Raising Indoor Plants: Common problems and how to treat them.

Raising Indoor Plants: Common problems and how to treat them.

Unique, stunning, universal and functional! Indoor Plants have a variety of uses: from adding a twist to your home decor, to removing pollutants and allergens from the air.

When you receive your seedlings, transplant them into sterile, well draining soil. Be sure to pick a pot with drainage holes, to prevent the soil getting waterlogged and causing the roots to rot. 

Here are some of the common problems you may encounter with indoor plants, and how to treat them. 

Environmental factors (light, soil and temperature)


  • Too little light can cause leaf discolouration such as yellowing.
  • Too much light (direct light) can cause leaf scorch
  • Stretching - Stretched plants often have unusually long stems with significant gaps between leaves. They do not look bushy and healthy.


  • Place your plant in a light area that does not get direct sunlight. If sunlight seeps though, rather place your plant in an area that gets morning light.
  • Afternoon sunlight is often hotter and more likely to burn the leaves.
  • For even growth, rotate your plant weekly or place in an area where the plant will get even exposure to light.

Soil quality:

  • Poor soil quality (Nutrient Deficiencies) causes slow growth and leaf falling.
  • Soil that is too rich in minerals may also cause leaf scorch.


  • If you are experiencing symptoms related to poor quality soil – feed with a well-balanced and water soluble fertiliser.
  • Do not use more than the recommended dosage, too much fertiliser may  burn the plant.
  • If you experience scorched leaves from fertiliser burn, repot your plant in fresh soil and only feed when necessary.  


  • Temperature plays an important role in the health and growth of your indoor plant.
  • Extreme temperatures and temperature changes either way can cause stress to the plant.
  • Extreme heat can cause:
    • Increased respiration rate. While this is a normal process, an increased rate can lead to faster depletion of the plant's stored energy, weakening the plant.
    • Plants to wilt as they lose water faster than they can absorb it.
    • Wilting is a sign that the plant is under severe stress and may not recover if the heat stress continues.
  • Treatment
    • Move plants away from direct sunlight or use sheer curtains to diffuse the light.
    • Use a humidifier or place a tray of water near the plants to increase humidity levels.
    • Adding a layer of mulch on top of the soil can help retain moisture and keep the soil temperature cooler.
  • Cold to extreme cold can cause:
    • Many indoor plants, especially those native to tropical regions, are sensitive to cold.
    • Exposure to cold draughts or temperatures below their preferred range can cause leaves to wilt, turn yellow, or drop prematurely.
    • The roots of indoor plants can suffer in cold temperatures, especially if the potting medium becomes too cold.
    • Cold soil can inhibit water uptake, leading to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.
    • Cold-stressed plants are more susceptible to diseases, such as root rot and fungal infections.
    • This is partly because their immune responses are weakened, and also because damp, cool conditions favour the growth of pathogens.
    • If indoor plants are exposed to freezing temperatures, frost damage can occur. This manifests as blackened, mushy spots on leaves and stems, which can lead to cell death in the affected areas.
  • Treatment
    • Keep plants away from cold draughts, windows, and doors.
    • Use insulating materials like curtains or thermal blinds to buffer against cold air.
    • Ensure that the room temperature remains within a suitable range for your specific plants.
    • Supplemental heating may be necessary in particularly cold environments.


Care Factors (Watering, disease, fungus and pests)

Over watering

  • Can cause root rot (brown, mushy roots) - healthy roots are firm
  • Can also make the plant susceptible to fungus or mold as these organisms thrive in damp humid conditions.


  • Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
  • Ensure the pot has good drainage.
  • Remove any rotten roots and repot the plant in fresh soil.


  • Can cause wilting or drooping leaves
  • The leaves tend to get dry or brittle and “crunchy”.
  • You may observe soil pulling away from the sides of the pot


  • Water the plant thoroughly, allowing water to reach the roots.
  • Maintain a regular watering schedule.
  • Consider using self-watering pots or moisture-retaining soil.

Disease and fungus:

  • Spotted or black dots or water-soaked areas can often be a sign of disease.
  • Powdery Mildew displays a white sheen of “powder” on the leaves. This is easily spread from plant to plant. Prevent spreading by isolating the plant from others. Using gloves and sharp shears, cut away the affected foliage. Spray the remaining parts of the plant with a fungicide and repeat as advised on the information leaflet until the plant shows recovery.


  • Increase air circulation - place your potted plants with more spacing between them to allow for a natural airflow and prevent disease.
  • Remove damaged foliage.
  • Be sure to water the soil and not the leaves – wet leaves are susceptible to disease.
  • Water in the early hours of the morning so that the plants have a chance to dry out before night time. Disease and fungus can happen during the late hours of nighttime when the leaves and soil are damp.


  • Leaf curl is often a result of a pest on your plant.
  • Some common pests include Spider Mite, Mealy bugs and scale.
  • Pests often eat at the leaves, this is easily identifiable.


  • Check the leaves for pest damage, gently remove the damaged foliage.
  • Spray with an insecticide. If using an organic insecticide, treat approximately every 48 hours for 1 week, thereafter, spray preventatively once a week.

These are some common issues your houseplants may experience. We hope this advice helps your plants thrive in your home!

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