Common Indoor Plant Problems and How to Fix Them

Growing plants indoors can be a bit tricky and meeting your plant’s everyday needs can take a lot of time and effort until you get the hang of it.

indoor plant problems

Indoor plants have their own set of issues different from the plants in your garden. Here are some common problems for houseplants and how to fix them.


What Common Problems do Indoor Plants Have?

All plants tend to have a few problems here and there but for many indoor plants are quite a challenge.

This is because your indoor plants do not have natural weather cycles to help provide for their needs. There are no plants native to indoor conditions.

The good news is that with a little work you can deal with any issues your indoor plants have for a thriving indoor garden.

Water Issues

The most common issue indoor plants have is from the incorrect amount of water. Without enough water, your plant is likely to wilt and leaves may turn yellow or even brown.

watering houseplant

Acting fast at the first sign of overly dried plants can help preserve the majority of the plant allowing you time to prune away damaged parts and allow your plant to recover after adding more water.

Waterlogged plants tend to have similar symptoms only if you find that your plant’s soil is very wet. Overwatering your plants is easier than you think if you are unaware of your particular plant’s needs.

If your plant is still alive when you notice the issue you can remove the plant from the pot and switch as much of the soil as possible with dry soil.

To prevent issues consider a self-watering pot and set a notification on your cell phone to remind you when you need to water your plants again.

This will help keep your plants from becoming waterlogged and give you longer between waterings allowing your plants a better chance of survival in the dry indoor air.

Always avoid watering the leaves of your plants to keep from encouraging mold and mildew growth. Water at the base of your plants for the best results.

Light Issues

The most common light issue for indoor plants is not enough light. Most plants need plenty of light to thrive indoors.

houseplant in window

While there are some you can get like succulents that do best without direct sunlight most plants need at least 6 hours of light to thrive.

The best way to fix this issue is to get an LED grow light to provide your plants with the extra light they need. You can find lights with a more natural white color that will not mess up the coloring of the rest of the light in your room. These lights can even make it possible to grow fruits and vegetables inside your home.

Soil Quality

When you are planting outdoors you often till in fresh compost each planting season and even fertilize your plants throughout the growing season to improve your plant’s growth.

When growing plants indoors in pots you still want to do this to help your plants grow and thrive in the long run.

Starting with a soil mix that has fertilizer or compost in it is a great way to improve the growth of your plants. After the first growing season, this soil is often completely depleted. To fight this use a quality fertilizer as appropriate for each of your plants.

Soil that is too compacted and drains poorly can leave your plants waterlogged. Avoid using heavy soil such as the soil from your backyard garden. Go with a very lightweight potting mix instead to ensure that your potted plants have the best soil for growing in tight spaces of containers.


You might think that just because your plants grow indoors they will not have problems with pests but the truth is indoor plants have issues much more than people realize.

When you bring a new plant home, check them well before bringing them inside to be sure that you are not introducing pests that could damage your plants.

Aphids are a common problem for house plans that were outdoors at the nursery and can be found on the undersides of leaves. If you find pests on your plants, spray them with insecticidal soap and make sure the problem is cared for before bringing them into your home.

houseplant pests

Gnats or fruit flies are a common problem for house plants. If you bring them home on fruit they can quickly take over houseplants.

To keep them at bay, check produce carefully at the store and wash any that will be left out of your refrigerator when you bring it home. This is vital for containers of berries that are often how fruit flies get in your home.

Keep plants well pruned and avoid overwatering which can leave your houseplants as targets for fruit flies.

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