What Your Plants are Trying to Tell You: 5 Signs to Watch Out for to Keep Your Cacti, Succulents, and Houseplants Alive and Happy
There is a reason why so many people have a difficult time keeping plants alive. It is getting more and more difficult to find plants from small growers that know how to care for their plants and set them up properly. Most retail plants pass through so many hands after the greenhouse (wholesale brokers, retail holding spaces, etc.) before they end up in stores where they are purchased. The problem is that these plants are moved with the lowest cost in mind and are often sold in incorrect soils and without experienced instruction. It is most important to make sure your plant has the correct soil, planter, and care instructions before you start.
At Tierra Sol Studio, we grow our own hardy and low maintenance plants so that we know what they need from greenhouse to indoor planter. We know there can be a learning curve with plants in your home so we conduct multiple experiments for up to a year before releasing a plant to make sure we know the minimum of the plants needs to survive many spaces, conditions, and set that plant up for success by making handmade planters and hand mixed soil for their needs.
Many of the plants we experiment with do not make the cut because they are difficult to keep alive. For instance, no matter how popular the fiddle leaf fig is, we do not sell them because they are extremely temperamental, we do not sell cacti and succulents in glass containers because they are desert plants and will not survive the humidity, and we will not tell you to buy a fancy sprayer for your air plants because spritzing them with water will cause rot. We won’t even sell our plants without our handmade planter and hand mixed soil so that we know that we can ensure that each plant will have everything that it needs and can guarantee that our plants will last.
We want to make sure you have all the tools and confidence to have all the plants your heart desires! Whether you are a beginner or a practiced plant parent with new plants or a new space, here are some things that your plants might be trying to tell you!
1. Does Your Plant Really Need to be Watered?
Cacti and Succulents
- Is the soil still wet? If so they were over watered.
- Does the plant look wrinkled or dry? - Make sure your cacti are not being underwatered.
- If the center of your plant looks like it is dark or if leaves rot off it is usually from watering on top of a cactus or succulent. We recommend watering into the sand or soil. See more in our plant care tips!
- Does it have yellowing leaves? This is a sign of overwatering.
- Is it wilted? This is a sign of underwatering.
- If the soil of your houseplant is still wet it does not need to be watered yet.
- Does the soil look like it is growing fungus? This is a sign of overwatering and it can usually be stopped with peroxide 10% to 90% water.
2. Does Your Plant Have the Correct Amount of Light?
- Is the plant leaning towards light? - You can rotate your plant each time you water them if they are leaning towards the window or move them to a sunnier spot.
- Make sure your plant is not in direct sun.
- Variegated plants will lose they’re variegation if they do not have enough light, pink houseplants will lose their pink, and monstera deliciosas will lose the holes in their leaves. If your plant is making a large visual change it could be a lack of sun!
3. Is Your Plant Next to a heating vent radiator or AC or cold drafty window?
- Cold or hot air air can damage a plants leaves, cause water to evaporate faster or slower, and can stress your plants. Make sure they are in a spot where they are getting what they need and are comfortable.
4. Is your plant being properly dusted or cleaned?
- Houseplant leaves need to be dusted. Make sure to dust off your plants weekly, if possible.
- Cacti and succulents can turn brown where they have soil caked onto their base. These plants have less need for dusting.
5. Is your plant losing leaves or does it look damaged?
Cacti and Succulents
- It is normal for succulents to lose some bottom leaves and make new ones out of the center of the plant. Make sure the center of your plant looks healthy. Dead leaves can be delicately removed.
- Does your cactus have dark colored damage on top? This is a sign of sunburn. Make sure your cactus is not in direct sun. It is a myth that cacti and succulents need full sun.
- It is normal for houseplants to lose some leaves and to grow new ones. Dead leaves can be trimmed off with scissors or delicately removed with hands.
These are our tips for happy and healthy plants! Add these to your routine and you’ll speak plant in no time! If you have any questions about plant care you can see more information on the plants we specialize in--cacti, succulents, houseplants, air plants, moss, and marimo--as well as our Winter care instructions.
Seana + Yair
Co-Owners, Tierra Sol Studio
For Plant Killers Who Are Plant Lovers.™