If your houseplants die, this can have various reasons. Either incorrect care or an unfavorable location is responsible. In this article we will show you how to significantly increase your plants’ chances of survival.
When houseplants die: Wrong location
Just as your plants in the garden prefer a particular location, houseplants have their preferences.
- Not every plant likes direct sunlight and does well on a windowsill. For example, a monocot looks decorative by the window, but prefers more of a shady spot.
- When choosing a location, you should consider the needs of the plant. It is best to choose such plants right away that feel comfortable where you want to place them.
- If a rather dark room is to be greened, houseplants that require little light are suitable. Ferns or green lilies will feel more comfortable there than a tropical plant.
- If the heating system is located under the windowsill, houseplants have to fight twice for survival in winter. On the one hand, the dry air from the heating system is hard on them, and on the other, a lot of heat comes directly from below.
- Then the plants dry out quickly. They show this, for example, by losing more and more leaves.
- Make sure that the air is better humidified. For example, a small bowl of water can at least increase the humidity above the heater a little. This will prevent the plants from losing too much moisture through their leaves.
- When choosing a suitable location, drafts also play a big role. In summer, this is certainly less of a problem. In winter, however, cold drafts can be a problem for some plants.
- A Ficus Benjamini, for example, will likely drop its leaves next to the door in the winter because the plant is sensitive to cold.
Watering, fertilizing and repotting
Mistakes are often made with these three items that eventually lead to the death of your houseplants.
- If houseplants die, they have often been drowned or died of thirst. The need for water varies from plant to plant. For example, a money tree likes to be watered only when the soil is really dry – even then, not too much.
- Find out what your houseplants require in terms of watering.
- Tropical plants are accustomed to high humidity. Then you need to additionally spray the leaves with a spray bottle. Proper care in this case also includes removing dust from the leaves one by one.
- Waterlogging practically does not like any plant. For this reason, you should always use only pots with a drainage hole, so that excess water can drain away.
- Regular repotting increases the chances of survival of your houseplants. Here, too, the requirements are individual. Some plants prefer it cramped in a small pot. Others need a lot of space for their roots.
- In terms of substrate, houseplants have different requirements. An orchid needs a different one than basil. Even culinary herbs that like to be kept as houseplants differ in their preferences.
- This is especially true of soil: thyme thrives in low-nutrient sandy soil, while basil needs lots of nutrients.
- When fertilizing, be aware of the needs of your houseplants. Proceed carefully here. The plants will thank you by thriving beautifully and well.
- If you lack a green thumb, you do not necessarily have to do without houseplants. There are some low-maintenance houseplants. These also forgive small mistakes, without immediately die.
7 reasons why your houseplants die
These are the most common reasons why houseplants don’t grow or even die – and what’s good for them.
1 too much water.
Did you know that most plants get too much water rather than too little? Overwatering is the most common reason houseplants die. 🤯 You can tell by their yellow discolored or weakly drooping leaves. These are also possible signs:
Your plant looks wilted.
First, its lower leaves turn yellow.
No new leaves are growing.
Young leaves turn brown.
Finally, a look inside the pot shows: the roots are rotting or withering and the soil may already smell rotten.
🌧️ In your home, you are the:rainmaker:in! So stick to the rules and do the finger test: Before you start watering, stick two fingers about three inches deep into the soil and see how dry it is.
If soil sticks to your finger, it’s probably still a little moist and your plant is supplied with it.
If the soil is dry and crumbly, you can water. About one fifth of the pot volume is sufficient – if in doubt, less is more.
Here you will find all the details about watering. How much water your plant needs each time depends on a lot of factors. It sounds like a real science: room temperature, intensity of sunlight, humidity, time of year, growth phase, …
Best stick to our plants’ cheat sheets and see how your green roommate reacts.
2 poor drainage
The enemy is called waterlogging: The roots of your plant float in water. No oxygen can get through. A bad smell spreads: The roots rot.
The ideal home for your plant is soil that has structure, absorbs water well, and leaves enough space to let air to the roots and excess water through.
Often, plant soil has peat in it, which is good at retaining water. However, this is not ideal for several reasons.
You can approach the drainage problem from two sides:
The right soil does it: Use peat-free soil of high quality.
Your pot should have drainage holes so that the water can make its way out. After watering, wait a few minutes and you can pour away water in the planter or saucer.
3 repotting forgotten.
“What do you mean, plants need repotting?”. Yes. (Otherwise, the potting effect is imminent).
And yes, you can do it.
4 not enough water
Indications of too little water are:
Dry and brown leaves
5 desperately looking for a new home II – wrong location.
When your plant moves in with you, you have a unique chance to lay the perfect foundation for your life together. Find the lady the throne she deserves. Here’s how:
- Check the plant cheat sheet for the ideal light conditions for your plant (we send the plant cheat sheet with every order, and you’ll find it with every plant in our store).
- Eliminate drafts and heating.
- If you’re a stickler, get a compass and you’ll know where your north, east, west and/or south windows are (and thus how much sun they get).
- Aesthetics are secondary: Sorry, but you are bringing a living creature into your house. No matter how you thought about setting it up, your plant has to have some sun (except those specimens for no light at all).
- Got the room, but not the plant yet? Click through the plant finder and we’ll tell you which plant will be really happy in this room.
“What do you mean, plants need to be fertilized?”. Okay, you can skip this tip with quite a clear conscience. You have another problem. Take a look at fertilizing here.
For the fertilizers among you: You want to give your plant nutrients, that’s great. Way to go! What you may not have known: You can also overdo it. Your plant doesn’t know what to do with all the minerals.
Check the plant cheat sheet to see how much fertilizer your green roommate needs.
To make sure you get the dosage right, slow-release fertilizers like our organic fertilizer pellets are a great solution.
7 humidity too low
Most houseplants come from the tropics. There it is not only vacation warm, but also really humid.
In the greenhouse these plants thrive super and look great. In our apartments then so: “Hey, here the climate is not so pleasant”. Where you feel comfortable (read: in your home) is not necessarily your plant’s happy place.
Find your dream plant with the needs that suit you (and your home) – with the Plant Finder.