Has this ever happened to you? While in the gardening section you are struck with the beauty of a particular house plant and know just where it will look best only to get it home and watch it die despite your best efforts to save it? If yes, then you are just like a lot of other people. Often we kill our house plants because we don’t understand how to care for them. Here are six reasons why we end up killing our new plants.
Without question, overwatering is the number one cause of plant death in the home. Keeping the soil around your house plants too moist deprives the root system of oxygen and increases root rot diseases. Take the time to learn how much water your plant requires and never water to the point of flooding it.
On the other hand plants do need water to survive and not watering them enough is also going to kill them, just not as quickly. Pay attention to your plants and they will tell you when they are thirsty. When the leaves start to wilt or droop it is time to get out the hose or watering can and give them a drink. Again, this can be prevented if you take the time to learn what your plant’s moisture requirements are and water them on a schedule.
Perennial vs. Seasonal
Some house plants bloom once or twice and then they are done and are called seasonal. Others bloom only at certain times of the year and repeat for several years. These are known as perennials. If you receive plants as a gift find out if it is seasonal or perennial before you throw it in the trash after stops blooming. If it is a perennial, you will be discarding a healthy plant that can provide beauty for years to come.
Darkness Kills Plants
Some house plants like sun more than others but all need some exposure to light to survive. Keeping a plant in an unlit location will result in a stunted plant with no blooms. Buy only the plant species that will do best in the lighting your home provides.
Be sure before you pronounce a plant dead
Especially when first starting out it is easy to make a mistake in believing a withered plant is dead when, in fact, it is still very much alive. Even for experienced gardeners it is sometimes very hard to tell if a plant is really gone or not. For this reason, seasoned gardeners will provide emergency care of providing water (or drier soil) and cut back the dead leaves to see if a dead looking plant will make it back. In a surprising number of instances, these house plants will recover nicely.
Know what you are buying
This is probably truer with beginners than experienced gardeners, but anyone can make a mistake by purchasing a plant they don’t really know how to care for. Do your research before putting down your money and be certain this species will do well in the environment you provide.
Gardening is a fun and relaxing hobby and it can be even more so by choosing plants that are tolerant of your home or apartment and do not require more care than you are able to provide.