Common Mistakes People Make with Houseplants

When we grow houseplants in our homes, we immensely appreciate and enjoy nature's beauty. Not only are they beautiful, but they also purify the air and encourage serenity. However, a few indoor plant mistakes could damage our efforts. Let's examine the most common problems with indoor plants that you should be aware of.

Incorrect Labelling

Selecting a plant with a subpar label and no indication of the variety is one of the most common mistakes people make when buying houseplants. Even if you like the plant, it will be incredibly challenging to determine the circumstances it prefers if you can't identify it. Many plant labels are too vague and don't tell you what kind of plant you're buying. Don't buy anything if you're unsure that you can solve the problem. If you don't know what you're buying when you buy houseplants, you'll inevitably have a lot of problems. Avoid buying sickly or frail-looking plants, and keep an eye out for pests and diseases that could harm your healthy plants.


One of the most common mistakes individuals make when caring for houseplants is not placing the plants in the appropriate lighting conditions. It's crucial to comprehend what each species finds enjoyable, even though this is a difficult subject. All indoor plants need light. Some plants, like aloe vera and ponytail palms, thrive in intense, direct sunlight. Others, like dracaena, can tolerate low to moderate light. Some plants that may thrive in various conditions are the snake plant, philodendron, pothos, and spider plant. Study each plant's preferred indoor illumination to learn more about it. Failure to do so will result in disappointment and numerous problems with indoor plants.


Another common mistake people make with houseplants is improper watering. In the vast majority of cases, overwatering is the main factor in plant demise. Water a houseplant thoroughly until the water starts to drain from the drainage hole, and then discard any surplus water. All plants should be watered in the same manner. It's important to comprehend how much the soil needs to dry out in between. Examine the soil before watering. Generally speaking, water when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the potting mix is dry. While ferns prefer constant moisture, succulent and cactus plants should be allowed to completely dry out between waterings. Learn about your plants' preferences and the ones you have.

Soil and Nutrients

Most plants can thrive in regular, high-quality potting soil, but some, like ferns, orchids, and succulents, do better in a mix designed especially for them. Use only organic garden soil. Another error that is frequently made is neglecting to fertilise, which can later cause issues with houseplants. Keep in mind that nothing will restore nutrients in the soil in the pot indoors, unlike a plant would outside. Don't use fertiliser too liberally, please. It is usually a good idea to fertilise occasionally during the growing season with a weak, water-soluble fertiliser and to reduce or cease fertilising completely during the winter. A specific fertiliser for blooming plants is beneficial for some species, such as African violets.

Container Size

Use a container that is the proper size. A container that is too big will hold too much moisture, which could lead to root rot, while one that is too tiny would crowd the roots. The new container for a rootbound plant should only be 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) wider than the old container or one size larger. While certain plants may do better in a wide, shallow container, others may require a deeper pot due to their extensive root systems.


Another danger with houseplants is exposing them to extremely high or low temperatures. Keep in mind that if you feel comfortable in your surroundings, your plant undoubtedly will, too. Try to maintain daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 F (18 and 24 C) and night-time temperatures around 55 F (13 C), the warmer the better. Don't move or rearrange your plants too frequently; plants need time to adapt after each relocation, even if rotating houseplants for even growth is suggested. Moving about a lot can stress the plant because frequent changes in temperature and light can be harmful.