Dr Green Fingers: Indoor Plants

by Vicky Hurst
indoor house plants

In the natural world, things have a way of just doing what they want, and trying to control nature can be difficult. Well, the best advice is to stop trying to control your plants, and instead focus on guiding your indoor plants so that they are healthy and thriving. 

Whether you have a natural green thumb but are struggling with a particular issue, or have gotten lax in the care of your indoor plants, we are here to help. 

Welcome to the Dr Green Fingers series, brought to you by Plants by Post. This blog series aims to help you diagnose common plant problems and offer helpful solutions and advice, starting with indoor plants. You’re welcome!

Find help and information on common indoor plant problems and issues here and plenty more advice to ensure you have the greenest, healthiest plants possible. 

5 Common Indoor Plant Problems 

You may have heard the theories that talking to your plants can help keep them healthy? Well, you might not believe this to be true, but we can’t deny that our plants do talk to us…in a sense. When there is a problem with your plant, they will communicate this to you through various signs. If you’re unsure how to speak this unique language with your plants, don’t worry, you will find all the answers you need here. 

We have pulled together the five most common indoor plant problems so that you can quickly find the issue with your plant and diagnose it accurately. Once you have found what you suspect to be the issue with your house plant, follow our solution advice to get back on track to thrive. 

1. Yellowing Leaves 

If you notice the leaves of your plant are yellowing, don’t automatically think the worst. This could just be a natural progression of your plant’s lifecycle. If the leaves are older, they will turn yellow and naturally drop off. However, if you notice a large number of the leaves are yellowing, this could signify a much bigger problem. 

A common cause of leaves turning yellow is too much shade for your plant, which we understand can be tricky to get right when your plants are inside. But simply moving plants with yellowing leaves closer to the window can ensure they get all the sunlight they need. If this isn’t possible in your space, you may want to consider choosing plants that thrive in low-light levels instead. You could look into a few examples here: spider plants, monstera plants and peace lilies

2. Dropping Leaves

Have you noticed the leaves on your indoor plant dropping more frequently? This could mean you have been either over watering or under watering your plant. 

When there is insufficient water in your soil, your plant will struggle to accumulate the nutrients it needs to photosynthesise. To check if your plants are under watered, press your finger several centimetres deep into the soil, and if it's bone dry, then it's time to water! 

If your soil feels full of moisture, you need to check the roots of your plants. A sign of over watering is visible with waterlogged roots that may appear brown and mushy. For reference, healthy roots should look firm and white. 

To correct over watering or under watering, you could try a gardening tool such as a self-watering planter to ensure a steady and regular watering schedule for your plant. 

3. Curling Leaves

Curling leaves on your house plant are a sign of too little water and too much humidity. They curl in an effort to try and conserve water and protect themselves. 

Use the trick we mentioned earlier to check the soil moisture levels beneath the surface and determine if your plant is in desperate need of a drink. Just be sure not to overcorrect the issue and water the plant too much. Instead, water the plant with the usual amount you would give it. When this has settled, mist the leaves regularly to keep them hydrated.  

Your plant may also suffer from too much humidity and heat in your home, causing the leaves to curl. This is due to your plant being close to heat sources such as radiators or fireplaces. Simply moving them away from these into a different room in your home can fix the issue. 

4. Brown Leaves 

Brown leaves, sometimes referred to as burnt leaves, are simple to diagnose. Just like we get burnt when we’re out in the sun too long, the same thing can happen to your house plants if they get too much direct sunlight. 

Brown colour and crisping edges are clear to spot when checking up on your indoor plants, and some plants are more prone to it than others, like tropical foliage. To remedy this, you should try moving your houseplants from their usual perch near the window during the early afternoon when the sun is at its highest. This ensures your plants get a good mix of sunlight and shade time if they suffer from burns. 

Another culprit for brown leaves is over-fertilising, which may not seem bad on paper. But you can ensure you’re taking proper care of your plants by simply following the basic instructions on the basics of fertilising your plants.

5. Lopsided and Sparse Growth

This issue might be more superficial and appearance-based than others on our list. Still, it remains that a plant that is growing lopsided or sparsely is not easy to miss.

You might want to take action on this issue if you have noticed one side of your plant growing taller and thriving more than the other or have spotted sparse spots in your pot. Luckily, fixing lopsided and sparse growth is pretty straightforward. The problem is your plant is not getting long enough sun exposure to each side equally. 

Try rotating your plants a little bit each time you water them to fix this issue! 

Happy and Thriving Indoor Plants

We hope you have found the diagnosis and solution for all your indoor plant problems here so you can get back on track to happy and thriving plants! 

If you think you’re better equipped now to care for and maintain house plants in your home, why not explore our full collection of indoor plants on offer to grow your indoor garden? You can also find indoor pots, plant care and food to help you take the best care of all your house plants. 

Alternatively, if you’re still unsure if you’re equipped to keep your indoor plants alive, why not shop our range of unkillable house plants? These are perfect for filling empty spaces in your home and office and for gifting to your loved ones who are hopeless at keeping their greenery alive! 

Look out for the next part of the Dr Green Fingers series for more help and guidance on maintaining thriving plant life.


Dr Green Fingers: Indoor Plants

Picking the Right Pot for your Plant

Why are my plants dying?