House Plants, Experts and Indoor Plant Lovers

Solve your leaf problems on your house plants

Brown leaf and other problems for your house plants

House Plant – Leaf problems + Causes + Solutions

As a plant lover, we spend a considerable amount of time carefully looking after our house plants (okay, some do slip through the cracks and don’t always survive!) So we would rather find a solution rather than just giving up on our beloved plant (I’m sure you feel the same way!). I’m no plant Doctor but I have done a LOT of reading and research into plants. We thought it would be helpful if we pulled together a table where you can find your plants leaf problem- a likely cause and a solution to try. This table is just about leaf problems for house plants (we will be adding more plant problems soon!). Reach out to us with other plant issues you would like to find out more about.

Here is our quick reference guide for common leaf problems for your house plants when they appear sick, diseased, have an insect/ pest problem, spots on their leaves, mould or leaf rot.

Yellowing leaves, one or two lower leaves yellow & dieNatural process particularly with caney plantsCleanly trim off dead foliage
Leaves yellowing with brown or dead tips Soil too dryWater thoroughly whenever surface soil dries out
Leaves begin yellowing, then fall offMay be due to relatively dark, warm conditions, such as a warm room where blinds are drawn by dayImprove light
Lower leaves yellowing, remainder paler than normal greenMay be due to lack of feedingLeach soil, then saturate with complete water-soluble fertiliser
Yellowing mainly of new growthDue to alkaline (limey) soil or hard water, especially when the plant is watered from the bottomLeach soil thoroughly, then dissolve 1 heaped teaspoon of iron sulphate in about 2L of water & slowly pour through soil. If iron sulphate is not available, use 2 teaspoons of vinegar to the same amount of water
Several lower leaves yellowing, others inclined to sag; stem usually dark, & soil with mossy scum on surfaceToo much waterScratch off surface crust to aerate, then let surface soil dry out
Leaves with areas gradually paling into yellow or brown, particularly on side nearest lightLight too intense or sun scorchEither the plant needs to be gradually conditioned to strong light or is one needing more diffused light.
Brown or dead tips or margins of leavesAtmosphere too dry Trim off brown areas so that natural leaf shape is retained. Increase humidity as suggested.
Leaves drawn & thinTemperature too high & soil too moist for the amount of light availableMove to brighter indirect light
Young growth limpUsually soil too dry but over-wetness can cause the same symptomIf soil is too dry (give plant a good soak); if too wet – allow to dry out, but also check plant is not sitting in a pool of water of outer pot.
Taking care of your house plant leaves