5 Common Houseplant Problems & How to Solve Them

Need some help with your houseplants? Whether you have a specific issue or your plants just don’t seem to be growing as well as they should, here are five of the most common houseplant problems, as well as a few tips on how to solve them.

1) Leaves are Developing Brown Spots

If you have noticed brown spots on the leaves of your houseplant, chances are that this is being caused by a disease; fungal leaf spot. It usually occurs when plants have been over-watered, and while it can be a serious problem, plants can often be salvaged. 

Begin by isolating any infected plants, and then removing diseased foliage. When returning your plant to its original location, try to give it a bit more space. This will increase air circulation, which will help to prevent fungal leaf spot from re-occurring, although cutting back on watering can have a big impact too.



2) Singed Leaf Tips, Dark or Bleached Spots & Hardened Soil

If the tips of your houseplant leaves are looking a little singed, and you also notice either dark or bleached spots appearing on the foliage, check to see whether the soil feels hard and dry. These symptoms often point to too much direct sunlight, which is a common problem in the summer months.

Move your plant away from its light source and prune off any damaged leaves - it should recover just fine. It may be worth looking into the light requirements of that specific plant too, as some, such as the ZZ Plant, cannot tolerate bright, intense sunlight.



3) Leaves are Gradually Turning Yellow & Falling Off

Gradual defoliation can be caused by a few different factors, although incorrect watering is usually the problem. Try lifting your houseplant before watering - if it feels heavy, then leave it be, but it feels too light, then it probably needs a drink. 

A lack of nutrients could also be at play here. This causes the plant to then send nutrients from its lower leaves to its growing tips, leaving those lower leaves to fall off. A fertilizer would be the solution to this, but whether you go for something organic or not, make sure you pick a formula suitable for your houseplant.




4) Plant Doesn’t Seem to Be Growing

When it comes to waiting for a houseplant to grow, the impatience can really set in. If you have just moved your plant to a new environment, then you will need to wait a little longer, as many plants do take some time to settle in. 

However, if your plant has been in its location for a while now, and seems to be healthy otherwise, then its lack of growth could be down to insufficient sunlight. Some plants, such as the Calathea Makoyana, can tolerate low light levels, but they really come into their own when given a brighter (but indirect) light source.

Of course, some species are also just naturally slower-growing than others. If you are looking for a plant that will quickly flourish and double in size, the Spider Plant is one of the fastest-growing houseplants out there. 



5) Leaves or Stems Have Tiny Insects on Them

Nobody wants pests on their houseplants, whether it may be aphids, whitefly or anything else. There are several insect sprays out there that will help you to deal with this, but you can also easily make your own at home.

It would also be a good idea to isolate the plant while you are treating it, so that the pests don’t spread over to any other nearby plants.



Some houseplants require very little maintenance, while others can be more challenging to care for. Fortunately, so many of the common houseplant problems out there are treatable, so long as you catch them early, giving you another reason to spend yet even more time gazing admiringly at your plants!

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