Reasons why Indoor Plants are not Growing Well

Reasons why Indoor Plants are not Growing Well

Help! Help! What is wrong? You may be wondering what is wrong with your houseplants if you are a beginner plant owner. These are the most common reasons your houseplants won’t grow: too much or too little sunlight, inadequate nutrients, unwelcome growth environment, pests, and too little or too many water. You don’t have to worry about any of these issues – there is a solution for each one!

It can be hard to determine why your plant isn’t growing. Let’s examine all possible causes and what you can do to help your plant grow.

These are 6 reasons why your houseplant won’t grow.

  1. It is currently autumn/fall, or winter depending on where you live
  2. The plant doesn’t get enough sunlight
  3. The plant doesn’t get enough water
  4. The plant doesn’t get enough nutrients
  5. The rootbound plant
  6. The plant has been infested or is ill

Let’s take a look at each cause to determine if your plant is suffering from one of these conditions and what you can do for your plant to recover!

It is currently either autumn/fall, or winter.

Houseplants hibernate in the colder months, just like hibernating animals. It’s less bright outside, the sun is weaker, and it’s darker earlier. Your plant will “hibernate” during this time of the year. Your plant won’t grow during the winter and fall, even if everything is going well. It’s not about growing plants larger, but to maintain their health.

When taking care of plants during this time of the year, there are some things you should know:

  • You should water your plants less often. Wait until the soil is dry before you water them again
  • Move plants closer to windows
  • Don’t fertilize your plants

These actions will not only keep your plant healthy in the fall and winter but will also make it easier to get started again when spring comes around. Your plant will grow later if it has had a hard winter and falls. This is why it is important to keep it healthy in the spring and summer.

In the spring and summer, your plant will begin to grow normally. During this time, patience will be your best friend. I know. I want my plants to grow bigger all year.

The plant doesn’t get enough sunlight

To grow and photosynthesize, all houseplants require some sunlight. While some plants require more light than others they all need light. Your plant might not be growing well if it is in a dark area of your home. If your plant is located in bright sunlight, it may be necessary to move it to a darker area. The majority of plants like bright but indirect sunlight.

If you aren’t sure what your plant likes, locate a spot in your home where it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight during the afternoon. For most plants, direct sunlight in the morning is okay.
Check on your plant every few weeks to make sure it is growing again. You might have one of the other reasons listed in this guide.

The plant isn’t getting enough water

Houseplants that don’t thrive are often due to a lack of water. Although some plants like succulents or cacti love dry soil, most houseplants prefer moist soil for at least a few more days before drying out.

A simple way to determine if your plants need water is if they have limb-looking stems, leaves, wrinkled stems, and/or leaves or slightly faded leaves. These symptoms are caused by the fact that stems or leaves normally have a lot of moisture. They appear darker and more full. These stems and leaves will appear wrinkled or limbif they aren’t moistened enough.

It is easiest to properly water your plants by checking the soil with your finger. Your plant should be watered if the soil is less than 5 cm (2in) thick. Avoid watering your plants before the soil has dried to avoid overwatering.

Some plants like the Peace Lily like to be in moist soil all the time. Make sure you water the soil again as soon as it dries out.

The plant isn’t getting enough nutrients

To grow, plants need nutrients. These nutrients not only keep the leaves healthy, but also provide enough energy for the plant to produce new leaves. You might fertilize your plants if your plant gets the right amount of sunlight and you are happy with the way you water it.

It’s as simple as this: To survive, we need water and food. We will not be able to function if we only get water and no food for a day. Your plant’s health and growth depends on the availability of nutrients.

A houseplant should be fertilized on average once every 14 days or once per month using liquid fertilizer. Because you can control the amount of fertilizer and add it to the water that you are already giving your plants, liquid fertilizer is the best option. For the best results, make sure you check with each plant what frequency they should be fertilized.

The plant is now rootbound

Plants grow a lot during summer and sprint. Most plants require repotted at least once a year. They are slowly taking over the entire pot as their roots spread out. Rootbound means that your plant is unable to grow roots in the right place to support its growth. To find a way out, the roots will circle the bottom of your pot.

If your plant becomes rootbound, it stops supporting its growth and will stop growing. You might notice leaves turning yellow or dying, along with a slower growth rate. These leaves are killed by the plant to conserve energy for new growth.

This is a simple way to help your plant. Make sure you use a pot that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than your current pot. You risk overwatering your plants if you place your plant in a larger pot.

The roots will circle the bottom of the pot and your plant is not struggling because it’s too big. This is normal and your plant will not need to be repotted if you don’t yet see it.

The plant has been infested or is suffering from disease.

Sometimes houseplants can become sick or infested by pests. Take a look at your houseplant and treat the problem as soon as you suspect it.

Most pests are easy to identify. Pests are usually easy to spot.

Spider mites are a small pest that you won’t be able to see with your naked eye. These spider mites can leave cobweb-like strings on your plants. These spider mites are easy to spot, and will let you know you have them.

Take a picture of the pest and ask for help from your local nursery if you aren’t sure. To get help from other members, you can post your photo to the Plant Care for Beginners Facebook Group.


Now that you are aware of the most common reasons why your houseplant won’t grow, you can take a look at the plant to see which one is the problem. You can find great information on caring for different types of plants here. This guide is worth sharing with family and friends. They will be grateful! You never know, they might be the ones to help you when your plant gets a little sad.

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