This Is the Reason Your Houseplants Are Dying

July 27, 2020

The number one reason your houseplants dying!

One of my most commonly asked questions here on the blog is about our plants! It never fails that I'll get messages or emails about plant care when I share a room that has one in it. Today I'm sharing the biggest mistake I find so many are making when it comes to their house plants. 

I love having plants around the house -- they truly add "life" to our rooms and are the perfect way to fill awkward spaces

I shared my tips on how to care for fiddle leaf trees here. I have a BUNCH of them and have figured out what makes them tick. They are much easier to grow than you'd think!

Over the years of honing my plant growing craft, I've figured out the one bit thing that keeps our fiddles and other house plants thriving: 
gray grasscloth peel and stick wallpaper

Sunlight is important of course! That varies quite a bit depending on the type of plant. 

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. 
See my policies and disclosure page for more information. 

Fiddles love sunlight -- I've read many times over the years that they don't love direct light, but mine have thrived in it:
Cheap and easy wall trim treatment

I find fertilizing isn't necessary in most instances -- I don't do it a lot. Maybe once or twice a year, if that? In general ours do better in the summer months and slow down in the cloudy, winter months.

I also don't add anything special to the soil to help it drain -- half the time I leave the plant in the pot it came in for a year or so!: 
Dark fireplace and built ins light walls

Here's the most important tip! I think you'll be surprised at what's killing your houseplants...

I know many think the more water the better, but you're probably watering them way too much. People are always shocked when I tell them I only water my fiddles every two to three weeks...sometimes longer!

And each time I don't give them as much as you'd think. My largest plants get two cups of water at the most:
No. 1 reason your house plants are dying

Smaller plants get much less. 

If you're having problems keeping your plants alive, I'd be willing to bet the amount of water you're giving them is the culprit. I know it goes against what we feel is right -- it just feels good to water them often, right? 

But overall indoor plants will do much better when you either wait longer between waterings, or water much less once a week. Your houseplants will thank you!: 
This is the reason your houseplants are dying
Huge DIY fabric bulletin board 

Once I learned how little the fiddles needed, I started putting all of our plants on the same watering schedule and guess what? They THRIVED. 

It really hasn't mattered what plant it is...they've ALL done much better with way less water: 
Biggest tip for keeping houseplants alive

That ivy is growing like crazy! 

The only plant I've found that needs to be watered more than every two to three weeks is the fern. I find them to be finicky, but overall even with those I water less than I used to. 

Pretty earth-shattering, eh? I think most plants do much better when you ignore them a little bit. Of course they like to be talked to once in a while. ;) I think we tend to care for them too much and that's the biggest reason we fail at growing healthy houseplants. 

Do you have any great plant growing tips you've found helpful? Do you water your plants a lot or a little? 

P.S. Did you know you can purchase fiddle leaf plants on Amazon? Of course if you don't have a green thumb, faux is the way to go!

Pin this image to save for later!
reason your houseplants are dying

If you love the fiddle leaf, be sure to check out this post with bunch of fiddle leaf care tips
Helpful tips for growing healthy fiddle leaf trees

See more of our home here. To shop items in our home, click here! Never miss a post by signing up to get posts via email
Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. I've had 100% luck with the fiddle leaf frig I purchased from Pottery Barn - I will never be able to kill it and I love it! (: And I think you are very right about the water issue!

  2. Totally agree! My houseplants always look best ( and show new growth) when we’ve been on vacation and they haven’t been watered in over a week. Came home this year to the first new leaf on my fiddle!

  3. I haven't ever had any success with my houseplants, so hopefully your tips help! Thanks! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  4. Thanks for the tip. I typed out a long comment but then I think that google ate it while it was trying to post... ah well. At the risk of duplicating here’s the abbreviated version:
    My ferns were better with Epsom salts, checking soil moisture before watering and then only adding a couple of tablespoons each day as needed.
    Monsters too do well with less water, but if you want them to grow more leaves, water more.
    I want a fiddle leaf fig; love them!
    Thanks again!
    Anita from Australia 🇦🇺

  5. Karen Simon PetersonJuly 28, 2020 at 12:12 PM

    I used to water my house plants every week in the warm months, May through September, but in the last couple of years I’ve been watering them only every two weeks and they are doing way better. I’ve two succulents in my kitchen and I water them every two months year around. I’ve always had good luck with my plants but, lately, they are thriving. My fiddle leaf, thanks to your tips is, also, growing and thriving.

  6. I so agree! Many of my plants don't like continually damp soil.
    Off to pin your great tips!

  7. My plants get water "breaks" but by accident. I forget. I have 2 large peace lillies that clearly droop when they need water so I let them determine the schedule for all indoor plants. I don't know if this is a thing, but I started watering using the water from boiling eggs. My plants look amazing -like they're on steroids! Lush. Deep greens. Very healthy looking. They got so full, I had to stop using it with every watering. Now, I keep a container of "egg water" for occasional use. I don't eat eggs often but when I bake, just drop the shells in a plastic container of tap water until needed. Beware,sometimes there can be a sulfur smell when lid is removed but this airs out fairly quickly. I have Miracle-Gro but use the "egg water" only on the indoor plants for now.


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!