Video 11 of 16
House Plant Parenting Course

Why are my plant’s leaves falling off?

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Why are my plant's leaves falling off?

If your houseplant is dropping leaves, it may be a normal part of their life cycle. For example, some shed leaves during winter so they have less foliage to maintain while the days are darker. Others shed leaves year-round and some never naturally shed at all, so read up on your plant to find out whether or not it’s a sign that they are unhealthy.

There are a few reasons why an indoor plant might be dropping more leaves than usual. When your plant is delivered to your home or office it might shed a few leaves while it adjusts to new light and temperature levels. It’s no reason to worry. The same can happen if you move it to a new spot in your home. If it’s only a couple of leaves and the rest of the plant looks healthy, just give it some time to settle in.

Plants make their energy from sunlight, so if brightness levels drop a plant may shed a few leaves to be more efficient. Similarly, if a plant is outgrowing its pot it might drop leaves as it can’t maintain all the new ones it tries to grow. If you can see the roots in the surface of the soil, or coming out of the bottom of its nursery pot (the brown one that it comes in), it might be time to repot it. Find out more about repotting here.

Overwatering and underwatering can cause a plant to lose leaves. Either too much or too little water will affect the structure of the plant. When a plant receives too much water, the water floods the leaves, because it has nowhere else to go. Gradually, starting from the bottom of the plant, you’ll notice leaves yellowing and going mushy. As they lose their structure the leaves can’t support their own weight anymore, causing them to drop.

A plant that gets too little water won’t be able to maintain all its leaves, so will drop some in a bid to stay alive. Very dry, brown leaves are a sign your plant is lacking moisture.