What are the most common problems with plants?

Before you dive into the world of plants, you should know all that you can so that you won't be blindsided. Plants are a fantastic way to improve the air quality in your house as well as give visual appeal but like everything, they still need proper care in order to survive. 

The most common plant-related problems are pests, diseases, and abiotic problems. 

What many people don’t realize is that problems can be caused by the surrounding environment, so the lawn and any debris on the lawn. Our friends over Atlanta leaf removal have some really good guidance on this topic. 

Examine the plant closely for signs of insects and illness before purchasing. Wilted plants should be avoided because the roots may have already been destroyed. 

Examine the colors, shapes, and sizes of the leaves. A nutrient deficiency, insect damage, or damage caused by too much or too little water can all cause an odd hue. 

A pest or nutrient problem, as well as inappropriate maintenance, might result in small, stunted, or deformed leaves. 

Our team has created a guide you can follow to diagnose your plant, find a solution to the problem, and even prevent it from happening altogether.


Pest control 

Pests are an inevitable part of living with plants. They attack plants, whether or not they're fully mature or immature. Some pests like aphids are just a nuisance but they can cause some serious damage if left unchecked. They are drawn to them for the nutrients that they can get. 

Here are some of the most common causes of pest problems: 


These are insects that position themselves at the underside of leaves and feed on the plant causing stunted growth and distorted foliage. To remedy this problem, all you need is to make an insecticidal soap that serves as a bug control solution with low toxicity. 

This solution will desiccate the bodies of the insects while doing little to no harm to your plants. You can achieve this by simply mixing dish soap with water and putting the mixture into a spray bottle.   


Mealybugs attach themselves either to the leaves or the nodes of a plant. They have a white cottony appearance and feed on it leading to stunted growth. 

You can get rid of them by using alcohol and cotton swabs to remove them from the surface of the plants. If it is a larger infestation, you can mix isopropyl alcohol and dish soap and spray the solution onto the plants a couple of times a week. 


These pests are brown in color and oval in shape that feeds off the plant juices that result in stunted growth. You can remedy this by using a brush or Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and slowly removing them. 

After doing that you should rinse the leaves with water. If the problem still persists, use insecticide to be sure to remove even the most stubborn of adult scales and any larvae. 


These are tiny insects that appear white when they are young and transition to a darker brown color when they become adults. They feed on the leaves and flowers and cause discoloration. The first step in treating a plant for thrips is to hose it out under the sink or shower faucet to dislodge the bugs.

Make sure the discharge does not overwater the land. If you can't transfer the plant to a water source, spray and wipe each leaf with a spray bottle and microfiber cloth. After that, use an insecticide that is non-toxic to other animals, such as neem oil.


Plant Diseases

With proper care, most plants will thrive and not be susceptible to diseases but there are cases where the plant does not get enough water, sunlight, humidity, and air circulation and will get weakened. 

These are the most common plant diseases and how to deal with them: 


This is a fungal disease that primarily attacks the leaves and twigs during the cooler and wet season. You will notice lesions on the veins, leaves, flowers, and stems that will cause them to either turn yellow or die altogether. 

To prevent this from happening, make sure to maintain proper sanitation and avoid misting the leaves too much. 

Powdery mildew

A common fungus found on a variety of plants, this appears to be light gray and thrives in warmer climates. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, improve air circulation and exposure to sunlight. 

To remove them from your plants, non-toxic insecticides like neem oil are ideal but you can also use baking soda or milk. 

Leaf spots

Leaf spots occur when fungal spores in the air find a warm, wet, plant surface to cling to. They appear to be brown dots on your leaf with a yellow ring around them. 

If these spots appear on your plants, immediately remove the infected leaves and stop misting them. Use a milk bicarbonate solution or even fungicides that will not be harmful to your plant. 


Abiotic Disorders

The symptoms of abiotic problems are not caused by nonliving factors like drought stress, sunscald, freeze injury, wind injury, chemical injury, nutrient deficiency, or improper cultural practices, such as overwatering or planting conditions.

Here is a list of common abiotic diseases and what causes them: 

  • Spindly Plants - not enough sunlight or poor lighting conditions 
  • Few flowers and excessive growth - too much use of nitrogen fertilizer or poor lighting conditions. 
  • Yellowing leaves - overwatering, not enough sunlight, low humidity, and poor soil drainage. 
  • General defoliation - overwatering, poor lighting conditions, and injury due to low temperatures. 
  • Wilting plant - extreme soil conditions (i.e. being too wet or too dry)
  • Brown leaf tips - chemical burns from too much application of fertilizer, low temperatures, and extended periods of dry soil.