Common Houseplant Problems – Part 2

Even the most hard-working gardeners encounter many houseplant problems and they often ask, “why are my plants spotted”, or “why do the leaves look burnt?” Hence, today this article will answer all your gardening questions.

#1. Leaves That Look Burnt

Burnt, Leaves, Autumn, Golden Autumn, Nature, Plant

Burning leaves is a condition that can affect certain types of houseplants. For instance, tropical plants and spider plants and those that have long and strappy leaves are especially susceptible. It is important to remember that this houseplant condition represents a symptom of a larger problem. Therefore, it is important to analyze the possible factors that have caused this condition.

  • Watering issues: Did you know that leaf burning is often a sign of irregular or insufficient watering? For example, some specific tropical plants can only grow in an environment with high humidity levels and hence dislike parched conditions. As a result, a plant in a home with low humidity can experience leaf burning.
  • Fertilizers issues: It is important to note that fertilizers, especially large doses, can cause leaf burning. Let me give you a small example. Last time, shortly after feeding a heavy dose of fertilizer, I noticed scorching on my plants. So, this indicated that the problem was with my fertilizer.
  • Sun damage: Let me tell you that if recently your plant was placed in a spot where it has been getting the full brunt of direct sunlight, then the culprit is none other than the sun. And, the afternoon sun can cause more damage to plants as it is particularly strong. Besides, leaf burning may happen if you live a plant near the window due to the window’s ability to magnify and radiate heat.
  • Chemical damage: Even though this is one of the less likely reasons behind leaf burning, it is crucial to know that in some cases, household pesticides and cleaning chemicals can burn plants.

#2. Spotted Leaves

Green spotted leaves free image

Spotted leaves is another common houseplant problem that many homeowners can face. There are different causes of leaf spots such as pollutants, insects and bacteria but according to the University of Maryland, most leaf spots are a result of infection by fungi. Let me explain in more details.

Once fungal spores in the air find a warm plant surface to cling to, they get comfortable in their new home, and that’s when they reproduce. As a result, tiny brown fungal leaf spot begins to grow and then the circle grows large enough to touch another circle to form a blotch. The dead areas on the leaves can usually be brown, black or reddish in color. But, let me tell you that the fungal spores are also capable of causing secondary infections on the leaves.

#3. Curling Leaves

File:Leaf curling in coffee caused by hoplandothrips.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Let’s discover the possible causes of curling leaves on plants:

  • Insects: Did you know that there are some insect pests that can cause leaves to curl by sucking the juice of new and young leaves that are still growing? Sad, isn’t it? Well these culprits include aphids, thrips and whiteflies.
  • Peach leaf curl: Now, this concerns only those who have peach or nectarine trees as their tress may have caught a disease called peach leaf curl, where the plan fungus called Taphrina deformans may cause the leaves to curl.
  • Herbicides: It can happen that when you are spraying herbicides for weeds, some accidentally come into contact with other desirable plants. Therefore, active ingredients like the glyphosate in herbicides can cause leaves to curl.
  • Abiotic damage: Normally, during wet spring conditions, leaf curling is completely normal for vegetable plants such as eggplant, pepper and tomato.

We have discussed the problems that can affect most houseplants. But what about the ways we can prevent these problems? Please do not hesitate to share your suggestions in the comment section below!

 

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