Feature Image by Margarita Terekhova

Are you the type of person who stress purchases plants, then forgets how to take care of them? You’re truly not alone. Each of us turns to plants to brighten up a day and our living spaces, but taking care of them is actually pretty hard.

If you’re a brown thumb with hopes of turning into a green thumb, then you’ve come to the perfect place. We’re sharing some of the signs to look out for when your plant might not be doing so well, as well as how to take care of them.

Wilting or color-changing leaves

Wilting and color-changing (think yellow and brown) leaves are super common and oftentimes really frustrating. For wilting, it is a key sign that something could be wrong with the soil. If your leaves are changing colors, it could be getting too much or not enough sun, or the climate could be off.

The Fix
For wilting, check the soil to see if it is dry. No need to bury your finger, just go as deep as the knuckle. If it is dry, simply add water and your leaves should perk up. If the soil is wet, you may have root rot. For this, remove the rotting roots and re-pot your plant in a clean, bleached pot. Healthy roots should be white or light brown.

If you’re dealing with color changes, make sure you’re not over- or under-watering your plant. Additionally, move your plant around the room to see if it helps with sun exposure.

Plant soil won’t hold the water

So you’re watering your plant as you should, but the soil is just not holding it. This could mean that the plant’s roots have completely taken over the pot, or the soil is hydrophobic meaning it has become too hard or crusted.

The Fix
If the pot is root-bound, you’re ready for a new and bigger pot. If it’s an issue of it being hydrophobic, try soaking the pot in a bucket of water.

Roots are showing through drainage holes

Here’s another way to tell if your plant is root-bound. If it’s poking out of the holes at the bottom of the pot or showing through the top of the soil, it’s in trouble.

The Fix
Quick and easy, simply replace your pot with a bigger one. Add soil and take this time to inspect the health of the roots. As mentioned above, they should be white or light brown.

Your plant has burnt spots

Just as humans get sunburnt, so do plants! Believe it or not, if you actually see burn spots on the tips of your plants, they are getting too much sun.

The Fix
Simply move your plant to a new spot. Routine rotation helps with this, but also keep in mind that some have extra burn power in the summer. Keeping them away from the windows but close enough to still get sun will help to alleviate the appearance of burn spots.

Dropping leaves

You know how when you’re stressed you just want to collapse into your bed and rest? Well, our plants think the same way. When the plant gets too stressed, it tells you by dropping its leaves. If you just moved your plant, this might also occur as it gets used to its new location.

The Fix
Be patient. Dropping leaves usually subsides but if not, check to make sure you’re not overwatering the plant or sticking it in an area that’s too cold.

xx, The FabFitFun Team