Home Improvement December 5, 2020

I kill house plants – First Step is Admittance

I know I am not the only one that tries and tries to be a good house plant parent. They are great to liven up the room, give a splash of color. They even provide some much need ambiance and then somehow it dies and then it looks like…well dead. First Step is Admittance – “Yes I kill house plants.”

I mean they’re plants, how hard can they be to take care of ?! Wrong – apparently there are lots of ways you can kill a plant… unintentionally according to this article: 5 Ways You’re Killing Your Houseplants—and How To Stop | realtor.com®

I have struggled with plant parenting all my life and now I have the tools to turn it around. I hope you will use these to your advantage. Again – the First Step is Admittance – “Yes I kill house plants.”


One the most common reasons a house plant can meet its untimely end – the article states that “The most probable cause of droopy leaves is lack of moisture in the soil base,” says Horticulturalist Andrew Gaumond, of Petal Republic. “A moisture meter or probe or maybe even your fingers are your best friends.  This will help you to determine the moisture content around the base of the planter. If it’s bone-dry, it’s clear your plant is in need of a good drink.” Another sign of underwatering is yellowing leaves. “Yellowing leaves that feel a little crisp to the touch…another tell tale sign that your plant is underwatered,” Gaumond says.”


This is likely the issue with my own plants. They just seemed like they have to be thirsty! “The most serious sign of an unhappy houseplant would be blackening or wilting leaves, which are often caused by chronic overwatering,” says Zachary Smith, arborist and president of Smith’s Pest Management.  Mr. Smith says that “this is a common problem with houseplants, where the plant has too much water and the leaves are wilting or drooping because the roots are suffocating in standing water”. Droopy or blackened leaves? Check the soil to see how wet it is! Be sure the plant has proper drainage (that is, a way to get rid of excess water) and let it dry out completely—for at least a week—before giving it any more water.”

Inadequate Light

“Brown or yellow leaves may be a sign of insufficient light or nutrient deficiency,” says Smith.” Do some research on your type of plant. Very important if you are going to try to find out how much or little light it needs. (Oh yeah – sometimes they prefer the dark… so difficult)

Too Much Light

Like I said above – difficult little buggers. “A plant receiving too much light might draw its leaves down around the pot as it tries to get away from the light,” says Lisa Eldred Steinkopf of The Houseplant Guru. “It also may be discolored and appear bleached out. Plants can actually be sunburned, just like us, and it shows up as dead patches of brown tissue on the leaves.”

Environmental Factors

Yes the environmental factors provide a whole new level to consider. “Beyond watering and light issues, there are a few other things that can cause houseplants to die. Namely, environmental factors such as temperature and humidity levels. “Avoid cold drafts, hot air blowing on them from the furnace, letting them dry out completely, keeping them overly wet, too low or too high light, and low humidity,” suggests Steinkopf.”

Keep these tips in mind so your plants will be back to being their wonderfully happy, decorative, green selves again!

If plant-parenting isn’t for you then maybe you should try different methods to spruce up your space.

Contact your local realtor for their list of area professionals or check out our list.