8 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Houseplants

Not everyone has a green thumb and no matter what they do, they cannot keep their houseplants alive.

The question is, what are they doing to kill their houseplant?  Read on to find this answer to this question.

Mistakes That Can Kill Your Houseplants

1. Over-watering

This is usually the reason that your plants die.  Plants do not need to be watered every day.  When they need water will depend on the plant. For example, succulents do not need as much water as a flowering plant.  Most plants will come with a tag that states how to water them and when.  If not, you can find this information online or ask the people where you bought the plant.  If you over-water your plant, you can drown the roots and cause root rot.  You also need to make sure that you have your houseplant in a pot with drain holes at the bottom so excess water can drain out.  

To fix this issue, you need to be patient and give some time between watering.  When you do water, you may not need to give it as much.  Feel the soil, and if it feels dry, it is time to water.  Do not feel just the top layer but work your finger about an inch into the soil to see if it is wet.  Most plants that have drainage holes in the bottom sit in a drip tray.  Check the tray about an hour after watering and if there is any water in it, dump it out.

2. Under-watering

This is the second reason that houseplants die.  This might happen because you are not obvious of the signs that your plant needs water, and you ignore the signs until one day your plant is dead.  Another reason is that you have been doing really well with your plants, and then something random happens like you had to go out of town, and the person who is supposed to water your plants does not do it; if you forget, try to remember to do it at least once or twice a week by making it a part of your housekeeping routine.  Only keep plants that are resilient, like succulents or the air plant that does not require watering every day and can go for a week at a time without water.

  How Do You Propagate a Money Tree? [COMPLETE GUIDE]

3. Temperatures are too cold

Plants can handle various temperatures, but one thing to remember is that most houseplants originated in the tropics where they are used to warm humid temperatures.  Although they can stand cool temperatures you have to make sure it is not too cold and they can get frostbitten.  Most plants prefer temperatures ranging from 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate humidity.

4. Diseases and pests

Pests like spider mites, aphids, and more like to suck the sap from your houseplant’s leaves.  You may also find that your plant has downy mildew, root rot, and more.  If you notice that your plant has drooping leaves, they are changing colors, or even see the pests on the houseplant; you need to be sure what it is and treat it accordingly.  With pests, you may just have to wipe all the leaves with a soapy mixture or use an insecticide.  Each disease or pest has its own way to get rid of it.

dead houseplant

5. Too little light

This is just as bad as too much light.  It is rare for a plant to die from not having too little light and if happens it will take months, maybe even years for this to happen.  All plants need light so you need to go online and see just how much like they need.  

6. Too much light

Yes, it is true, plants need light but there is certain light that they need and if they get too much then it could hurt your houseplants.  For some plants, direct sunlight can burn their leaves.  Most houseplants need indirect light.  Find out what your plant needs and make sure that they get the type of light they need.  

7. Not dusting them

This may sound a bit strange but you do need to dust your plants occasionally because if the leaves of the plant have accumulated too much dust, it cannot breathe and do photosynthesize.  This is when the plant produces the nutrients it needs.  

  Peace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum) Care & Growing Guide

8. Repotting too much 

Generally, the only time you need to repot your plants is when they have outgrown the pot.  Repotting them too often can hurt the roots.  As a general rule, your plant will need to be repotted if you have to water it more than three times a week.  This means that the roots have expanded and needs room to grow. When you are repotting make sure to choose a pot that is no more than two inches bigger than the pot it is in.  If you put the plant in too large of a pot, it will hold too much excess water and can lead to root rot.  When you repot, make sure to keep the roots and soil intact.  

If you are repotting because the roots are growing out of the drain holes, you may have to trim some of the ends off to give it more room to grow or if the roots look like they are rotten.

Also read:


These are just eight of various mistakes that can kill your houseplants.  If you are able to catch your mistakes in time there is a good chance that you can keep your plant alive.  Take the time before you purchase houseplants to read about them, see what they need to live such as watering, feeding, lighting, and more.  By doing this, it will help you know what they need so there is a better chance of you not making any of these mistakes and keeping your plant alive.

Everyone is capable of growing houseplants so if you think you have a black thumb and will just kill any houseplant you buy, read and get informed about the houseplant you have or are going to buy.   You just need to know what the houseplants need to thrive and survive.

Keep reading: