Houseplants: ‘Common problems’ indoor plants face in winter – ‘difficult to diagnose’

Houseplants: Experts explain why leaves might be falling off

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Contrary to popular belief, some houseplants are easy to care for, and can thrive for several years if done so correctly. If they are placed in the wrong environment or are watered too much or too little, they can face several problems.

Liam Lapping of Flowercard, said: “More of us than ever before are rearing plants at home, from Chinese Money Plants to Peace Lilies, we’re all enjoying bringing part of the outdoors in, and with the many health benefits houseplants possess, it’s no winter.

“While we’re all wanting our plants to be healthy at home, sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose exactly what your houseplant is trying to tell you.

“In winter, many of us have our heating turned up without any real concern for our houseplants. 

“However, commonly in winter, the main causes of damage to your houseplants are overwatering, fluctuating temperatures and draughty positions.

“If your plant starts to turn brown, or leaves start to drop, look at your watering regime and check room temperatures and draughts.

“Be sure to check any labels on your houseplants when you purchase them, as it will usually tell you how often it should be watered and remember this is different for different plants.”

Common problems include leaf deformation as well as dark spots on the leaves.

According to Liam, dark spots on leaves could be a sign of fungus.

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He said: “If the spot is white or straw-coloured, it’s more likely to be as a result of the room being too cold or even that you’ve been watering it with water that’s too cold.

“To remedy this, if the room is too cold, consider moving the plant to a warmer area, especially in the winter months.

“When watering your houseplants, leave the water to reach room temperature before use.”

If the houseplant is experiencing irregular watering, owners may see leaf deformation.

Liam explained: “If the leaves of your houseplant are crinkled or creased it is usually caused by irregular watering during periods of new leaf growth.

“If the leaves begin to curl, then try moving your plant to a warmer location.

“If you think you need to change your soil or repot your houseplant, look at the tips of its leaves. If the tips are lacking in colour, your plant isn’t getting the nutrients it needs.

“Search your plant type and find out what type of soil it will thrive in to bring it back to life.

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“You can also collect rainwater and use that to water your plants as it contains more nutrients than usual tap water”

During the winter, houseplants may also experience yellowing leaves.

While this is perfectly normal for some leaves, if a large number of leaves are changing colour, then there could be an underlying problem.

Liam recommended checking the roots to see if they are too wet or too dry and water accordingly.

He said: “Also, check to see if the roots are taking up the pot, or if they’re not filling the pot and re-pot accordingly.

“It’s important to ensure your houseplants are thriving by moving them to favourable conditions.

“Make sure they’re not in direct sunlight, but ensure they’re not in dry and cold conditions.”

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