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A Potted Plant Is Dying - 8 Possible Causes

, Admin

Wall plants have become so firmly established in our lives that it is already impossible to imagine an apartment or office without them. Large and small, flowering and ornamental and deciduous, they create comfort and enliven the interior, pleasing us with their healthy appearance and upsetting us with their wilting. They can't talk, so they can't tell you what they don't like, but you can guess a lot about a plant by its appearance, the condition of its leaves, flowering or lack thereof. If a plant has "lost its look", is not growing, not blooming or dying in front of your eyes, it means something or someone is bothering it. Here are eight of the most likely reasons why a houseplant is dying. Remove the cause and you can surely save it.

A potted plant is dying - 8 possible causes
Potted plant - 8 possible reasons

1. You have made a mistake with the choice

Often, having got into a flower store and seen the unearthly beauty of beautiful buds or already opened flowers, incredible color or interesting shape of decorative and deciduous plants, the hapless visitor gives in to his desire and buys a wonderful flower. It is good if the person knows what kind of plant he bought, what conditions for growth he needs.

But it also happens that the mysterious name on the label does not say anything to the buyer. Meanwhile, many flowers, especially this applies to flowering plants, are brought to us from Holland or other European countries, where the flower business is a whole industry. Such plants are grown there in huge quantities and are often sold as live bouquets.

In place of soil - a nutrient substrate that accelerates growth, special hormones for rapid flowering and a spray on the leaves to give luster. It is not surprising if such a plant will die in a month or two, it will be transno if it survives at all.

But this does not mean that you can not buy flowers in the store - you can, of course, but up to this point you need to learn about the plant as much as possible. And if the conditions in the apartment allow you to grow this species - good lighting, sufficient humidity, no drafts - then go ahead!

The first thing you will need to do is to transplant the plant into good soil. Although many experts do not recommend transplanting in the first two weeks after purchase, they say, you need to give time to adapt to the new conditions. But immediately, or two weeks later, and transplant a new plant will have to.

For this it is easiest to buy a soil substrate designed for certain species, or universal (for not particularly demanding to the composition of the soil plants). It is better to take a plastic pot, 1 cm bigger in diameter than the one the plant is in. And most importantly - try to create the most suitable conditions for the flower in terms of humidity, light and air temperature. This is especially important at first.

2. Change the light

Not all plants are equally demanding to light. Some need bright but diffuse light, others need penumbra, others grow well in shade. Mistakes in choosing a location for such flowers appear in different ways.

The light-loving, being in a poorly lit place, stretch, the leaves become pale and sparse due to the elongated internodes. Flowering plants drop off or do not set buds at all. Plants with motley foliage lose their colored elements and the leaf becomes monotonous green. The whole plant has a sickly, unsightly appearance. Shade-tolerant plants in bright light slow growth, leaves become pale, dull, and sometimes yellow and fall off.

No treatment or special care is needed in this case, just change the location based on the flower's need for light.

A potted plant is dying - 8 possible causes
Not all indoor plants are equally demanding to light, but some can normally develop only on a southern windowsill. © Neil Brock

3>Correct your watering

Inexperienced florists most often lose their flowers to watering mistakes. It is not uncommon to hear the question - how often to water, how many times a week? And some flower growers advise - once a week or twice a week, or every other day. This is not right. You can not give such recommendations in absentia.

The reasons why the soil in the pot dries quickly or slowly can be a variety:

  • humidity in the room - if the air is dry, the soil will dry out faster;
  • air temperature - in a cool room you can water less often;
  • pot material - in clay containers the soil dries out quickly, in ceramic, covered with glaze - slightly slower, and in plastic - even slower.

So the best advice is to water when the top layer of soil dries up, then the midge will not get. And room plants that like water in large quantities, such as cyperus, not very many.

The leaves will tell you about watering errors - with excess moisture the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off, with a lack - wither.

4. Change the pot

Another mistake that newcomers often make is to pot "too much". Often, having bought a small palm, ficus or other plant in the store, which with age should become a powerful specimen, inexperienced flower growers immediately buy a large pot, so that the roots were free and no need to replant unnecessarily.

No way should this be done! Young growing plant, as a rule, transplant every year, replacing the soil and gradually increasing the pot - the new should be larger than the previous one by 1-2 cm in diameter. The clod in the pot must be completely braided with roots, otherwise the soil will become sour, the plant will stop growing and eventually die.

If you have a flower with a similar problem - transplant it into a smaller pot, and the faster, the better. When transplanting such a plant, you should not just change the soil, but also rinse the roots well.

Many flowering plants, being in a large pot, stop blooming, directing all their forces to the growth of the roots and green mass. Remember this too.

5. Adjust humidity

Most of our indoor plants come from countries with tropical or subtropical climates. Both like high humidity. In our apartments and houses the air is quite dry, especially in the winter, when the heating system is turned on.

Over-humidity can be judged by dark spots on the leaves and flower shoots. Sometimes you can see a gray fluffy plaque in the places where the leaf petioles are attached to the trunk - this is gray rot. There are not many species of plants grown in indoor floriculture, which are contraindicated to high humidity, but they are there. These are primarily cacti and succulents, geraniums, pelargoniums and violets.

Lack of moisture in the air especially affects indoor flowers with thin leaves. This is understandable, because the stock of moisture the plant stores in the leaf plate, and the thicker it is, the more robust the species.

A lack of moisture can be judged by several signs:

  • the tips of leaves turn yellow, then wither;
  • fall flowers, buds;
  • droop and yellow leaves;
  • on some plants appears spider mite.

The situation should not be left to chance, otherwise the flowers will die. You must try by all means to increase the humidity of the air. If there is a humidifier - great, but if not - you must spray the plants daily with soft, standing water.

In winter time it is better to group the flowers - in loose thickets the humidity will be somewhat higher. Particularly delicate specimens can be placed on pebbles in trays of water. In this case, you need to make sure that the bottom of the pot was above the water level. If the radiator is near the flowers and you can't change the location, you should try to isolate the plants from the warm air - cover the radiator with a screen, a blanket or any other material. © Ben Rubenstein

6. How does your flower eat?

Potted flowers quickly use up the nutrient supply in the soil, and if it is not replenished, the lack of nutrients will have a most unfortunate effect on the appearance of the flower. However, overnutrition is just as dangerous. You can tell the problem by the color of the leaves and the general condition of the plant. If this element is deficient the plant stops growing, there is no new growth, the leaves are thinning and the leaf plates become pale, then yellow. A surplus of this element, on the contrary, you can observe an exuberant growth of greenery, and flowering may be delayed or not come at all.

Phosphorus . Its deficiency weakens the plant, making the flower easily vulnerable to diseases and pests. You can tell a lack of phosphorus by the leaves, which lose their luster and turn dark green at first, then turn brown and purple. New leaves grow small and narrow, often affected by necrosis. With prolonged phosphorus starvation, shoot tips and leaf edges gradually wither and die off. An excess of this element also negatively affects the development of the plant.

Kalium. It is necessary for the production of sugar, starch, proteins and various enzymes, without which normal growth is impossible. The same element is responsible for the flower's ability to regulate water intake and resist cold. If there is a lack of potassium, the edges of the leaves dry out and curl, and the whole plant looks scorched. The young shoots do not develop to their full potential and look underdeveloped. Some of the older shoots die off, and during flowering, foliage may drop off. Brown necrotic burns on the edges of the leaves indicate an excess of potassium in the soil.

Magnesium. Also very important for houseplants. If this element is deficient, chlorosis appears on the leaves in the form of spots, interstitial leaf areas grow faster than veins, resulting in a lumpy leaf plate surface. Necrotic spots appear on irregularities.

Calcium, bore, sulfur, iron and some other elements are also important for good growth and flowering of indoor plants. Correct, balanced nutrition boosts the immunity of the plants, they are less susceptible to various diseases and pests, better tolerate stress.

In flower stores today a huge selection of different fertilizers, and you can pick up what you need for each flower. It's important when diluting the preparations to stick to the doses recommended in the instructions and remember that almost all plants have a dormant period when feeding is excluded.

7. Give the plant a dormant period

Some flowers do not tolerate the absence of a dormant period. If the nature has it that the plant has a vegetation period, when it grows, blossoms and bears fruit, and a resting period, when it has a rest from all these things - there is no point to argue with that. We have to give the plant this very rest.

For the majority of indoor flowers just a little - a little less air temperature, a little less watering and a little more humidity, stop nutrition and we can consider the rest provided. Rested plant in the spring will start to grow and please with the next flowering.

Lack of winter rest weakens the plant, often observed drop of leaves or stretching of shoots in winter time. There are also problems with flowering in this case.

Which plants need a complete winter rest, and which ones do not need it, read our article "Peculiarities of potted plant wintering".

A potted plant is dying - 8 possible causes
All indoor plants to a greater or lesser extent need a change of care in the winter period. © Amanda Giesler

Signs of diseases and pests are easily detected by regular inspection of plants. The problem can get into the house with a new flower, so if you buy another "occupant", you need to quarantine it and keep it 3-4 weeks apart from other flowers. During this time you can understand whether the plant is clean or not.

When the first signs of pests appear, you must immediately begin to fight, because it is pests spread fungal diseases.

In house plants sometimes appear whitefly, aphids, scale, spider mite, mealybugs and other insects. Some of them can be seen with the naked eye, others can be recognized by various traces on the leaves - sticky plaque, spider webs, spots and holes on the leaves. Upon detection of these signs it is necessary to immediately treat flowers with insecticide, systemic if possible.

For indoor flowers it is better to use biological preparations - "Fytoverm", "Avertin" and the like. These preparations are low-toxic for humans and pets but rather effective against harmful insects.

From diseases the most dangerous for indoor plants are powdery mildew, false powdery mildew, dark mold and other fungal diseases. If you see the first signs of damage it is necessary to treat all the flowers with fungicide, and if necessary - repeat the treatment.

Dear readers! Growing houseplants can be a real passion or a small hobby - it does not matter. The important thing is to make the flowers happy, and that's only possible if the plants are healthy. To achieve this is easy - you need to know what kind of flower came to you in the house, what conditions and care for him preferable, and try to create him those very conditions and care. A little care, attention and indoor plants will surely thank you with beautiful healthy leaves and luxurious flowers.