Learn how to avoid the most common problems that can afflict houseplants.
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Most plants are easier to maintain than you might think. In fact, you may even be giving some plants a little too much attention. Once you know a plant's light, water, nutrition and humidity needs, the most common problems are easy to avoid and remedy.
- The No. 1 reason houseplants don't thrive is overwatering. Soil should be moist but not soggy; don't leave water standing in the saucer, unless you let the pot rest on pebbles so that the roots aren't in contact with the water.
- Irregular watering results in burned tips. When the soil dries out between waterings, salt builds up in the soil, burning the tips of plants. Take the plant to the sink and run water through the soil, flushing out built-up salts. Consistent watering is very important for maintaining plant and soil health.
- Yellow and brown leaves: these result from either over or underwatering. Feel the soil to determine if it's too wet or too dry.
No matter how alike they appear, there can be remarkable differences in personality and performance.