Plants bring liveliness into the apartment and make it really cozy. They can also contribute to better health by filtering the air, enriching the menu with herbs and vegetables and even helping to sleep. So it is all the more regrettable when the useful roommates no longer want to thrive.
Every plant has individual requirements, but there are some common care mistakes that you can easily avoid – so that your green favorites grow lush again!
- The leaves turn yellow
Occasionally dying and yellow leaves are usually completely normal. However, as soon as significantly more leaves are affected and bald spots threaten, it is important to act quickly. Yellow leaves can have several causes: overwatering, lack of nitrogen or a wrong location. You can tell whether too much has been poured if you dig your finger deep into the earth. It should feel damp but not wet. Standing water in the saucer or moldy-smelling earth are clear signs of excessive watering. It usually helps to reduce watering, to change location or to fertilize (for example with eggshells, banana peels or coffee grounds).
- The leaves wither
While it is widely believed that wilting leaves have given the plant too little water, this is only one possible cause. Likewise, too much watering can lead to withered leaves, which are even more common. As a result of waterlogging, the roots rot and lose their functionality. This means that no more water can be transported into the plant. The means of choice here is needs-based casting. The signs for recognizing excessive moisture are the same as in point 1. Wilting leaves can also be an indication that the plant is too sunny. A shadier location then brings improvement. Wilted leaves can also indicate pests or other diseases that are often not visible at first glance. In this case, it is advisable to examine the plant carefully and take further measures if necessary (see point 5).
- The leaves have brown tips
Brown leaf tips usually appear in winter when the room air is too dry, often in connection with too much heat in relation to the comparatively low amount of light in the dark months. This can be remedied by spraying the plant with water, placing a bowl of water on the heater or changing location.
Over-fertilization with mineral salts is also possible: In this case, simply reduce the fertilization and possibly repot the plant in fresh soil.
- The leaves have a yellow or brown margin
As with brown tips, a yellow or brown leaf margin can also indicate that the air in the room is too dry or over-fertilization. However, another possible cause is too frequent watering. This can be remedied by watering the plant less, fertilizing it as required and possibly using a spray bottle to ensure higher humidity. If the soil also smells musty or moldy, it is advisable to repot the plant (see point 7).
- The plant has pests
If you look closely, you will notice small animals on the leaves or the potting soil – pests have attacked the plant! Fortunately, there are natural remedies for aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, mealybugs, and blood lice, and other plants help each other against pests. You can also make a natural organic spray against aphids yourself.
- The plant has coatings or spots
If the plant is covered with brown spots, fine coating or white threads, there is a high probability that it is a disease. Then it is advisable to intervene immediately and cut out the affected areas until the shoot is healthy. You can also support the plant with biological agents against powdery mildew, brown rot, rust and sooty, or you can make a natural organic spray yourself.
- The earth smells musty or moldy
Moldy soil can be caused by too frequent watering, insufficient ventilation, or a nearby source of mold that has spread to the potting soil. As a quick help, it is best to remove the mold areas generously and fill up with new soil. If very large areas or even the entire soil are infested, it is advisable to detach the plant from the pot, dispose of the soil completely and clean the roots thoroughly under running water. Then place the plant in a clean pot with new soil or disinfect the old one with hot vinegar solution. In the future, it is advisable to avoid waterlogging, to ensure more ventilation and to find and remove any molds in the area.
Changing the planter can also help. Decorative pots made of plastic are chic, but prevent moisture regulation via the pot walls and thus promote waterlogging, rot and mold. Unglazed clay pots, which can absorb and release water and which also regulate the temperature in the ball of the earth better than plastic pots, are more suitable.
- Flowers or fruits are missing or are very small
Missing or small flowers and fruits (for example on the lemon tree) can result in incorrect pruning. The plant puts its energy into new shoots or too many fruits instead of producing the desired large fruits. The right cutting technique is crucial here. In addition, it is advisable to check the location and nutrient intake and adjust if necessary.
- To regulate the humidity in the flower pot, it is advisable to build in a drainage layer (for example a large pottery shard or clay granulate). This allows excess water to drain off and at the same time to store water that is slowly released to the plant.
- Water should never remain in the coaster, as this promotes waterlogging, rot and mold. Instead, water less, water more regularly and empty out the overflowing water. Small stones or sticks between the saucer and the pot also help so that the bottom of the pot does not remain in the water.
- Unglazed clay or ceramic pots are better suited than metal or plastic flower pots because they allow temperature and humidity to be regulated. Thin-walled, dark plastic pots, on the other hand, can heat up quickly on a south-facing window and thus damage the root ball.
- Natural fertilizers can be found in almost every household and garden, for example in the form of coffee, eggshells, kitchen waste or nettles. Wood ash is a popular potassium fertilizer.
- You can easily make your own organic spray against pests and diseases from plants, essential oils or baking soda.
- You just don’t have a green thumb? There are some undemanding plants that forgive almost all mistakes in care.