I’m a gardening expert – how to keep your houseplants from dying and why this pretty flower pot might kill them

Houseplants and their survival can seem like a mystery to even the most seasoned home gardener.

If your houseplants always seem to die off outdoors, despite your green thumb, the cause of death could be something you don’t anticipate.


If your houseplants continue to die, you may be making common but surprising mistakesPhoto credit: Getty
A trendy pot will look great on your windowsill, but it could be slowly killing your plant


A trendy pot will look great on your windowsill, but it could be slowly killing your plantPhoto credit: Getty

The experts at Lifehacker shared life-saving tips for all those plants that just can’t seem to stick together and revealed the surprising things that could be killing yours.

Every plant has different needs that change over time, and one of them is the size of the pot your plant is in.

“If the pot is too small, your plant’s roots will be constricted, and less soil means less nutrients for it to absorb,” the experts explained.

On the other hand, if your plants die off despite having “plenty of room,” you may accidentally drown or starve your plant.

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“Too large a pot can result in soggy soil and make it difficult to pack the soil tightly around the roots,” the pros continued.

Research the specific needs of your plant species and adjust accordingly, and remember to repot your specimens as they grow.

You should do that right away: “The pot you brought it home from the garden center is probably not the right size,” warn the Lifehacker experts.

Your lighting setup is a similar “Goldilocks” situation. Your plants need just the right amount of light to thrive, and depending on which direction your windows face, they could suffer.

“Place plants that need bright light near a south- or west-facing window that isn’t shaded,” the experts explained.

“Plants that need indirect light can be placed in an east-facing window or in front of a window with a sheer curtain.

“Low-light plants may be in front of north-facing windows or in a generally dimly lit part of the home,” they added.

If your plants are still not thriving, you may need to include them in your cleaning schedule.

“Like everything in your home, the leaves on your plants will gather dust over time,” the pros at Lifehacker explained, “but unlike your bookshelf, your plants’ leaves need to absorb sunlight for photosynthesis to take place.”

In other words, yes, you need to dust your plants regularly.

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Sponge or rinse tougher leaves when you water your plants, and be sure to remove any dust or household dirt that has built up on the leaves.

If your houseplants are more delicate, use your regular feather duster or a microfiber cloth to remove dust, being careful to get into any nooks and crannies that could be particularly neglected.

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