If you’re a plant lover, then you may already know that your plant’s leaves are often the first sign of health – and the first sign of trouble. Leaves will always let you know if your plant is not receiving proper care! The following is a closer look at the most common leaf problems you’ll encounter and how to fix them up, leaving (no pun intended!) behind a healthy and beautiful plant.
Leaves Getting Yellow And Falling Off
Problem 1: Stress from overwatering or underwatering
One of the most common causes of leaf problems in plants involves how much water a plant is – or isn't – getting. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause what is commonly referred to as "moisture stress" on a plant.
Houseplants are particularly susceptible to moisture stress because they are planted inside pots with a limited space, which increases the influence that the moisture of soil has on the plant's overall health.
When a plant is given too little water, the plant leaves may turn discolored; the most common color is yellow, which is a sign that the leaves are likely going to drop soon in order to conserve water remaining in the plant. However, you may see yellow leaves if you water the plant too much as well; in this case, a plant may become oversaturated with water, which can drown the roots. When the roots die, this will show up in the form of leaf discoloration.
How To Fix: Figure out whether your plant needs more or less water. If your plant has been given too much water, you may need to replant it with new soil in order to reduce the chances of root rot and fungal development. If your plant needs more water, let your houseplant pot soak in a bowl of water so that it can get watered from the bottom. Make sure to check the soil of your plants regularly so that you don’t forget to water them or accidentally overwater.
Problem 2: Old age
A leaf will eventually die off, no matter how healthy the plant. As a plant gets older, its bottom leaves will begin to turn yellow and then drop off. Many common houseplants will experience leaf discoloration and drop related to old age.
How To Fix: You can’t fix old age, unfortunately, so there is nothing to do but accept that your plant leaves are getting older. If you notice plenty of old leaves turning yellow and dropping, trim the plant to promote new growth.
Problem 3: Not enough nutrients
Plants need nutrients, just like people! If your plant isn't getting the right amount of nutrients, you may notice leaves beginning to turn yellow. Usually, a nutrient deficiency will start with the top leaves and work its way down the plant.
How To Fix: To fix this problem, you will need to do a couple of things. First, make sure that you are using a high-quality soil; then, add a nutrient-rich fertilizer to your care routine.
Problem 4: Not enough light
Plants need sunlight to thrive. If your plant isn't getting the right amount of light, leaves will first turn yellow – usually on the side of the leaf that is farthest away from the source of light – and then drop off.
How To Fix: If you see your leaves with partial discoloration on the side farthest away from the source of light, then you will need to move your plant to a location with a broader light source that will cover all of the leaves, and see if the plant's condition improves. You may also want to consider buying an artificial light if you aren't able to find a spot that will provide enough light for all sides of the plant.
Leaves Getting Yellow Or Brown And Falling Off
Problem 1: Lack Of Humidity
Most houseplants come from tropical areas and need a high amount of humidity to thrive. When they are not getting enough moisture, you may notice the leaves' edges turning crisp and brown. Also, new leaves won't grow properly.
How To Fix: The simplest method to add humidity to your plant's surroundings is by misting the leaves with filtered or distilled water. If you have enough plants, gathering them all together will raise humidity levels. You can also consider moving your plant to the bathroom, which is typically the most humid area of the home. Another method is placing your plant on a pebble tray or inside a terrarium. The most effective (and most expensive) way to raise the humidity around your plant is by using a humidifier.
Problem 2: Cold Temperatures And Drafts
Most houseplants need to be kept far away from drafts and cold temperatures, especially during their growing season. Tropical houseplants are especially sensitive to cold drafts. A plant exposed to cold temperatures, on the other hand, will show different leaf symptoms: brown leaves or even unusual transparent splotches in between the veins of the leaf.
How To Fix: If you notice that a plant is impacted by the cold, move it to a warmer area as soon as possible. To avoid this issue in the future, make sure that you keep your plants away from the heater, or air conditioners and windows that may let a cold draft inside.
Leaves Deforming, Getting Patches And Falling
One of the first signs you may see of an infestation on a plant are splotched yellow patches on the plant's leaves; you may also notice flower discoloration or deformed leaf shape. Pests usually gather underneath the leaves and suck fluids from them, causing the yellowing and drooping. You might even see white spots or black mold on the top of the foliage.
How to Fix: Use an insect-killing soap to stop the bugs feeding on your plant. Keep using it for 5 to 7 days later. Keep checking the leaves every week for any new infestations. Bugs are usually attracted by yellow, so set up some yellow sticky stakes or sticky traps to capture them. These traps will help you monitor the pests and will also work as an early warning system to notice an infestation before it spreads.
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