Does your green friend seem to be struggling? Our plant expert Axel is here to help! As the son of a Westland grower, plant care is in his roots and he is happy to share his knowledge with you. We've asked Axel to answer the most frequently asked questions to ensure that your amigo is thriving again in no time!
My houseplant has drooping leaves...
A plant that droops its leaves often ends up looking sad and pathetic. Sometimes it is simply the weight of the plant that makes the leaves droop, such as with the Monstera and Alocasia. However, if a plant is thirsty, it often shows this by hanging its leaves. If you suspect that your houseplant is thirsty, check whether the soil around its roots is dry. Just stick your finger 2 inches deep into its soil and if it feels dry, give your amigo some extra water.
But please be careful with Calatheas, as they also tend to droop their leaves when they have too much water! So be extra careful when watering these houseplants. Feel your Calathea's soil regularly with your finger and ensure you only water them when their soil is dry.
Why does my houseplant have brown tips and/or brown leaves?
Brown leaves or brown tips don't necessarily have to be a bad sign with a houseplant. With Dracaena, Areca and other palm species it is very normal that they get brown spots. Alocasia are also plants that are very sensitive to leaf discolouration. So, therefore, do not panic immediately if your palm, Dracaena or Alocasia discolours.
But for all plants, if they show leaf discolouration or brown spots, it is important to check the potting soil deep in their pot. Feel whether it is very wet or bone dry. Based on that, you can find whether it is because of over or under watering, as these are the likeliest causes of brown leaves.
For Calathea, Monstera or other plants with large leaves with brown edges, this can also be due to low humidity. Many tropical plants like a humid climate, because they come from the jungle! You can mimic this by spraying your plant with lukewarm water every few days. This increases the humidity, which your plants will like very much.
If the brown spots look more like a general drying of the leaves, it is time to move your houseplant to a different spot. There is a good chance that your plant is burned by a surplus of direct sunlight. In this case, put your houseplant in a bright place, away from the direct sun.
Where do those lice, spider mites and/or other critters around my houseplant come from?
There are many things that can make a plant ill. Some diseases are caused by plants at risk, such as when they're put in a place with a cold draft. If you think your houseplant may be ill, first take a good look at what is causing it. Does it have black or white dots? Do the dots move over the plant? Is there a sticky substance on the leaves or maybe something similar to spider silk?
There are many different symptoms for plant diseases, so it is important that you check everything very closely. Always include the bottom of the leaves in your research! You can read all about plant diseases such as spider mites and dop lice, and how to recognize and control them on our page all about plant diseases!
How do I get rid of fungus flies from my houseplant?
Cows often suffer from flies and then knock them off their backs with their tails. Super handy having a tail, of course, but unfortunately, our green amigos are not so lucky. Houseplants can also suffer from flies but need your help to get rid of them. These fungus flies, also called fungus gnats or mushroom flies, are tiny mosquitoes about 4-5 millimetres in size. They often come because you have given your plant too much water. And continually wet soil is the ideal place for mushroom flies to lay eggs.
Do you have a houseplant with fungus flies? Keep this plant separate from your other plants, let the soil dry out a bit and remove all the fallen leaves from the pot. Then remove the top layer of the potting soil and sprinkle regular sand over it. As a result, the flies will find your plant a lot less attractive as a spot to lay eggs. To get rid of the adult flies, you can put a glass of wine next to your plant and they will drink themselves to an incredibly terrible hangover.
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