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Why Are My Outdoor Plants Dying? (10 Possible Causes + How To Fix It)

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Beautiful outdoor plants can bring colors and pleasing appeal to your landscape. Especially in summer, the greenery and colorful blooms are the utmost choices to brighten up the garden.

However, some beginners start to notice leaves falling and the sudden death of plants. They might wonder: “Why are my outdoor plants dying?”. If you also have the same concern, let’s delve deeper into the article for a detailed explanation and valuable tips to fix the problems.

Why Are My Outdoor Plants Dying
Outdoor Plants Dying – via Pxhere

10 Significant Reasons For Dying Outdoor Plants

Generally, there are several reasons for dying outdoor plants, including watering issues, lighting problems, inappropriate temperatures, nutrient deficiency, pests, fungal diseases, and other potential factors.


Underwatering is a significant cause of dying outdoor plants. The reason is that plants require water to process nutrients in the soil and thrive beautifully. Hence, the lack of water can cause the leaves to turn yellow, die, and drop from the plant.


Overwatering is often the culprit in the case of new gardeners. Thus, the plants could experience root rot when overwatering, causing wilting and yellow leaves, or a dying garden.

Inappropriate lighting

Although some outdoor plants can tolerate full sun, mostly 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, excessive sunlight can cause sunburn and leaves to curl, turn yellow, or eventually die. 

On the other hand, some plants do not stand straight and drop stems when exposed to shady areas. 

Nutrient deficiency

Plants need nutrients provided by fertilizer. Hence, yellowing or dying leaves on outdoor plants can signal that the plants may experience iron chlorosis resulting from a lack of nutrients. 

Wrong temperatures

Some outdoor plants cannot stand scorching temperatures, especially during summer, and may experience heat stress, leading to yellowing leaves and dying plants.

Meanwhile, extreme freezing temperatures are not ideal for plants to grow. Hence, it may stunt the plant’s growth, making the stems drop, turn brown, or unexpectedly break off. 

Pest infestation

Some outdoor plants are vulnerable to pest infestation, such as aphids, scale insects, gall mites, etc. If the plants are not treated properly, those insects are likely to spread and attack the plants, causing severe problems such as yellowing, wilting leaves, or stunted crops and flowers.​​

Fungal diseases

Fungi are diverse and often more challenging to treat than a pest infestation. They are responsible for a range of serious plant diseases, causing plant stress, dropping stems, and death.

Unsuitable soil pH

Since soil pH controls the availability of nutrients, if outdoor plants fall out of the range of their standard soil pH, they are not likely to uptake nutrients. As a result, it affects the growth of certain fungi and bacteria, which, in turn, adversely hinder plant growth.

Transplant shock

Although some outdoor plants can tolerate the transplant process effectively, some are familiar with their specific conditions. They may experience transplant shock when being repotted from one spot to another.

Therefore, they are likely to express stress by dropping stems, falling leaves, stopping blooming, or dying.

Wrong environment

Noteworthy, each plant has a different environment to thrive. Hence, when exposed to the wrong environment, some plants can take on wilt, brownish color, or leaves drop off entirely.

Why Are My Outdoor Plants Dying 2
Please help. Everything I try to grow dies. – via Reddit

How To Keep Outdoor Plants Alive And Healthy 

Follow some foolproof tips below for a gorgeous and healthy garden year-round.

Appropriate watering

Depending on the plant’s type, it’s crucial to follow its specific water requirement and test the soil around the garden before watering. 

Insert your finger an inch or two under the soil surface and grab a handful of soil to check the moisture level. If the soil remains in shape without making your hand muddy, the plants have adequate moisture. In this case, delay the waterings for a few days to give the roots a chance to breathe.

On the other hand, when the top layers of the soil are slightly dry, continue to water the plant with a thorough soaking rather than a light watering. If the plant is too dry, give it a generous mist with sufficient water. 

Sufficient lighting

The most effective way to keep outdoor plants thriving beautifully is to set them in an area with bright sunlight. Feel free to grow them in partial shade if the plants can tolerate low lighting conditions. 

Adequate nutrients

Fertilizing is one of the most hassle-free ways to complement nutrient deficiencies. It is suggested to fertilize plants during their active growth, mostly spring. But it is vital to choose the right fertilizer mixture for each plant.

Do this by applying the fertilizer around the plant base every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season for best results. If the plants are grown in containers than directly in the ground, they should be fertilized more frequently because they tend to lose nutrients faster.

Pest and fungus treatment

Since pests are likely to develop over time, you need to examine the garden frequently to get rid of them before they spread.

If the pests are visible, you can wipe them off with a cloth, then dislodge them with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. You can also try natural remedies such as banana peel, coffee ground, insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil solution for effective pest treatment.

Meanwhile, if the plants are exposed to fungal infections, they should be isolated from the healthy garden. Then, prune off the damaged areas.

To get rid of fungus on outdoor plants, consider using baking soda, soap, and water solutions to avoid the established forms of fungus.

Correct environment

Ensure the soil pH is equivalent to the plant’s requirements. You can test the soil pH level using pH testing gadgets

Additionally, maintain the ideal temperatures for your plants for optimal growth. Make sure not to leave the plants in scorching or freezing temperatures for a long time.

Wrapping Up

Now, the question: “Why are my outdoor plants dying?” has been solved. Hopefully, you can prevent your outdoor plants from losing their aesthetic and dying with some helpful tips above. Instead, provide them with perfect sunlight, water, soil, fertilizer for the plant’s sake.