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Why Are My Plant's Leaves Dropping?

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Publisher: Bloombox Club
Bloombox Club


home houseplants plant care

Find the answers to your plant care woes here

We rarely go a full day at Bloombox Club without someone asking about leaf loss. 'Is it a cause for concern?' 'Does it mean my plant’s unwell?' 'How do I stop it?'

First of all, we get it! You want to make sure all your plants are happy and healthy. Being alert to signs of distress is important, so when your plants do face problems, you can nip them in the bud (sometimes literally!). But leaf loss isn’t necessarily as bad as you think. Read our answers to your frequently asked questions below to find out more.

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What are the main reasons why plants drop their leaves?

All plants drop their leaves eventually. Plant leaves can droop, or fall away entirely, due to the time of year, a change in environment or because they aren't getting the right nutrients. 

Take stock of your particular plant's situation to find out which of these apply - has it just been travelling in a box? Has the weather just changed? Does it need a drink? And trust yourself to make the right call when it comes to next steps.

Is leaf-loss always a bad thing?

No! Plants are supposed to drop their leaves from time to time! Just as we shed skin, trim our nails, and cut our hair to keep it looking thick and healthy, plants drop their leaves to make way for new ones. It’s completely normal for plants to replenish their leaves. Some plants, like the Calathea Network, are particularly prone to dropping older leaves when they sprout lush, new foliage.

Calathea Network

How do you fix drooping leaves?

If your plant is looking a bit sad or dropping a lot of leaves, it’s either in shock (from environmental upheaval) or nutrient-deficient. First, work out which of these is the most likely scenario, and approach the problem accordingly.

If your plant has only just arrived and it’s dropped a lot of leaves, it could just be upset from its journey. In which case, find it a spot that chimes with its fundamental needs and let it sit tight. On the other hand, if you’ve just got back from a week away and your plant is parched, give it a good drink, letting the excess drain before you put it back into its decorative pot.

Are some plants more prone to leaf-loss?

Yes, some plants are definitely more prone to dropping their leaves. Any plant that’s quick growing, with a lot of foliage, will probably be purging old leaves as it’s growing new ones. Plants like the Syngonium Pixie and Devil’s Ivy drop and regain leaves with relative frequency.


Syngonium Pixie

What can you do to prevent your plant from dropping leaves?

It almost goes without saying that happy, consistently well-cared-for plants are less likely to drop leaves than stressed out or hungry plants. Keep a watchful eye on your collection, giving your plants what they need without going overboard, and your plants should stay bountiful.

Of course, plants are organic, living things and can’t look Insta ready 24/7 - who can, right? So don’t beat yourself up if they drop leaves from time to time! It’s completely normal and all part of the cycle of life.

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