Are your house plants dying? Indoor plants have become increasingly popular over the past few years. One of the most important parts of indoor plantscaping is learning how to take care of your plants.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most common reasons why your house plants may be suffering. Keep reading to learn more.

Common Reasons Behind House Plants Dying


Too much water is the most common cause of house plants dying. If the soil in the plant’s pot is constantly wet, the water surrounds the roots and prevents them from getting oxygen. Without air, the roots of even the best indoor plants will decay.

In essence, overwatering suffocates the plant. Before watering your indoor plant, feel the top of the soil to make it dry to the touch. If it is still moist, then you can water it later.

Lack of Water

A lack of water is another common cause of house plants dying. While we all lead busy lives, you need to ensure you put time aside to care for your indoor plants.

Consider if you are out-of-town for a week or don’t use enough water. You’ll find that your best indoor plants’ appearance will suffer.

Using the Wrong Water

Always use tepid water to water your house plants. It’s best to fill your watering can with cold water. Before using it, let it sit for a time in the room where your plants are. If you use freezing water, it can shock the roots and distress your plants.

Water all around the pot – not just where the plant stem is. Water the pot in an even and uniform manner to avoid any issues. Plant watering all over the pot’s surface will also protect one part of your hanging plants.

Lack of Sunlight

While some house plants thrive in low light, most need direct or bright indirect sunlight. When you first add indoor plants to your home, take the time to research the plant care instructions for this type of plant. If you place plants in a dark room when they require bright light, they will never grow to their full potential.

Although it’s tempting to place your plants in your home based on where they look most attractive, try to focus on their light requirements instead. Put them in a spot where they receive adequate light to avoid house plants dying.

If you find that your house plants are not receiving enough sunlight, you may need to consider a rooftop garden or urban plantscaping.

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Temperature Fluctuations

Depending on where you are in the country, temperature fluctuations are more of an issue than in other locations. In areas where it becomes particularly cold in the winter months, you may find your house plants dying.

The same goes for plants when placed in higher temperatures than usual. For example, don’t leave your plant next to a heating vent or radiator. Heat stress can cause house plants to wilt and die.

Monitor the temperature of your plant’s room to offer the right conditions throughout the year. Many house plant varieties are from tropical zones and don’t thrive if the temperature is too hot or cold.

Harmful Insect Infestations

Plants naturally attract a wide range of bugs, and many of these use your house plants as their home. You’ll find that you need to inspect your plants regularly to ensure you aren’t attracting harmful insects which might kill off your favorite house plants.

The good news is that you can treat many of the most common insects to avoid your house plants dying. Some common bugs, such as aphids, can slow the growth of your plants, but they are generally only visible on the underside of the leaves.

They are the same color as your plant, so you’ll need to make sure you inspect the leaves closely when you are carrying out your plant watering to spot these little bugs.

Some insects, for example, spider mites, need a magnifying glass for you to spot them. They are so tiny that many house plant owners don’t notice them until they have seriously compromised their plants.

When the infestation becomes more severe, you may notice webbing underneath the leaves. At this point, the best action is to dispose of the plant entirely. The sooner you take action, the less likely you will lose any more plants.

Mold and Mildew Infections

Mold and mildew infections are key issues to consider when discussing house plants dying. Your plants will soon tell you when they have a mold or mildew infection. Their growth will slow down, and grey spots will soon appear over the plant’s leaves.

Eventually, the infected leaves will drop, and the stems will likely become mushy. With insect infestations, you’ll want to isolate your diseased plants to prevent the fungal infection from spreading further.

Remember the watering tips we shared earlier, as overwatering your plants can cause mold and mildew infections. For example, begonias are more susceptible to mildew if they are overwatered.

Offer your plants the light and air they need to grow and thrive, and you’ll find that your indoor plantscaping remains in top condition for years to come.

Key Takeaways

As you can see, there are many different reasons that your indoor plants might start to suffer at any time of the year. We recommend keeping these top plant care and plant watering tips in mind at all times.

No matter what type of house plants or hanging plants you have in your home or office, you’ll find that with good care, they can remain in excellent condition for many years. Plants require time and attention to thrive, which you’ll need to put aside to avoid damaging these beautiful additions to your home décor.

Contact our team today for more information about garden décor or adding indoor plants to your home or office.

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Boston’s Top Indoor Plantscaping Specialists

Foliaire is a full-service interior and exterior greenscape design-build firm in Boston’s historic South End. For the last 40 years, we’ve provided the highest quality plant maintenance services for clients across the Boston Metro area.

We customize and plan all of our installations to fit your unique space and tastes. That’s how we’ve built a reputation of unparalleled style and elegance for both corporate and residential community projects. In addition, we’ve received several environmental design awards and have appeared in several publications, including Architectural Digest, House and Garden, Horticulture, and Interiorscape.

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