Skip to Content

Why Aren’t My Indoor Plants Growing? | The Top 10 Reasons!

Sharing is caring!

Everyone adores the section of their space covered in indoor plants.

But if you start wondering, “why aren’t my indoor plants growing?” it gets depressing.

Due to persistent misconduct and an inappropriate environment, the plant starts to suffer.

If you are among those, who have the dilemma of “why aren’t my indoor plants growing?” it can be incredibly upsetting.

Everything you do is correct; however, something is missing because your plants are not improving.

If you want to know what is wrong with your plants, keep reading!

A room embellished with indoor plants—Why Aren't My Indoor Plants Growing?
Why aren’t my indoor plants growing? | A room embellished with indoor plants—Image via Lydia Mailloux.

Why Aren’t My Indoor Plants Growing?

Here are some factors that affect the growth of your indoor plants:

1. Low Light

Indoor plants require light for energy and photosynthesis.

Make sure that your indoor plants are receiving enough light by finding out how much light each houseplant needs.

They will either stop developing altogether or grow slowly without it.

  • In the summer, place them close to an east or north-facing window because these orientations offer brilliant but less powerful solar rays.
  • In the winter, windows with south and west views are ideal.
  • Use shades or curtains to shield the plant from the sun’s damaging rays if it is getting too much light.
  • Put the plant on an open balcony or in windows that face south or west if it requires a lot of direct sunlight.
  • You can also use artificial illumination for indoor plants when there isn’t much sunlight outside, as is typical during the overcast monsoon season.

Make sure they receive enough light and aren’t exposed to direct sunlight wherever you place them.

2. Watering Schedule

For plants to survive and flourish, water is necessary.

A plant becomes dehydrated if you don’t provide enough water, as it needs to take up moisture and nutrients via roots in the soil.

Your plant will cease growing if it doesn’t get enough water and nutrients to stay healthy.

The plant also exhibits other signs like dry, crispy leaves, yellow foliage, and brown tips in addition to little or no growth.

Watering the plant thoroughly at least once a week would be a great place to start. Keep checking the soil’s moisture content. Your plant is ready for watering when you dip your finger into the soil and feel that the top two inches have dried.

Water is fatal in both cases: too much or too little.

  • When you frequently overwater your plant and don’t let the soil dry up, the roots remain damp. They are unable to breathe and suffocate from the excess water.
  • Suffocation prevents the roots from absorbing nutrients and water, leading to waterlogging and root rot. The leaves turn yellow and get brown patches at the tips and edges due to the lack of nutrients and water. The plant finally reaches a growth plateau.
  • All indoor plants, including yours, are susceptible to root rot, which, in extreme situations, is caused by repeated overwatering.
  • Every seven days, the plant needs watering. Between waterings, the soil should have time to dry out. You must only water your indoor plants if the top few inches of the soil are entirely dry.
  • The type of plant, its size, the kind of pot it’s in, the season, and many other variables all affect how frequently you should water your plants.
  • A huge plant typically requires more water than a tiny plant.
  • A plant in a permeable pot requires frequent watering.
  • In the summer, plants require more water, especially those exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Since some plants are dormant all winter, you can water them less frequently than in the summer.

If you follow the points mentioned above carefully, you’ll indeed become a pro in watering.

A woman watering a plant—Why Aren't My Indoor Plants Growing?
Why aren’t my indoor plants growing? Well, if you become good at watering them, you won’t be asking that question—Image via Cassidy Phillips.

3. Unsuitable Fertilizer

Too little and too much fertilizer can cause shunted growth in indoor plants.

The sun already provides energy to plants. Some potting mix additions (e.g., compost) act somewhat like fertilizers, and plants extract their nutrients from the soil in this manner.

The plants don’t remain robust or healthy if they don’t receive enough nutrients. They eventually stop growing and begin to appear worn out.

Therefore, fertilization is crucial.

The health of the plant also suffers from overfertilization. Because it soaks up all the moisture and makes the leaves yellow, the salt buildup on the soil surface eventually stops them from growing.

The initial step in safeguarding your plant from unwarranted fertilizing is understanding its needs.

  • Use a fertilizer that includes micronutrients such as iron, copper, calcium, and potassium in addition to the macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
  • It is best to fertilize your indoor plant once every two to four months during the growing season.
  • Different plants have varying nutritional needs. For example, a plant that makes leaves needs high nitrogen fertilizers to develop robust leaves, whereas a plant that makes flowers needs high phosphorous fertilizers to produce an abundance of blossoms.

Therefore, fertilize your plant according to its nature.

4. Humidity

Since most indoor plants are from tropical areas, they do best in environments with high humidity.

  • Low humidity might hinder their growth and cause the leaf tips and edges to discolor.
  • Even though misting is ineffective and only lasts a short while, it might be helpful occasionally.
  • If there are any tropical plants in the area, install a humidifier.
  • It might resemble the relative humidity your plants experienced in their original environment.
  • Other techniques include using pebble trays, clustering tropical plants, and terrarium jars.

However, it might require more time and effort, so fixing a humidifier is significantly more accessible and effective.

5. Type of Soil

Sometimes indoor plants’ slow development can be attributed to the soil.

Both drainage and moisture retention must be possible in the soil combination. You should take the soil’s pH into account as well.

The needs for acidity vary depending on the plant. Growth might be hampered by a pH level fluctuation brought on by an imbalanced diet.

Making the appropriate potting mixture with the ideal pH level requires a detailed grasp of your plant.

6. Unsuitable Temperature

Here are some points to consider:

  • All indoor plants generally prefer a temperature range of 64°F to 73°F.
  • It would be best not to expose your indoor plants to temperatures outside this range.
  • The plants won’t tolerate high temperatures if the humidity and light levels aren’t appropriate or similar to the plant’s natural habitat.
  • Similar damage will be done to them by low temperatures. Most tropical indoor plants can’t withstand freezing temperatures, which leads to poor health and slow development.
  • Your houseplant needs a cozy setting to grow constantly and healthily.
  • Keep your plant a few feet away from the window, or close it if it’s chilly and windy outside.

Why aren’t my indoor plants growing, you say? You might have got something by now.

Nevertheless, let’s talk about some other causes.

7. Root Bound

The roots begin to protrude if your plant has grown too large for its container.

The roots require additional room to expand flexibly because plants frequently transition between different growth phases. If there is not enough room, the roots encircle the plant and stick out of the soil from the drainage holes in the container.

Severe rootbound is a problem.

Roots stop developing when there is not enough room to spread out. Because there is no soil, the roots cannot absorb water and nutrients, which prevents the growth of the plants.

You must repot your plant if you want it to grow once more. Select a pot between one and two sizes larger than the current one.

Carefully remove the old soil.

Cut out all of the frail and damaged roots—the roots will remain strong as a result.

Keep the healthy root ball and roots undisturbed and plant them in the new pot with a fresh potting mix.

8. Pests

Another factor that reduces plant growth and, in the worst cases, causes plant death is pests.

  • Sucking the sap out of the plant, they make the leaves and stems lifeless—the plant’s growth stops as a result.
  • Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, scales, and mildew are the typical pests observed in indoor plants.
  • Neem oil is an effective horticultural oil that gets rid of many plant pests.
  • However, you’ll have to use commercial pesticides to treat severe pest infestations.

Please follow the steps mentioned on the packaging before applying pesticides to the plants.

9. Filth and Dirt

Dust tends to accumulate on indoor plants.

When the leaves are highly dusty, the plant has problems transpiring and completing photosynthesis—the growth and health of indoor plants depend on these two factors.

As a result, it’s imperative to clean your plant each day.

  • To clean the leaves, use plant wipes.
  • You can use a damp cloth to remove the dust.
  • Wipe the plant leaves with a moist cloth and let them quickly dry.

That said, let’s move to our final cause.

10. Recurring Movement

When indoor plants adjust to their surroundings, they flourish.

A plant may become stressed out if it is moved frequently. Additionally, it could experience temperature changes.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to move your plant abruptly once it has begun to grow.

You regularly obstruct your plant’s growth and development by making quick modifications. That causes the growth to slow down and eventually cease.

Why aren’t my indoor plants growing? | HOUSEPLANT CARE TIPS FOR BEGINNERS + printable guide – YouTube

On that note, that was all about why your indoor plants might not be growing well.

Let’s move toward the conclusion!


Conclusion

Why aren’t my indoor plants growing, you asked? When you don’t address their basic needs, indoor plants leave you in wonder.

Stunted growth in houseplants is typically caused by inadequate sunlight, too much or too little water, low humidity, a lack of fertilizer, and unsuitable temperatures.

Only if there are issues with the light, temperature, or humidity should you move your plant.

Alternatively, leave it there if your plant is flourishing in its current location.

I hope that today’s article was of your help.

If so, please share it with people (it’ll help us a lot!)

Regards!