Houseplants sometimes lose their leaves

houseplants lose their leaves

The Rubber tree when I brought it inside at the end of October

Why do leaves fall off?

There is lot of information out there regarding care of your house plants. Shedding leaves can be normal especially if you just purchased, was given, or brought it in for the winter. Change in environment triggers a response and reaction because the plant was happily growing somewhere else.

houseplants lose leaves,

My Rubber tree plant looks awful and every winter it loses its leaves

Moisture is usually the problem -too much or too little.

I even seen articles and posts on how to safely move your plants indoors for the winter to avoid leaf drop. It is good advice but the fact is plants will sometimes lose their leaves no matter what you do. I have been growing houseplants for over 35 years and swept up lots of leaves when they showed me how unhappy they were.

Growing houseplants can be challenging but it is also rewarding once you find the right balance and place for the plants. There are many plants that you can successfully grow indoors all year or even place outdoors in the spring where they will grow under the shade of a tree or canopy  of a porch.

Schefflera losing its leaves

One of my Schefflera leaf piles in the dining room where it is overwintering

You will not always have success in growing everything because that is just the way life is. I have not been able to grow everything but when I am successful I find it rewarding to share in the bounty and knowledge of success. That is why I blog now and share what I have learned.

For today I am going to calm your fears when a plant sheds or loses its leaves. It happens and it happens to my plants every winter! I have had some of my plants for over 16 years and every winter in the house they lose their leaves- a lot of them!

When I bring in a Boston Fern, which is on many lists as a great houseplant I want to laugh and say it is one of the messiest houseplants I have ever owned. Ferns and most plants like love humidity and most homes in the winter are not humid so they drop leaves. Plants do not like to dry out completely and the heat from the furnace dries out the leaves and the soil. Ferns lose their leaves if they do not get enough humidity so you may want put them in a bathroom with a window where humidity levels are high. Or if you are overwintering them, then I put them in a cool room with an East facing window.

houseplants lose leaves

Boston ferns love humidity so the littering of leaves on the floor is normal

Misting with distilled water will help (or use tap water that has been sitting out for a couple days). Plus watering more often may be necessary. Do not let them sit in water or let the soil become completely dry out. If the plant just wilts, then check for root rot caused from overwatering. If the tips of the leaves start turning brown, then you have let it dry out one too many times. If leaves fall off and you see spider webs or a sticky substance on the leaves, then you have an insect infestation. Leaves that fall off after you fertilized most likely means you over fertilized it. Lighting can also cause leaf drop so know what lighting the plant needs.

There are many scenarios but from experience and many years of dragging plants in and out, I know that the plant is trying to adapt to another environment. If the leaves continue to fall off, then I check the soil for too wet or too dry, I check for insects, and I look to see if there is new growth.

houseplants, Schefflera

My houseplants happily growing from late March through end of October. Notice the green pot on top of the shelves? That is the same one in the blog. It loses almost all its leaves every winter.

New growth? Yes plants may also lose their leaves in the spring when the plant decides to start growing.

Leaves fall off- it happens. As long as the plant still has green leaves and is not turning colors I would not worry too much. To be honest I have found that my houseplants like the outdoors better.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

2015 copyright C Renee Fuller

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