Everyone who takes up plant care knows what's it's like to erroneously take action that ends up harming your beloved greenery. Failing to take action can also cause the plant to suffer. Our experience as plant experts and caretakers gives us insight into some of the most common questions and mistakes plant enthusiasts encounter. As always, we're here to share knowledge that keeps you confident, and your plants healthy.
If your question isn't answered below, we invite you to check out our Resource page for more other tips in addition to sharing your questions with us directly. Throughout this blog you will also find links to other helpful tips. Our goal is always to make education digestible and accessible. Get started with some of our most popular questions below.
Common Plant Care Questions
Q: HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WATER MY PLANT(S)?
A: Plants need water more often during spring and summer and less often through fall and winter. How frequently you water will also depend on:
(Listed as “More Frequent” vs “Less Frequent”)
- Plant Type (Tropical vs Succulent)
- Size of Planter (4” vs 6”)
- Light Levels (Bright vs Low)
- Indoor temperature and airflow
Q: I MAY HAVE OVERWATERED MY PLANT. WHAT DO I DO?
A: We’re glad you asked! Yellow or brown leaves, leaf loss, drooping, and wet soil are common symptoms of an overwatered plant. To confirm soil moisture, insert your finger at least 3 inches.
Help the plant recover by allowing the soil to fully dry, adjusting the watering frequency, and removing damaged leaves. Be sure the soil is not tightly compacted and offer the roots adequate drainage in the pot. If the plant is beyond recovery, you may be able to save it through propagation.
Q: I FORGOT TO WATER MY PLANT. WHAT DO I DO?
A: We’re all bound to at some point. Common signs of under-watering are brown + dry leaves and stems, curled or shriveled leaves, and dry soil. To confirm that the soil is dry, insert your finger at least 3 inches.
Revive the plant by giving it a thorough watering, allowing excess water to flow from the drainage hole. Ensure it has proper air circulation and allow it to rest. Be sure to adjust the watering frequency going forward. If the plant is beyond recovery, you may be able to save it through propagation.
Q: HOW SOON SHOULD I REPOT MY PLANT AFTER IT ARRIVES?
A: Great question! We recommend allowing your new plant to settle into your space for 2-3 weeks before transporting it into a new planter. If your plant endured shipping stress, it may need additional time to adjust. While your plant will appreciate moving out of its temporary nursery pot, in general, it’s best to avoid repotting during fall and winter or repotting an already stressed plant. Read more on how to get your new plant settled in here!
Q: WHY DOES MY PLANT HAVE YELLOW LEAVES?
A: Yellow leaves are commonly caused by:
- Overwatering or under-watering (check soil moisture up to 3” with your finger to confirm)
- Shock or stress (such as transport, temperature, or environmental changes)
- Old leaves making room for new growth
- Nutrition deficiencies
Remove any yellow leaves and take a photo for your records to track its progress. Reasons for yellow leaves can also vary from plant to plant.
Q: WHY DOES MY PLANT HAVE BROWN LEAVES?
A: Brown leaves are commonly caused by:
- Under-watering or overwatering (check soil moisture up to 3” with your finger to confirm)
- Leaf burn from direct sunlight or fertilizer
- Dry air / low humidity levels
Remove any brown leaves and take a photo for your records to track its progress. Reasons for brown leaves can also vary from plant to plant.
Q: WHY IS MY PLANT DROOPING?
A: Drooping is a plant’s response to stress or an unmet need. Leaves will droop when drastic changes have been made, such as moving from one environment to another or temperature changes. Leaves also droop under drought, root rot, and pest or fungi infestations. Eliminate watering as a cause by checking the soil moisture with your finger. Assess any recent changes + give the plant time to adjust. Lastly, thoroughly check the leaves to rule out pests.
Q: WHY DOES MY PLANT HAVE SPOTS ON THE LEAVES?
A: Minor blemishes and marks on leaves are normal - even out in nature! However, spots that develop on the leaves and begin to spread can signal something bigger. The most common reasons for leaf spots are:
- Tap Water: Often small + uniform in shape. Learn more about water types here.
- Leaf Burn: Typically accompanied by dryness and caused by direct light or fertilizer.
- Fungus: Usually a dark spot that grows and spreads to other leaves. Learn more about fungus here. Remove the leaf + isolate the plant if a fungus is present.
Q: WHY ARE LEAVES FALLING OFF MY PLANT?
A: Leaf drop, sadly, is a plant’s response to many different stressors. It may simply need time to rest + recover. The most common reasons for leaf drop are:
- Temperature or environmental changes
- Transport stress
- Low light
- Root rot
Q: HOW CAN I TREAT INFESTATIONS ON MY PLANT?
A: Pest and fungi infestations on a plant are never fun. If you suspect this is true, the first step is to isolate the plant from other greenery in your home to prevent spreading. Next, read our blog on treating pests here. It’s full of knowledge and DIY treatments on the subject. Remove infected leaves/stems and treat weekly for 2-3 weeks or more.
Q: MY PLANT IS DYING! IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?
A: You may be able to save a healthy portion of your plant through propagation. We are happy to take a closer look at your plant through Grounded Office Hours - complimentary for all Grounded customers! Due to the in-depth nature of this service, it is currently reserved for Grounded customers only.
Q: I HAVE NO CLUE HOW TO CARE FOR MY GROUNDED PLANT. CAN YOU HELP?
A: Of course! We are happy to offer our customers direct support through Grounded Office Hours. Book a 15-minute call with our in-house Plant Specialist here - complimentary for all Grounded customers. Due to the in-depth nature of this service, it is currently reserved for Grounded customers only. You're welcome to send us an email with photos and other details at firstname.lastname@example.org.