Top 5 Ways You’re Killing Your Indoor Plants
…and how to avoid them.
They look great when you bring them home from our place, but how can you be sure to keep your plants looking good when they get home to your place? The best thing you can do for your indoor plants is to try and avoid the top 5 reasons why your plants will fail to thrive. Here’s what we recommend ensuring your plant parenting goes smoothly.
- Over watering
More indoor plants suffer from the effects of overwatering than anything else. Typically, the saucer is to blame. Most indoor plants (except for ferns) do not want to be sitting in water, and yet a saucer can often lead to just that. Brown, soggy edges and water stains on your leaves are tell-tale signs, and it can especially be a problem as the weather cools and they are not using as much water growing. Make sure your plants pot has its drainage hold up clear of any reservoir, by putting pebbles or pot feet under it. That way they can still drain freely, and the water still won’t run onto your floor.
If you’re noticing brown, dry, crispy edges to your indoor plants then chances are you haven’t been giving them enough water. The first sign of water stress is wilting, or fronds shrivelling on ferns, and then the next stage is browning. If you have let your plants dry out, you may need to resoak them in a bucket to fully hydrate them again. Let them sit submerged till all the air bubbles come out, then drain and replace.
- Environmental extremes
The heater, air conditioner or fan can all cause your indoor plants to desiccate, and in somecases the movement or air can even cause physical damage to plants, especially if that means they are bashing up against a wall or blinds are bumping into them. Even cold through frosty windows can transfer to your indoor plants, so remember coming into winter to more your topicals’ slightly further away from any exposed glass.
Whilst you might not intend to poison your potted plants, it can easily happen. Built up applications on fertiliser than haven’t been flushed through with a good soaking can cause a toxic salt build-up in the potting mix. Too frequent applications of leaf shine and oil-based products can cause leave’s stomata to clog, and even using a chemical on a sensitive plant (like African violets, ferns and staghorns) can cause burning or death.
Plants all need light to survive, thrive and photosynthesise. Avoid placing plants in places where you can’t read without a lamp, and your plants will stand half a chance of catching the rays they need. Of course, too close to glass can also mean they get burnt, as light changes form when it travels through glass, so try and find that goldilocks place that’s “not too hot, not too cold, but just right”!
By Meredith Kirton