Diagnose Houseplant Troubles
Below are some helpful tips in knowing what might be wrong with your houseplant.
When the leaf edges or tips become brown and dried they could be suffering from too high temperature, lack of humidity, inadequate fertilizer, and/or poor water quality.
Rapid defoliation is a result of over or underwatering, exposure of hot or cold drafts, and/or rapid changes in temperature or light.
Gradual defoliation, however, could be from lack of fertilizer, insufficient lighting, and/or watering is inadequate.
When the leaves drop continuously or new leaves on the tips are small and curled there could be pollutants in the air and/ insect damage.
Spotted foliage often is from sunburn, but could be a source of overwatering, fungal infection, and/or pollutants.
Pale and weak-looking foliage as well as pale, small, and spindly new foliage means that the plant is suffering from insufficient light, underwatering, and/or lack of fertilizer.
When leaves turn yellow between the veins, the pH of the soil is not right for the plant. Try repotting it first using all new soil or change the type of fertilizer.
If the plant does not flower it may not have the right amount of light, could be lacking fertilizer, or it might be underwatered.
Flower buds that drop before they open is often a result of fluctuating temperatures, exposure to drafts, overwatering, or insufficient humidity.
Sunburn causes foliage to be blotched with red or brown.
When new growth appears wilted or burned the plant could be suffering from fertilizer burn, exposure to drafts, underwatering, sunburn, too high of temperatures, or freezing.
If, however, the entire plant is wilted, it is most likely from under or overwatering, fertilizer burn, or exposure to cold temperatures.
Tiny white spots on leaves are often caused by spider mites, which can be controlled with a pesticide.
Mealy bugs create cotton-like masses on leaves and stems; scale makes sticky spots on foliage and small brown bumps.
Fuzzy gray mold most likely is from Botrytis (a fungal disease) from excess humidity and poor ventilation. Remove all dead leaves and spent flowers so the disease does not spread, and improve the air flow.
Powdery Mildew creates a white powdery substance.
General drooping of the plant could be a source of crown, stem, or root rot.
Once you identify what your problem is most of these are easy fixes. If however, you need more help, Longfellow’s has lots of information and products available.