction.

How should a sick home plant be cared for?

It pays to be knowledgeable about some of the most typical houseplant diseases and how to treat them in order to keep your houseplants as healthy as possible.

Browning leaf edges/tips: Your houseplant may be suffering from a number of conditions, including low humidity or high temperatures, if the leaf margins are brown and crisp or when new growth withers. The plant might have also been allowed to fully dry up in between waterings. Try utilizing a lower temperature while raising the humidity and watering amounts.

The accumulation of salt, which may be removed from the soil by running water through it, is another cause. Too much fertilizer can frequently be blamed for leaf edge and tip burn, with extra salt building up on the leaves. Reduce fertilizing and thoroughly wash the leaves with water.

Leaf holes: Leaf holes are typically a sign of inadequate hydration or hot, dry air. Many people think insects are to blame, although this is rarely the case unless you keep the plant outside.

Wilting leaves: If your plant’s leaves are dead or they keep wilting, your container can be too small or it might be too dry. Your houseplant might require repotting. Place the seed in a bigger container and add lots of moisture.

Lack of blooms: You may need to give your houseplant extra light and phosphorus fertilizer if you’re having trouble getting it to flower. If bud drop is the cause of the issue, you might need to look for drafts. The plant can be overly dry due to insufficient humidity. To improve humidity, try spraying the plant with water.

Mushroom or moss growth: If you see mushrooms or moss on the soil surface of your houseplant, don’t freak out. In most cases, this won’t hurt the plant, but it might be an indication of poor drainage. Aerating the soil or adding more sand or perlite are two options.

Plants with fuzzy mold: If you notice fuzzy, grey mold on your blossoms, leaves, or stems, your houseplant may have Botrytis blight, a fungal disease. This is typically brought on by excessive humidity, inadequate ventilation, or dead blooms and leaves that have been left on the plant. Cleanse the plant by removing any dead growth and removing any mold. The plant might need to be taken out and replanted. Reduce the humidity and make sure there is enough ventilation.

Yellowing leaves: When leaves become yellow, it can be an indication of stress caused by too much light, bad drainage, overwatering, or too much lime in the water. Limiting light, aerating the soil, watering less frequently, and filtering the water before applying it to the plant are all things you should try to do. Remove the yellowed leaves as well, but gently. If your houseplant’s bottom leaves start to yellow and fall off, it might want more humidity, fertilizer, or a different location. Another possibility is pests. Neem oil should be used to cure any pest issues.

Dropping leaves: If a plant is gradually losing its leaves, overwatering may have also damaged the roots. On the other hand, if the defoliation happens quickly, the plant can be in shock as a result of extreme temperature variations. Leaf dropping on a regular basis could be a sign that your houseplant is being exposed to gases or other air contaminants. Consider moving the plant and making sure it has enough airflow.

Spots on leaves: A houseplant may develop spots on its leaf for a variety of causes. If there are any yellowish spots on the plant after watering, the water may be too cold for the plant. Apply warm water to plants or wait until it reaches room temperature. This might potentially be connected to leaf spot caused by bacteria. Consider enhancing the lighting and lowering the humidity. Remove any damaged leaves as well.

Spider mites may be responsible for the yellowish leaf mottling. By lightly tapping on the leaves while holding a piece of white paper underneath, you may check this. Blotches of silver or red on the foliage usually signify too much exposure to sunshine. Change the location of the plant so it receives less direct sunlight.

Plants that are sagging: Are you experiencing issues with mushy stems or drooping of the entire plant? Overwatering or inadequate drainage are the most frequent causes of this. This causes root or crown rot. If the houseplant is unwell, you could try to improve drainage and let it dry out, but by then it might be too late. This condition may occasionally be caused by bacteria found in soil. Consider replanting in a different container with brand-new, clean dirt.

Leggy growth: If the only issue you’re having with your plant is leggy or asymmetrical growth, the culprit is probably poor light or humidity. Simply enhance the lighting conditions and humidity levels for the plant. Additionally, make an effort to rotate the plant frequently to maintain even growth.

Growth that is stunted or weak can be brought on by a variety of factors, including inadequate drainage, inadequate lighting, low humidity, and an insufficient supply of fertilizer. If the soil needs to be aerated, try repotting. Place the plant in a location with better lighting and raise humidity levels. Additionally, you ought to fertilize it further.