10 Bad Habits That DESTROY Your Plant’s Health

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Many people love having houseplants in their homes, but not everyone knows how to properly care for them. In this article, readers will learn about ten common bad habits that can harm their plants’ health and how to avoid them.

These bad habits include adding gravel to the bottom of the pot, watering all plants the same way, not pruning plants, not researching plant requirements, placing plants in direct sunlight, neglecting to repot overgrown plants, overfertilizing plants, misting plants, moving plants around too often, and not considering watering needs variability.

By understanding these bad habits and how to avoid them, readers can ensure that their plants stay healthy and thrive in their homes. Whether readers are experienced plant owners or new to the world of houseplants, this article will provide valuable information to help them care for their plants and enjoy their beauty for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper watering techniques and understanding the varying watering needs of different plants can help prevent root rot and promote healthy growth.
  • Researching plant requirements, including sunlight exposure and pruning needs, can ensure that plants receive the care they need to thrive.
  • Avoiding common bad habits such as overfertilizing, misting, and moving plants around too often can help keep plants healthy and happy.
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Avoiding Gravel in Pots

One common mistake that people make when caring for their houseplants is adding gravel or stones to the bottom of the pot. This practice is believed to help with water drainage in the soil, but it can actually harm the plant’s roots. When gravel is added to the bottom of the pot, it reduces the amount of soil that the plant can use, which can be unhealthy for the plant. Additionally, the roots of the plant may grow into the gravel instead of the soil, leading to unhappy roots.

To avoid this bad habit, it is recommended to put the plant in a plastic nursery pot with drainage holes so that excess water can escape from the pot. This will allow the plant to grow healthy roots and thrive.

It is important to note that each houseplant has different watering needs. Watering all of the plants the same way and at the same time is another bad habit to avoid. Some plants may need water once a week, while others may only need water once every two weeks. It is important to learn the water requirements of each plant and check the moisture in the soil before watering.

Pruning is another important aspect of plant care that is often overlooked. Pruning the stems of the plant keeps the plant looking fresh by encouraging lots of fresh growth, which is great for the plant’s health.

Lastly, it is important to avoid moving plants around the home too often. Houseplants tend to like being left in their spot untouched. Moving them often can stress the plant out and may cause leaf drop. It is best to find a spot for the plant and leave it there to thrive.

Watering Needs Variability

One common mistake that many houseplant owners make is watering all of their plants the same way and at the same time. While it may seem like a convenient approach, it can actually be detrimental to the health of your plants. Different plants have different watering needs, and watering them all in the same way can lead to unhappy plants.

For example, succulents typically only need to be watered once every three weeks, while tradescantias require watering once a week. If you have a variety of plants, it’s important to learn the specific water requirements for each one and check the moisture in the soil before watering.

To avoid overwatering and root rot, it’s also important to ensure that your plants are in pots with proper drainage. Adding gravel or stones to the bottom of the pot is an old wives’ tale that actually reduces the amount of soil the plant can use and can lead to unhappy roots.

In addition to watering, it’s important to research the specific needs of each plant, including its sunlight requirements. Not all plants require full sun to thrive, and placing them in direct sunlight can actually burn the leaves and turn the plant yellow.

Pruning is another important aspect of houseplant care that is often overlooked. Cutting the stems of a plant encourages new growth and keeps the plant looking fresh. However, it’s important to research the specific pruning needs of each plant before making any cuts.

Finally, it’s important to avoid moving plants around too often, as they can become stressed and drop leaves. By taking the time to learn the specific needs of each plant and tailoring your care accordingly, you can ensure that your houseplants thrive and stay healthy.

The Importance of Pruning

Pruning is an essential step in maintaining the health and growth of houseplants. Many plant owners are hesitant to prune their plants, fearing that they may harm them. However, pruning can actually invigorate the plant and make it much healthier.

When the stem of a plant is cut, it encourages the plant to send out two new shoots, resulting in fresh growth. Pruning also helps to keep the plant looking fresh and tidy.

It is important to note that not all plants require the same pruning techniques. Some plants may need to be pruned more frequently than others, depending on their growth rate and shape.

Overall, regular pruning can help to promote healthy growth, prevent disease, and improve the appearance of houseplants. It is important to research and understand the specific pruning needs of each plant in order to ensure their optimal health and growth.

Researching Plant Requirements

When it comes to taking care of houseplants, it is important to research their specific requirements to ensure their health and longevity. Here are some common bad habits to avoid when researching plant requirements:

  • Assuming all plants have the same watering needs: Different plants have different watering requirements. For example, succulents only need to be watered once every three weeks, while tradescantias require watering every week. It is important to research the specific watering needs of each plant and check the moisture in the soil before watering.
  • Not researching the specific needs of each plant: Not all plants require the same amount of sunlight or humidity. Some plants, such as jade plants, require full sun to thrive, while others, like tradescantias, only want indirect sunlight. It is important to do research online or use tools like Google Lens to identify and learn about the specific requirements of each plant.
  • Adding gravel or stones to the bottom of the pot: This is a common practice that is thought to help with water drainage, but it actually reduces the amount of soil that the plant can use in the pot. Instead, it is recommended to use a plastic nursery pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
  • Neglecting to prune plants: Pruning plants can actually invigorate them and make them healthier by encouraging fresh growth. It is important to not be afraid of cutting down a plant and to research the proper pruning techniques for each specific plant.
  • Placing plants in direct sunlight: While it may seem like all plants need as much sunlight as possible, this is not true for houseplants. Most houseplants come from the forest floor of tropical rainforests, where they receive dappled sun throughout the day. Placing them in direct sunlight can burn the leaves and turn the plant yellow.
  • Allowing plants to become root-bound: If a plant outgrows its pot, it can lead to a nutrient deficiency as there are too many roots in the soil. It is important to check the root ball of plants at least once a year and repot them into a bigger pot if necessary.
  • Over-fertilizing plants: Plants only need a certain amount of food, and over-fertilizing can lead to root burn and yellow leaves. It is recommended to fertilize plants only once a year during the growing season.
  • Misting plants: Misting the leaves of plants does not actually increase the humidity around them and can instead increase the risk of fungus and disease spreading. If you want to increase the humidity of plants, it is recommended to group them together or invest in a humidifier.
  • Moving plants around too often: Houseplants prefer to be left in their spot untouched, and moving them around too often can cause leaf drop and stress the plant out. It is important to find a spot that complements the styling of the home and leave the plant there.

Sunlight Exposure Considerations

When it comes to taking care of houseplants, one of the most important factors to consider is their exposure to sunlight. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Different plants have different sunlight needs. For example, jade plants require full sun to thrive, while tradescantias prefer indirect sunlight.
  • Placing your plant in direct sunlight can lead to burned leaves and an overall unhealthy plant. Most houseplants come from the forest floor of tropical rainforests, where they receive dappled sunlight throughout the day.
  • It’s important to research your plant’s specific sunlight needs and adjust accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to provide a couple of hours of direct sun per day, but avoid prolonged periods in the sun.
  • Moving plants around the home too often can also be detrimental to their health. Plants tend to prefer being left in one spot and can become stressed and drop leaves if moved too frequently.

By keeping these sunlight exposure considerations in mind, you can help ensure that your houseplants stay happy and healthy for years to come.

Repotting Overgrown Plants

One common bad habit that many plant owners have is neglecting to repot their plants when they outgrow their pots. This can lead to a nutrient deficiency, as there are too many roots in the soil in the pot. Yellowing leaves and a thirstier plant are also signs that it may be time to repot.

To check if a plant needs repotting, gently lift the plant out of the pot and examine the roots. If they are circling around the pot, it’s time for a repot into a bigger pot. This will provide the plant with more soil to use and prevent it from becoming root-bound.

When repotting, it’s important to choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot, as too large of a pot can lead to overwatering and root rot. Additionally, make sure to use a pot with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Overall, repotting overgrown plants is a crucial step in maintaining their health and ensuring they have enough room to grow.

Avoiding Overfertilization

Overfertilization is a common mistake that beginner plant owners tend to make. They may not understand how often they need to fertilize and it’s quite common for some folks to fertilize them every time they water the plant. This can be seriously detrimental to the plant and results in root burn. Plants only need a certain amount of food and if we go over that, then the roots will become damaged and the plant will develop yellow leaves.

If a plant is overfertilized, the best thing to do is to remove the soil from the plant, wash the roots thoroughly with fresh water, and re-pot it into some fresh soil. Don’t fertilize again for a few months and see how the plant gets on. Remember that most plants will do fine being under fertilized.

It’s recommended to fertilize your plants once a year in the growing season. You just might not see super strong growth and vibrant foliage. It’s important to avoid making the mistake of overfertilizing your plants to ensure their health and longevity.

The Myth of Misting

Many plant enthusiasts believe that misting the leaves of their plants with a spray bottle increases the humidity around the plant, making it healthier. However, this is not true. In fact, misting your plants can create more problems than it solves.

Misting the leaves of your plants only serves to moisten the leaves, which then dries quickly, not really providing any extra humidity for your plants. The amount of evaporation given off from the wet leaves will be so small that no extra humidity is provided.

Furthermore, misting your plants increases the risk of fungus and disease spreading on your plant, which is clearly not what any plant owner wants. If you want to increase the humidity of your plants, you can group your plants together to create a micro environment with higher humidity or invest in a humidifier that you can place next to your plants.

Therefore, it is recommended to avoid misting your plants and instead focus on other methods to increase humidity.

Minimizing Plant Movement

One common mistake that plant owners tend to make is moving their plants around the house too often. Although it may seem harmless, houseplants prefer to be left in their spot untouched. If plants are moved often, they tend to get fussy and may experience leaf drop. This is especially true if plants are moved in and out of highlight positions, which can stress them out.

To minimize plant movement, it is recommended to find a spot for the plant and leave it there. This will help the plant acclimate to its environment and reduce the risk of stress. It is also important to consider the plant’s lighting needs when choosing a spot. Some plants require full sun to thrive, while others only want indirect sunlight to be happy.

In addition, grouping plants together can create a micro-environment with higher humidity, which can benefit certain plants. However, it is important to avoid misting the leaves of plants, as this can increase the risk of fungus and disease spreading. Instead, investing in a humidifier can help increase humidity levels.

By minimizing plant movement and providing the appropriate lighting and humidity, plant owners can help their plants thrive and stay healthy.