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 that shouldn’t normally drop leaves might be doing so. They will often drop leaves if they’re in shock. When your plant is delivered the environmental change coming into your cosy home or office might cause it to readjust, which can involve shedding some leaves. If you move it to a different spot in your home the same thing can happen. If it’s only a couple of leaves, and the rest of the plant looks healthy,  just give it time and appropriate TLC to get settled in.

Plants make their energy from the natural light that they receive, so if brightness levels drop a plant may struggle to maintain all of its leaves. Dropping a few is an efficient way to reduce the energy levels a plant requires - check your plant’s product page to see if it will appreciate being moved closer to a window. 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.

Overwatering can also cause leaves to fall off. When a plant receives too much water it absorbs it into its system, but with nowhere to go the water floods the leaves. 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.

On the other hand, plants rely on a certain level of water to stay healthy and stand tall! Water within a plant’s system is what helps it to stand up. So when a plant is under-watered the cells shrink and can’t hold the leaves up. As well as causing drooping, lack of water will cause leaves to curl up and go dry.