Houseplant: Expert warns plant myth can result in ‘root rot’ – have you bought into it?

Houseplants: Experts explain why leaves might be falling off

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Houseplants are an easy way to bring the outdoors into your property, with little effort required to keep indoor plants thriving. While houseplants are often easier to care for than garden plants, they can come with issues of their own – root rot being one of them. Speaking to, Jo Lambell, founder of Beards & Daisies, shared myths to watch out for when caring for common houseplants.

Common houseplants can include Snakes Plant, Devil’s Ivy and the Swiss cheese Plant.

Jo explained that one of the worst myths when it comes to houseplants is that “plants grow bigger in bigger pots”.

She said: “Of course, when the time comes to repot your plant (during growing season and when the roots are visibly poking out their current pot), it makes sense to size up a pot size. 

“However, selecting a pot that is significantly bigger than the previous one can overwhelm your plant.”

Always start in a small pot then size up slowly.

Giving your houseplants room to grow while keeping them in a suitably sized pot is key to the wellbeing of your indoor evergreens and succulents.

Using a pot that is too large will hold too much water in the soil and lead to mould growth, rotting and root diseases as the water lies stagnant in the soil.

Jo explained how overpotting can lead to “root rot”.

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She said: “If there’s too much soil, this will surround the roots – and when you water the plant, this soil can stay wet resulting in root rot.”

A way to diagnose root rot is to pull the plant out of its pot.

If the roots are dark in colour and are mushy, it’s likely the plant has root rot.

Other signs of root rot can include leaves starting to droop and flowers beginning to drop off.

Root rot is mainly caused by overwatering plants.

Leaving them standing in too much water for long periods of time can lead to root rot.

If the pot being used is too big, the soil will hold too much water and suffocate the roots.

Using a pot with drainage holes is a great alternative.

Repot into a smaller container if the soil is too wet.

Beards & Daisies is home to the largest collection of indoor houseplants in the UK.

They bring together a carefully curated selection of indoor houseplants, featuring some lesser spotted varieties that you might not find in your local garden centre.

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