Why Is My Houseplant 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 tiny bug with a waxy outer covering.


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:

How can you revive a sick plant?

  • Cut back on any dead stems or leaves. removing dead leaves from indoor plants (Image credit: Shutterstock)
  • Repot after switching the soil. houseplant repotting (Image credit: Shutterstock)
  • Ensure adequate drainage. stones for drainage in plant potting (Image credit: Shutterstock)
  • Avoid submerging the soil.
  • Increase the humidity.

What can you do to revive a home plant?

Everyone has experienced this: Upon returning from the garden center with your houseplant, it quickly becomes shriveled and dejected-looking. Don’t give up even if you think you neglected to water it, watered it too much, or exposed it to too much sunshine. According to Zenaida Sengo, the interior style director for Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco, a plant can be revived from the brink of death even in the most heartbreaking circumstances if it has something left to photosynthesize with. First things first: “Cut off a section of the stem to inspect the inside if there are no more leaves. It is dead if the end snaps off dry like a stick. According to her, a plant still has life inside if it is green or moist and meaty. Ask a specialist about your plant’s growing requirements, such as light exposure, preferred soil types, and water requirements, to avoid making the same mistakes you did in the past. After learning them, revive your indoor plant by following Sengo’s simple instructions.

Boost the pot If the roots outgrow the pot, even a perfectly healthy plant may start to deteriorate. Does it seem like your plant is about to fall over? Does it require much more regular watering? These are indications that you ought to relocate it to a new, larger residence. Just be sure to do so with the proper potting soil.

Locate the proper location According to Sengo, individuals typically maintain their plants in an area with insufficient (or, less frequently, excessive) light. “Inadequate lighting can cause overwatering problems because the plant can’t utilize the supplied water or because there isn’t enough sun to properly and promptly dry the soil. Based on the plant preferences you’ve already identified, pick the ideal spot.

Try it out. There is no way to predict an exact time to water your plant because there are so many variables at play, including the size of the pot and plant, the soil, and the temperature. Sengo advises touching the soil and watering in accordance with your plant’s requirements (some like to be constantly moist, while others prefer the soil to dry between waterings). You’ll notice drooping, yellowing leaves and the stench of decaying roots if you unintentionally overwater your plant. Remove it from its container and let the root ball dry out in the open air. Put the plant in a new pot with fresh soil after removing any entirely decayed roots.

To ensure proper drainage According to Sengo, make sure nothing is obstructing the pot’s aperture to prevent water from leaking out. You should see about 10% of the water you add leaving your container. If water rushes out the bottom, the soil is probably too dry; soak it in water for a few minutes to rehydrate it, and fill in any gaps left by soil shrinkage by adding additional soil to the sides.

Trim it off. According to Sengo, “remove any dead or unattractive plant stuff that was left on your patient. “Leaves that are dry, crispy, shriveled, leafless stems, or mottled, discolored, will never recover. Trim those stems and branches with no leaves toward the plant’s base, where you want new growth to sprout.

Increase nutrient intake Cacti and succulents, as well as newly potted plants, don’t need fertilizer; but, if you have a plant that does, wait until it has been flourishing for a few weeks before fertilizing it. According to Sengo, fertilizer can be harsh and startling to plants and shouldn’t be given to them out of desperation. Before the soil gets too dry, fertilize your plant after it has just been watered.

Be cautious of creepy-crawlies. If you see houseplant pests, such as mealybugs and scale insects, reconsider your care regiment because they are more likely to appear when the plant isn’t well cultivated. But first, according to Sengo, “treat it with an insecticidal soap and repeat the operation over the course of many weeks to eliminate any newly developing insects.

What can I do to revive my plant?

10 Easy Steps for Reviving a Dead or Dying Plant

  • First, search for signs of life.
  • Step 2: Determine whether you overwatered.
  • Step 3: Determine whether you’ve submerged.
  • 4. Remove any dead leaves.
  • Step 5: Cut the stems back.
  • 6. Examine the illumination.
  • Step 7: Figure out whether your plant requires extra humidity.

How may a dying plant be saved inside?

The complexity of indoor plants is more than we realize. They can treat allergies, enjoy music, and studies suggest that they may even experience pain.

Even more challenging is picking the perfect plant for you and maintaining it. Don’t give up on your cherished houseplant even if it appears to be dying. In order to rejuvenate your plant, try these six actions.

Repot your plant

To revive your plant, use a high-quality indoor plant potting mix and a broader pot this time around. Add some crystals that can store water if your plant is dehydrated.

Move your plant

Is there too much sun on your plant? Check for light or dark areas on the leaves as well as dry, brittle leaves. In contrast, your plant will have little, pale leaves if it isn’t receiving enough light. Relocate your plant to a location with adequate lighting.

Water your plant

The plant is dehydrated and needs water if the soil is extremely dry and the leaves are fragile. Water your plant until the soil feels damp but avoid flooding the area. After that, submerge it for 10 minutes in a shallow basin of water.

The roots of your plant, however, will begin to decay if it receives too much water, and mold may begin to emerge. Learn how much water your plant requires, then modify your schedule. The majority of plants require less water in the winter.