Asked on Dec 30, 2018

How do I keep my plants from dying?

Robyn GarnerCindy GriffethMary pachas
+11

Answered

I have plants that will grow but then they stop and die, I do everything I'm suppose to do for them I think, ex- water them, sing & talk, sun light & plant food but I don't know what I'm doing wrong. HELP

These are my babies

10 answers
  • Mary
    on Dec 30, 2018

    make sure you have the correct soil mixture for your plant. Cactus need cactus soil etc. Next, don't over water. Put your finger in the dirt about 1 inch to 2 inches, if soil is dry water till it runs out the bottom drain holes. Fertilize in that plants growing season only. Some plants need a dormant time (rest). Make sure that the plant you have picked is getting enough sun or if it gets too much sun. Some plants don't like drafts or getting cool. Try some easy plants like pothos, or some cactus. Good luck & keep trying.

    • Fee-Fee
      on Jan 1, 2019

      Thanks for the advice, is that their name cactus plant? I'm going to follow all the information I received, I want them to live cause I'm a fan of plants & flowers, hny

  • Pat
    on Dec 30, 2018

    The plant on the left side of your picture looks like it needs more dirt in the pot and it is leaning one way, which means it is trying to find more light. Try more dirt....to the top of the pot, and give it more light. Water moderately. The plant on the right is very sad and looks like it could have some sort of insect damage. or has been over watered. I would be sure the pot is filled with dirt, get some insect spray or spectricide insect killer for the soil and go from there. I would not fertilize the plants until they look healthier. If the one plant has insect damage, I would move the other plant away from it....insects fly or crawl to other nearby plants. Yes, as Marry said, try pathos, philodendron, snake plant, for easy care. Ask your nearby plant store for some easy growing plants and tell them your lighting situation.

    Oh, by the way, you can get a plant meter from Amazon for around $19.00....this will tell you when your plants need watering. I love mine and use it every week when watering my plants.

    • Fee-Fee
      on Jan 1, 2019

      so r u saying insect spray won't hurt my plants? If not shall I spray it on the plants or in the dirt? I will take out the solar lights & thanks for the advice also, hny

  • Jan Loehr
    on Dec 30, 2018

    All great suggestions from previous hometalker, if you have many different plants in one area as I see from your photo, some may do well, others not so good because some may need more or less light and more or less water and fertilizers....I used to have many plants in my homes over the years but have narrowed my choices down to Sansivieria or Snake plants. These are the Easiest things to grow in low light or bright light, they need very little water as they are desert plants and need to be on the dry side...they have beautiful spike type leaves that resemble swords and can start out in a smaller pot and with repotting over time, grow into beautiful specimens that will fill a corner with 3 or more foot swords...come in different patterns as well...I have three of them currently and they last for years with little care...consider trying one out to see if you like them, I also like the fact that they work very well in the decor of the room if placed right as opposed to many little plants that do nothing but sit there....My Home Depot has them at certain times of the year ...they purchase them in large quantities and sell them for a mere 12 dollars...or so...good luck!

  • Lizbeth
    on Dec 31, 2018

    It looks like the plants on each end are some sort of dracena (corn plant). Normally those don't need a lot of light but obviously they need some :) It also looks like they both have bamboo plant supports in the pots. That type of plant really should not need a support & if one is needed, that likely means either 1. the plant is becoming elongated from not getting enough light or 2. the plant is getting floppy because it's starting to die from incorrect watering.


    I don't know if you've just grouped the plants together in front of what looks like a fireplace but I'd wonder about light if this is their usual spot. They also seem to have outdoor solar lights inserted into their pots? So was this photo taken outside? Or are the lights receiving enough sun to activate indoors? (If they do come on indoors that must be a pretty high light area.) The lights look like they are inserted pretty close to the main plant stems. The stakes for those lights are usually pretty thick & inserting them into the soil could have caused some pretty severe damage to the roots, particularly when there is little soil available for the roots as it is in the plant to the left. (I can't see any plant at all in the middle pot, only a light.)


    As others have said, I'd not worry about plant food for now. Plant food can harm plants that aren't actively growing or are stressed. I'd work on matching proper watering & light needs first. I'd also pull the plant on the left out of its pot. If it is potbound, I'd add soil to the bottom of the pot then replace the plant in the pot. *Don't* try to raise the soil level by adding a clump of soil to the top of the pot as you'd probably cause stem rot doing that if the soil has been low for awhile. I'd also consider removing those lights. That kind of light won't benefit the plants and the thick stakes may be causing root problems. Last, dracenas are sensitive to chemicals like chlorine in city water. Brown tips and leaf edges can be a sign of salt build-up from chemicals in water. Using rainwater is ideal or just let your tap water sit overnight in an open container before using it on those plants. If you see a white crust on the soil, that's salt build-up. Flush the soil the next time you water by putting the pot in the sink and watering enough so that water runs out freely from the drainage holes. You can also do it outside if it's warm enough (at least 60F) Good luck!

    • Lizbeth
      on Jan 1, 2019

      I would move them. Assuming those two plants are dracenas, bright *indrect* light would be ideal. So near a window sounds great. They don't need direct sun so don't place them in a window where the sun is strong & direct as that could be too much. (Most plants we grow as houseplants are originally from the tropics. In their native habitat they don't get direct sun because of the tree cover. So IF you put these outside in summer--don't have to but if you do-- be sure they are protected from too much sun then too.) They could be put IN a North facing window because that won't be direct sun (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere!) or NEAR a South, East, or West facing window. Don't place them too close to heat vents or AC vents and if you do put them in a North facing window and you're in a cold climate, be sure the leaves don't touch the glass. You'll also want to turn the pots every few weeks so the plants don't grow one-sided. Of course, adjust the soil levels from the bottom too. Another reason you may have found bamboo supports were needed is that the root balls are abnormally small with so little soil. With more soil (& good drainage) watering will probably be needed about once a week. I'd skip plant food for now and wouldn't treat for bugs unless you're sure bugs are present. Once more soil is provided the plant may devote it's energy to root growth first. That's ok. Roots are the foundation for a healthy plant so don't panic if you don't see immediate new leaf growth especially in the winter. Good luck!

  • Janice
    on Dec 31, 2018

    My daughter lives in Florida. When she was in her condo she couldn't keep any plant alive for some reason no matter what she did. she never found out what the problem was but now that she has a house her plants are going wild. It must have been something in the air at the condo that was killing the plants.

  • Bobbi Palm
    on Dec 31, 2018

    Yes, as mentioned above, they definitely need more dirt. There probably isn't enough room for the roots. They only really need water once a week or less. When you water, give a little bit then come back and check if there's any coming out the bottom of the pot. Keep doing that until water starts to come out, then stop. As far as plant food- my plants all grow wonderfully and I never feed them. They like to go outside in the summer, but always under my patio. Direct sun will burn most plants that have been indoors.

    Are those solar lights for decoration? I would take those out of there too. They need sunlight.

  • Mary pachas
    on Dec 31, 2018

    Also make sure the pot does have a drainage hole.

    This can be forgotten by newbies who water and water..until the roots rot.

    Take courage..it is a learning experience.

    Asking for help from those with experience, as you did, is key.

  • Cindy Griffeth
    on Jan 1, 2019

    Prop

  • Cindy Griffeth
    on Jan 1, 2019

    Proper soil, lighting, heating and watering is key, depends on the type of plant. Consider buying a book on easy to grow plants first. I started with spider plants, wandering Jew and deffenbachia.

    As each plant has it's own special needs, you will find the right spot in your home to grow them.

    Good luck Dee-Dee.😉

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jan 3, 2019

    IF the plants have gotten way too dry, just having water come from the drainage hole tells you nothing! The entire pot must be watered and that takes some time. Either use your spray hose and keep returning to add more water or set the pots in a tub of water and let the dirt absorb it for several hours.


    Once you've properly soaked the dirt in the pots, THEN you can let it dry for days to a week, check by poking your finger in, etc. It's at that time you can then water until the it comes out the drainage holes. I think the dirt in your pots is too low and far too dry. You may even need to repot the plants into larger pots. Lift them out when dry and see if they're pot bound.


    When you purchase plants, ONLY get "native plants" to your area!!! If the plants are meant for your growing zone and sun hours, the rest is pretty easy! Also, don't hover over the plants constantly. It's like smothering your baby with too much attention - they only need the basics of water, sun, dark, food.


    Happy growing! 😎🌼🌺👌

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