Have you ever purchased a plant from the nursery and provided it with nurture and attention? Like many plant lovers, I even name many of my plants and give each plant its own special area to thrive and grow. Some time may pass by, and your new plant looks like it’s doing fine, then leaves suddenly brown or, worse, fall off. Your cherished plant starts to wither away right in front of your eyes.

How can you determine what is going wrong? You are not neglecting your plant, but too much nurture and being over-enthusiastic can be just as detrimental. So let’s examine three main possibilities why your plant is dying.

Plant overwatering can be just as hazardous as underwatering. One of the most frequent errors is for a plant owner to over hydrate a healthy, lush new plant which causes root rot.

A plant is deprived of oxygen with root rot and becomes unhealthy. A healthy plant will die if overwatering continues. So how do you detect root rot? If the leaves are turning yellow, falling off or slowly wilting, this is a clear sign of root rot.

After buying your new plant, I always recommend adding some drainage holes to the pot’s bottom or making sure the existing holes are large enough. This will prevent overhydrated soil. If your plant is already showing signs of root rot, reduce the amount of watering, remove it from the soil, cut its roots, and re-pot it in fresh soil.

2. Lack of Sun Light

Sunlight is paramount for plants to thrive, and natural sunlight is the best form of light. Plants will appear pale if they are not getting sufficient sunlight. 

The leaves will become lanky, floppy, and start to shed before eventually dying.

To remedy this, you can choose leafy houseplants. Leafy plant varieties are adapted to low levels of light as they are typically found in tropical rainforests. Rainforests can be very dense and lack sunlight. Therefore these plants are robust and will endure conditions that have poor lighting.

Changing the location and placement can make a positive difference. You may try placing a plant near a window or bright area to provide more natural light. I would also suggest avoiding growing food plants indoors. This includes tomatoes, carrots, basil, to name a few. 

3. Too much Fertiliser

If you notice a plant is wilting, chances are it is over fertilised. This will occur even if the plant is sufficiently watered. Brown or soft left tips are another sign to look for. Fertilising too often or inadequately will provide the plant with an overload or lack of nutrients. Too many nutrients will burn the roots. 

There is no need to rush fertiliser as most potting soil already contains a sufficient amount of nutrients.

I recommended purchasing a solid fertiliser or time-release to avoid burning the roots. My suggestion is to fertilise a plant when there are indicators your plant requires it. Stunted or small leaves, new leaves looking pale, greenish veins, and a general lack of growth are all signs. Be on the watch for any tanned or white substance and dust slowly building up in the plant’s tray, which indicates excess fertiliser and salts. 

Final Suggestions

Plant lovers all know plants require three essential elements: water, light, and soil to thrive. Depending on the variety of plant means, differing amounts of these three elements will be required to survive.

What is the correct amount of sunlight, soil or water? This really depends on the plant species. Some plants may require constant hydration, and others prefer dry soil. Some varieties need bright direct light to thrive, and others are suited to shaded areas. It’s always best to do a bit of research and ask the staff at the nursery as they often provide excellent advice.

Some plants are just not designed to live indoors or in a pot. Proper research is paramount, as you will have a clear idea of where to place the plant. A plant with the right conditions will usually create the best outcome. For great indoor or garden plants, flowers and great gardening advice, visit us or your local nursery.