Leaf Color: Treat Plants According To Their Symptoms

Leaf Color - Treat Plants According To Their Symptoms
Leaf Color - Treat Plants According To Their Symptoms

Too much water, not enough water, inappropriate fertilization, lack of light… Tips for recognizing the symptoms of your houseplants and the best advice for giving them appropriate care.

Disease, fungi, excess watering, bad pruning … Garden plants like indoor plants are like us, when they are in poor health or lacking essential elements, several signs appear. These alerts will help us treat them and adjust our treatment accordingly.



In the spring and all other seasons, here are several tips from gardeners that will help you recognize a diseased plant. We have categorized them by type of problem to make it easier to find the right treatment quickly.

  1. Plant that does not bloom with falling buds
  2. Plant with dry, discolored foliage dotted with dark spots
  3. Plant with soft foliage that grows very slowly
  4. Plant with soft foliage and dark spots on the underside
  5. Plant with long, thin stems that eventually drop
  6. Plant with white or yellow spots on the leaves
  7. Plant with the tips of the leaves that turn brown and their edges turn yellow
  8. Plant with light brown spots on the leaves
  9. How do I know if my plant is lacking in fertilizer
  10. How do I know if my plant has received too much fertilizer
  11. How to tell if the water is too alkaline
  12. How to tell if the plant pot is too small

Let’s take a closer look at these problems and how to solve them …

In this article, learn to recognize the distresses of plants according to their disease and to cure them more quickly.. Do not hesitate to go through this little memo as often as necessary. By dint of practice, you will get a green thumb too!

1. The plant does not flower and the new shoots do not succeed …

It’s a lack of light

When the plant grows slowly, does not flower, the stems grow longer and thinner, new leaves are smaller and lighter, old leaves turn yellow and fall, leaves that are supposed to be brightly colored turn green, it is certainly a lack of light.


  • Increase the lighting at the first signs of fading.
  • Reduce the room temperature by about 3 ° C.
  • Space the waterings and stop the fertilization.

2. The foliage becomes pale, covered with dark spots and dries up …

It’s an excess of light

When the leaves of the plant (which receive the most light) are less vivid and brown, withered spots appear, there is surely too much light.


  • Keep the plants away from direct sunlight during the summer or place a translucent curtain to reduce them.
  • Remove excessively damaged leaves.

Those who have a green thumb know how to read the signs that plants send them, it is innate… But nothing is lost for others, having a green thumb can also be learned.

3. The foliage is soft and grows slowly …

It’s a lack of water

When the leaves of the plant are all soft, that brown spots develop around the edges of old leaves which eventually turn yellow and fall off, whether the soil is pale, hard and dry on the surface or wet on the surface but dry in depth, is that the plant is thirsty.


  • Water the plant.
  • If the soil does not absorb the water, bathe the pot in a bucket of water until air bubbles escape.
  • Remove the pot from the water and allow it to drain.
  • Continue watering normally thereafter.

4. The foliage is soft, the evolution is slow, brown spots develop on the tips of the leaves …

It’s too much water or poor drainage

When the leaves of the plant are all softened, that brown spots develop on the tips of old leaves, new and old leaves turn yellow and fall at the same time, the roots become spongy, turn brown and rot. This is because the soil is too constantly wet or the drainage is not working well.


  • Remove excess water from the saucer if there is any, then lay the pot on a layer of newspaper to absorb the water, repeat if necessary.
  • Place the pot back in its saucer and let the soil dry out before the next watering.
  • Then reduce the frequency of watering.

5. The stems get longer and thinner, the old stems wilt before falling …

She is too hot

If, despite good lighting, the stems of the plant lengthen and become thinner, that the leaves wilt and end up turning brown around the edges before falling while the plant does not lack water, it is surely that ‘ it is too hot for this plant.


  • Keep the plant away from direct sunlight in summer or heat sources in winter.
  • Check if your plant needs a rest period.
  • Remove excessively damaged leaves to prevent disease outbreaks.
  • Find a way to lower the temperature

6. After a sudden change in temperature, the foliage becomes covered with white spots or turns yellow and falls off.

The plant got cold


  • Few houseplants tolerate temperatures below 10 ° C.
  • Watch for plants that spend the summer outdoors and protect them when transporting them outside in the winter.

7. The tips of the leaves turn brown, the edges of the leaves turn yellow …

The plant lacks moisture

When the flower buds wither and drop, the tips of the leaves turn brown and their edges turn yellow, your plant is too dry.


  • Plug in the humidifier.
  • Spray your plants regularly.
  • Bring them to sources of freshness.

8. Small light brown spots appear on the leaves

The irrigation water is too cold

plants are like us, they don’t like water that is too cold or too hot.


  • Some plants are very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature.
  • Use lukewarm water when watering as cold water can stain foliage and slow the development of some tropical plants.

9. How do I know if my plant is lacking in fertilizer?

Young shoots are weak, smaller and paler (without yellowing) than the rest of the plant. The flowers are discolored or the plant is not flowering. The plant is in an artificial substrate and has not been fertilized during the growing period.


  • Fertilize as recommended.
  • Repot in a larger pot and renew the potting soil as needed.

10. How do I know if my plant has absorbed too much fertilizer?

The leaves turn brown and fall. The plant stops growing. Young shoots are sometimes deformed and blackened. A white crust forms on the surface of the soil or pot.


  • Leach the soil by watering abundantly several times.
  • Space out and reduce fertilization.

11. How do I know if there is an accumulation of salt in the substrate (alkaline water)?

The leaves turn brown and fall. The plant stops growing. The edges (especially plants with broad leaves) or the tips (more plants with narrow leaves) of the leaves turn brown and fall. A white crust appears on the surface of the soil or pot.


  • Let the water sit for 24 hours before watering.
  • Regularly spray the aerial parts with water.

12. How do I know if the plant pot is too small?

The new leaves are smaller. Old leaves turn yellow and fall off. The plant wilts quickly between waterings. The roots come out through drainage holes or grow close to the soil surface.


  • Confirm the diagnosis by removing the plant from the pot.
  • Repotting becomes necessary when the roots form a compact mass.