Tropicals: Common Plant Issues & Helpful Products

What Else Do I Need?

So you bought your first plant, or maybe you’ve just bought your 100th plant. Either way, there are certain products that you should always have on hand when growing indoor plants. Spending money on these products may seem less important than purchasing that new plant, but trust us when we say that you need them for your plants to thrive!

The three most important items to think about are fertilizer, soil, and a new pot.

Fertilizer – All plants need to eat which is why we have so many types of fertilizers to choose from! For indoor plants, we recommend MicroLife 6-2-4, MicroLife Bio Matrix, Hastagro Plant Food, or Microlife Ultimate for your indoor plants. When repotting, we recommend tossing in some granular fertilizer to the mix, then watering in a liquid fertilizer regularly according to the product instructions.

Potting Soil – Don’t forget your potting soil! We recommend Ocean Forest or Happy Frog soil mixes. Some plants can handle living in their nursery pot for a bit, but be sure to check the roots! If you see roots coming out the bottom of the pot, its time to repot! Growers typically do not use the most nutrient rich soil, so repotting after a week or two of being in your home is a good idea!

Pottery – We offer a variety of different pottery sizes and options! We also have repotting and drainage hole drilling services available. Ask about these at checkout! Having us repot a plant for you will save you the hassle and mess of doing it yourself at home!

Other products worth stocking:

Neem OilNeem is a popular insecticide that does not damage your plants! It can be used when there are signs of pests, or as a preventative if sprayed on plants with no signs of pests! This product should only be used in the evenings when your plants have no chance of direct sun. It should also be used with caution on new growth, some species will not tolerate products on their new foliage until it has hardened off and matured!

Liquid Seaweed – Liquid seaweed can be used as a foliage spray or soil drench, and provides dozens of health benefits to your plant. We recommend this be used heavily around seasonal changes as a foliage spray, as it will aid in keeping the plant strong agains changes in weather. We have both Medina and Microlife options for Liquid Seaweed.

SuperThriveSuperThrive is like a shot of vitamins straight to your plant’s roots! This shouldn’t replace fertilizer, but be used in conjunction. This product will leave your plant looking stronger and healthier with prolonged use!

Fungicides – Keeping a fungicide on hand can be helpful for bad breakouts! We recommend Revitalize or Plant Doctor.

Identifying Your Problem

Sometimes, plants have health issues that cause them to decline and eventually die. If you are ever having issues with a plant, we encourage you to bring in photos and speak to one of our many plant health experts! They can help determine the proper course of action. Below, we will list some issues that could be causing your plant to decline.

Over/Under Watering: Getting your plant on the right watering schedule can take some trial and error! The easiest way to tell if your plant needs water, is to stick you finger into the soil near the and feel how damp it is. If the soil is still damp, check back in a few days. If the soil is nearly dry, it’s time to water! Make sure you’re watering thoroughly when the plant is ready. Some plants prefer dryer or wetter soils, try researching your plant and experimenting with watering! Improper watering can cause the plant to droop, yellow, or brown. If you notice this happening, take a look at how you water!

Fertilizing: Plants need to be fed! Yellowing leaves can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Make sure you follow the back of the label on any fertilizing product you use. Over fertilizing can cause your plants to burn, so it’s important to only give as much and as often as the directions state.

Lighting: Improper lighting for your type of plant can cause issues like burning, yellowing, and drooping. Again, we recommend some research into your particular plant’s needs! Experiment with placement until you notice your plant is happy and putting out new growth. Most tropicals need bright indirect light. Most cannot tolerate direct sun, especially during the mid day heat of Texas. If you notice your window lets in a ton of direct sun, try hanging a sheer curtain to help ease the harsh rays. As a rule of thumb, most tropicals need bright indirect light.

Pests: Common household pests for indoor tropicals are Mealy Bugs, Thrips, Aphids, Scale, Gnats, and Spider Mites. If you notice irregular coloring coming in on your plants, drooping, or any other abnormal issues, check carefully for small bugs on your plants. Most of these pests like to hide in hard to reach places like the inside of new growth or the undersides of the leaves. Some products we recommend to combat these are neem oil, systemic granules, Dead Bug, Sticky Traps. Here is a link to our page on common pests and diseases to help you further understand.

Roots: After time, your plant’s roots will become root-bound and show signs of declining. If your plant is declining and you have eliminated the other causes, check your plants roots! They may just need to be up-potted!