What’s Wrong With My Plant? How to “Read” Your Leaves

Sick cucumber leaves with yellowed edges
Sick cucumber leaves with yellowed edges

When attempting to raise and grow plants either indoors or outdoors, it can be frustrating to determine what they need, and what is wrong with them when things go wrong. Continue reading for more information on how to recognize issues with your plants, as well as how to correct them.

Plants will always give you signs when something is wrong; it’s really all about the ability to read the signs and being able to address them correctly. Signs that something is wrong include pests, brown spots, drooping or dropping leaves, and wilting, though there are many more. It is all about finding balance.

● Pests 
When dealing with pests that have taken over your plants, the only way to really exterminate them is by using a pesticide. If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals on your plants, there are a number of all natural pesticides that you can make at home, such as citrus oil and cayenne pepper, or eucalyptus oil. These simple things can keep insects away from your plants for good.

● Sunlight 
All plants require a certain amount of sunlight to survive. If you notice that your plants are looking less pigmented and are drooping, these are major signs that they require more sunlight. If they develop brown spots, this means that the plants have had too much sunlight. As stated before, it’s all about finding balance.

● Watering 
While it is obviously never a good idea to under-water your plants, it is also just as bad to overwater your plants. When plants are overwatered, the leaves become yellow and begin to droop and wilt. If you notice these things, simply water your plants less than you have been in the past, and this problem should very quickly go away.

● Soil 

The soil in which you place your plants is very important. Be sure to choose a soil that is rich in minerals and nutrients. There are plenty of different types of soil on the market that promote healthy plants. Signs that plants are not receiving enough nutrients include yellowing of the tips of leaves, yellow and brown spots, and white striping along veins.

If you lose your first planting, don’t despair, you can replant and learn from your mistakes. One of the best ways to improve your skills is to keep a detailed journal and take photos. In most states, the state college or state government offer an outreach program that will talk to you about gardening and help you discover where things went wrong.

Gardening seems like it should be easy. There are plants growing successfully everywhere, but a truly productive garden requires a bit of science, a bit of faith, and a lot of work. Good luck and have fun.