Avoid These 8 Common Houseplant Mistakes

Most houseplants that die were not intentionally killed. Indoor gardening is a climate that has been created artificially, and plants will require a period to adjust. At first, you may see some leaves fall.

You can help indoor plants grow by learning about their conditions of growth and providing as similar to these conditions as you possibly can. Take action as soon as you notice a problem.

These are common mistakes that people make when it comes to houseplants.


Overwatering a House Plant
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
Overwatering is the number one killer for houseplants, as it leads to root decay. Do not let your plants saturate in water and do not water your houseplants automatically on a regular schedule.


Low Humidity
A browning leaf is a sign of a houseplant
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
We have all seen the damage that low humidity can cause to our skin. Lack of humidity can also affect many indoor plants. This is especially true during winter. The humidity in your home can drop dramatically when the heat is turned on. Imagine how a plant living outside would react to this change. The problem may be first noticed as browning at the leaf tips.


Insufficient Light
A houseplant growing in a dark place
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
The plants that do not get enough light will appear pale and the new growth will be spindly as it reaches towards the sun. The new leaves may be smaller than normal.


Direct Heat Exposure
Plant hung from a heater vent
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
Place your houseplant close to a heat source, such as a radiator. This will cause your plant to not only burn but also dehydrate faster. There are some locations that are obvious bad choices, but there are times when you have limited options.


Incorrect Watering and the Salt Buildup
Salt buildup on houseplants
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
Salt buildup can be caused by giving your houseplants just enough water to get the soil wet, but never allowing it to drain. It may take a while before you notice a white crust forming on the sides or soil of the pot.


Ignoring pest problems
Aphids on houseplants
The Spruce (Phoebe Cheong)
Indoor pests multiply rapidly. You have to be vigilant about spotting symptoms because there are no natural predators that can keep them at bay. Aphids and mealybugs can quickly cover a plant. The plant could never recover if the infestation is severe.


Exposure to drafts
Plants near drafty windows
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
If you place an indoor plant, particularly a tropical plant or a blooming one, too close to windows with little insulation or near doors that are frequently opened to the outdoors, the effect will be the same as if the plant was left outside without protection.


Let it become pot bound
Plant roots that have grown out of their container
The Spruce by Lacey Johnson
When a pot-bound plant grows too large, its roots begin to circle and restrict themselves. The ratio of roots and soil in pot bound plants is often too high, causing them to dry more quickly than usual.