How to stop your house plants dying & why a pretty pot could be killing them


INDOOR plants and their survival can seem like a mystery to even the most practiced home gardener.

If your houseplants always seem to die off despite your green thumb outdoors, the cause of death might be something you aren’t anticipating.


If your indoor plants keep dying, you might be making common but surprising errorsCredit: Getty
A trendy pot will look great on your windowsill, but it could slowly kill your plant


A trendy pot will look great on your windowsill, but it could slowly kill your plantCredit: Getty

The experts at Lifehacker shared life-saving tips for any plants that just can’t seem to hold it together and revealed the surprising things that might be killing yours off.

Every plant has different needs, which will change with time, and one of those is the size of the pot your plant is in.

“If the pot is too small, your plant’s roots will be constricted, and less soil means less nutrients for it to absorb,” the experts explained.

On the other hand, if your plants die off despite having “plenty of room,” you may accidentally be drowning or starving your plant.

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“A pot that’s too big can result in soil that’s too moist, and can make it difficult for the soil to be firmly packed around the roots,” the pros continued.

Look up specific needs for your plant species and adjust accordingly, and remember to re-pot your specimens as they grow.

That’s something you should do right away, too: the Lifehacker experts warn that “the pot you bring it home in from the garden center probably isn’t the right size.”

Your lighting setup is a similar “Goldilocks” situation. Your plants need just the right amount of light to thrive, and depending on which direction your windows face, they might be suffering.

“Place plants that need bright lights near a southern or western facing window that isn’t shaded,” the experts explained.

“Plants that need indirect lights can be placed in an east facing window, or in front of a window with a sheer curtain.

“Low light plants can be in front of North facing windows or in a generally dimly lit part of the house,” they added.

If your plants still aren’t thriving, you might need to account for them in your cleaning schedule.

“Like everything in your home, your plants’ leaves will gather dust over time,” Lifehacker’s pros explained, “but unlike your bookcase, your plants leaves need to absorb sunlight so photosynthesis can occur.”

In other words: yes, you need to dust your plants on a regular basis.

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Sponge or rinse hardier leaves when you water your plants, making sure to remove any dust or household grime that’s built up on the leaves.

If your indoor plants are more delicate, use your regular duster or a microfiber cloth to remove dust, making sure to get into any nooks and crannies that might be particularly neglected.

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