Trouble Shooting

Spider Mites

Spider mites are almost microscopic, so it can be really hard to notice them.  Theses mites leave small webs behind and it can be easier to try to look for telling damage to your houseplants.  Small yellowing patches are a good sign that you may have spider mites, as are dry crisping leaf edges.  Many store-bought pest products can be effective on multiple types of pests, just be sure to read the bottle to ensure what you buy is effective on mites.  You can also use a neem oil solution.  Be sure, as always with pests, to isolate the plant as soon as possible and until the problem is completely gone – these bugs like to spread. 

Thrips

Thrips are tiny, slender, flying insects.  They like to feed on the nutrients inside your plants leaves and stems, leaving them yellowing, dry, or dead.  Their small size mean that they often go unnoticed until damage appears on your plants leaves.  They not only cause yellow and brown splotches but can transmit viruses to your plant as well.  They can and will kill your plant, so it’s important to get rid of them. 

It is first important to isolate your infected plant from all of your other plants to prevent the thrips from spreading.  You can then thoroughly spray insecticidal soap or a neem oil solution on your plants every few days until the infestation in gone.

Mealy Bugs

Mealy bugs appear as small white bumps on your plant; they can also create clusters and nests.  These bugs like to feed on your plant’s nutrients, so it is important to eliminate them.  Like with all pests, be sure to isolate this plant from all of your others until you are certain the pests are gone.  To remove the bugs from your plant, use a cotton swab, or another soft implement, and dip it in rubbing alcohol.  Use this to gently remove the bugs from your plant.  It can be good to then follow up by spraying your plant with insecticidal soap, or a neem oil solution, in order to be thorough and prevent further pests. 

Under or Over Watering?

It can be tricky because both under and over watering can result in yellowing and dying leaves.  Curling and wilted leaves almost always indicate under watering, although the same symptoms with wet soil can indicate root rot.  A plant with plump but yellow leaves in likely over watered.  If you’re not sure, check the soil, maybe use a moisture meter, and if the soil is consistently moist then it is likely over watering.  If the soil is very dry, then you need to water more often.  More plants die from over watering than from under watering – so try to pay attention to your habits and adjust accordingly. 

Root Rot

Root rot is the decay of roots due to lack of oxygen and excessive water.  Underneath the soil it is easy to spot root rot.  The roots will be soggy, falling off, and dark in colour. 

A plant with root rot will have symptoms of dehydration.  The soil will likely be damp or wet and plant will have wilted, yellowing, or crispy leaves. 

  

Everyone Gets A Yellow Leaf

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