Why Is My Houseplant Losing Leaves

It’s possible that shedding leaves is a regular part of your houseplant’s life cycle. For instance, some plants lose their leaves in the winter so that they have less foliage to care for in the shorter days. Read up on your plant to see whether or not it’s a sign that they are unwell. Some plants never naturally drop leaves, while others shed leaves all year long.

An indoor plant may be losing more leaves than usual for a number of reasons. Your plant may lose a few leaves when it is brought to your house or place of business as it gets used to the new light and temperature. There’s no need for concern. The same may occur if you relocate it inside your house. Just allow it some time to settle in if there are only a few leaves affected and the rest of the plant appears okay.

Because plants get their energy from sunshine, they may lose a few leaves to become more efficient if the brightness drops. Similar to this, when a plant outgrows its container, it may start to drop leaves because it can’t support all the new ones that are trying to grow. Repotting may be necessary if the roots are visible at the soil’s surface or emerging from the nursery pot (the brown container it arrives in). Click here to learn more about repotting.

A plant can lose leaves as a result of both overwatering and underwatering. The structure of the plant will be impacted by either too much or not enough water. Water that is given to a plant in excess floods the leaves since there is nowhere else for it to go. You’ll gradually start to observe leaves turning yellow and becoming mushy, beginning at the base of the plant. The leaves drop because they can no longer sustain their own weight as they lose their structure.

A plant that receives insufficient water won’t be able to sustain all of its leaves and will eventually lose some in an effort to survive. Brown, extremely dry leaves are a warning that your plant needs more hydration.

Why are my indoor plants losing their leaves?

Houseplants can lose leaves for a variety of causes, but the majority are due to poor maintenance or unfavorable growing circumstances. Often, all that is required to stop leaf drop is to provide plants with the right light and temperature, as well as pest control. Leaf drop could be a result of either excessive or insufficient watering.

How can you prevent leaves from falling?

My indoor plants lose a lot of leaves when I bring them back inside after bringing them outside for the summer. What can I do to stop this?

A: Plants become stressed by sudden changes in light, temperature, and humidity, which makes them lose their leaves. Certain plants, like ficus, are particularly vulnerable to this. Making the shift inside more gradual is the greatest strategy for avoiding leaf drop. Bring your plants inside at night when the temperature falls below 50 degrees and place them outside again during the day. They will be more accustomed to indoor temperatures after a week of this. Move your plants inside before your furnace turns on at night if they are too huge or you have too many to accomplish this. Keep the soil moist, but not damp, and keep your plants away from heat vents if they do shed leaves; they will rapidly grow new foliage.

What occurs when a plant sheds its leaves?

You overspent and purchased a showy fiddle-leaf fig from the nursery. After several months, its lovely, broad leaves start to fall. Every leaf that lands on the ground feels like a dagger in the chest. What is happening?

“Los Angeles County master gardener Julie Strnad demonstrated that plants grow new leaves near the top of the plant. “In order to receive the nutrients it needs to produce new leaves, the plant must shed its lower leaves.

However, if leaves are falling off and the plant is not entering its dormant season, it is likely suffering from inappropriate care, such as careless watering, inadequate lighting, a lack of nitrogen, or trauma.

Take, for instance, the surroundings of the struggling fiddle-leaf. Is it too exposed to the sun, or is it close to a vent for heating or cooling? Its health could be greatly improved by a small movement.

Before pruning your houseplants:

Most plants respond best to pruning in the spring when there is an abundance of light to support recuperation and new growth. Prune as much as you can in the spring or early summer. The stems of your plant could be crushed by blunt tools or scissors, therefore you should invest in a good set of pruning shears.

Put down an old sheet or a drop cloth first, especially if there is a large plant or tree, before you start. You might also wish to put on gloves. A sticky sap that some plants may bleed can scratch your floor and hurt your skin. (It’s best to conduct a little Google search for your specific plant so you can prepare. A pothos tree can be pruned without much difficulty, but a huge ficus tree will undoubtedly need gloves and a drop cloth.)

Then, since the microorganisms on your instruments can infect your plant, you should clean and sanitize them. Before you start pruning, put your shears in the dishwasher or carefully wash and dry them with soap and water.

Consider the final appearance you want for your plant before you begin. Since cuts cannot be reversed, it is best to have a broad idea of where you want to make them before beginning.

Try using a small Post-it Note or a piece of colorful tape to identify the leaves or branches you want to trim. This will allow you to plan your cuts and make any modifications BEFORE cutting anything.

Don’t go too far. While some plants can withstand significant trimming, others will require a more methodical approach. Generally speaking, the more you can cut a plant species without shocking it, the harder the species is overall.

Touch plants like philodendrons, spider plants, pothos, and snake plants typically won’t protest if you remove a majority of their leaves. If you remove too many leaves at once, more delicate plants, like ficus trees, will experience shock. Before pruning, conduct some research on your plant, and if in doubt, don’t remove more than 10% of the leaves at once.

Things to consider when planning your cuts:

Plan to remove any leaves or branches with noticeable spotting, dryness, or discoloration first. By doing this, you’ll provide your plant more energy for strong development.

Mark any touching branches, large groupings of leaves (that aren’t typical or good for your species), or leaves or branches that were in the way of another plant’s growth.

This will increase airflow, lower the possibility of fungal growth, allow for unrestricted growth, and simply improve the aesthetics of your plant.

Once you’ve decided which leaves and branches must be removed in order to improve the tree’s health, you may start considering aesthetics if your tree can tolerate a little more loss.

Consider the general shape you want your plant to have. You might want to prune any branches or leaves that protrude awkwardly from your plant. Plan where you need to make cuts to reduce your plant’s size if it is simply getting too huge.

How to Make Your Cuts

The pieces you’ve marked should be removed using your clean, sharp tool. Ensure that you are not crushing the stems and that your cuts are clean. You could require a sharper tool or to alter your cutting motion if this is the case.

Getting rid of your leaves: Place them in the trash if you’re removing ill or damaged plant parts. Composting them puts other plants at risk for illness.

You might want to keep them around for propagation if you’re eliminating healthy growth.

After Pruning Your Houseplants

Within a few weeks of trimming, a great, healthy plant should recuperate and start to develop once more. Don’t worry if your plant appears a little wilted for a few days. Even while it could be in shock, it will recover.

Tip: Make sure you fertilize frequently to aid in your plant’s recovery and further growth.

Because that’s essentially what you’re doing with your plant, pruning can initially seem frightening. However, soon it won’t feel any more frightening than getting a haircut or trimming your nails.

You might want to attempt propagating your plant clippings now that you have some to get additional houseplants! Please read our entire guide to plant propagation before using our Propagation Promoter to hasten root development and aid in the development of happy, healthy plants from your cuttings.

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 can be used all year long. 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 way 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 enriched 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 mixture 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 overwatered plants be fixed?

  • 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.

What symptoms indicate overwatering?

To keep your plants healthy, watch out for these five signs of overwatering:

1. If a plant is overwatered, it will probably produce limp, droopy leaves that are yellow or brown rather than dry, crispy leaves (which are a sign of too little water). Wilting leaves and soggy ground typically indicate that root rot has taken hold and the roots are unable to absorb water.

2. You’ve probably overwatered if your plant is losing both old and new leaves at the same time. Bear in mind that the leaves that are falling off can be green, brown, or yellow.

3. You’ve overwatered the plant if the base of the stem starts to feel mushy or unsteady. Even a foul odor may start to come from the earth.

4. An overwatering-related bacterial infection appears as brown spots or margins around the leaves that are surrounded by a yellow halo.

5. If you have repeatedly overwatered your plants, fungus or mold may develop directly on top of the soil, similar to symptom number three. Fungus gnats are another typical indicator of overwatering.

How can you tell if you are watering your plants excessively?

These are the symptoms of an overwatered plant:

  • Yellow lower leaves are present.
  • The plant appears withered.
  • Roots will be stunted or decaying.
  • no fresh growth
  • Browning of young leaves will occur.
  • The soil will seem green (which is algae)

How may a dying plant be saved inside?

  • 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.