Umbrella plants are quite popular because of how easy they are to care for. They’re also just really nice, green houseplants that will brighten up your home a bit.
You might have been taking care of your umbrella plant for a good while now. Things probably went fine for a good amount of time, but you’ll be worried if it seems as if your plant isn’t doing so well any longer.
If your umbrella plant is discolored, drooping, or losing its leaves, then you’re probably concerned that it’s dying. Why would your umbrella plant be dying, though?
There are actually several different things that could be wrong with your umbrella plant. You’ll need to consider everything so that you can determine how you can try to save the plant.
1 – Watering Issues
One of the most common ways that people will kill an umbrella plant has to do with watering issues. When you water a plant too much or too little, it’s going to be possible to kill the plant.
You should know that umbrella plants don’t actually need to be watered all that frequently. Watering an umbrella plant too much is more likely than watering it too little so long as you’re paying attention.
It’s true that umbrella plants like moist soil, but you shouldn’t be making the soil soggy. You need to let the soil dry out a bit before you choose to water the plant again.
The soil might need more time to dry out depending on weather conditions and other factors. This means that it isn’t wise to water your umbrella plant without checking the condition of the soil first.
You should use your fingers to see if the soil is starting to get dry. When it does get a bit dry, you’ll want to water the plant until the soil is moist.
Remember that umbrella plants aren’t tolerant of “wet feet” either. This means that you can’t allow the plant to sit in water, and it means that you’ll need to empty the saucer when you’ve finished watering it.
If your plant has started to turn yellow, then there’s a good chance that watering it too much is to blame. An umbrella plant could die due to being watered too little as well, but it’ll be more tolerant of drought than it will be of over-watering.
2 – Using Bad Water
Another watering issue that could potentially kill an umbrella plant involves the type of water that you’re using to water it. Not all water is going to be well suited for watering plants.
Many people make the mistake of using tap water to water their plants. This can be very bad because many plants are going to be sensitive to the chemicals that are contained in tap water.
The majority of people in the United States will have water that contains fluoride and chlorine. If you water plants with standard tap water such as this, then you can encounter certain issues.
Some people even wind up watering their plants with hard water. Your tap water could be hard water if it contains a lot of minerals, and you surely know if you have hard water because it’s not very pleasant.
You might wind up causing the plant to not be able to absorb nutrients properly if you water it with hard water. Eventually, a mineral layer will form on the soil due to being watered with tap water that contains too many minerals.
This is why it’s simply better to use distilled water to water your plants. You can go out and buy water from the store to keep things from going bad.
If you don’t have hard water and you’re only worried about fluoride and chlorine, then you can make some changes. Place the water in your watering can a day before you plan to water your umbrella plant.
Allowing the water to sit out in the sun for a day will get rid of any chemicals present in the water. It will then be safe to use that water on your plants.
Getting rid of hard water is going to involve installing a powerful filter. It might be expensive to solve a hard water issue in many circumstances, but you’ll likely want to look into it so that you’ll have a more pleasant experience using your water at home.
3 – Sunlight Issues
Umbrella plants like to get lots of sunshine, but you shouldn’t place them in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight is a bit too harsh for an umbrella plant, and this means that you could scorch the plant and cause it to die if it’s exposed to direct sunlight and really hot temperatures.
Conversely, an umbrella plant can also struggle if it is placed in extremely low light conditions. Generally, an umbrella plant is good at adapting to light situations, but the plant will need some sunlight to be able to thrive.
You’ll notice issues with the plant if you abruptly change the amount of sunlight that it’s getting. You should try to ensure that your plant receives at least a few hours of bright indirect sunlight each day.
It’s also a good idea to turn the plant if one side seems to be doing better than the other. Paying a bit more attention to your plant and giving it optimal sunlight conditions can help to turn things around.
4 – Pests
It’s possible that a pest infestation could kill your umbrella plant. One of the most common pest infestations that you’ll need to worry about involves spider mites.
Spider mites can suck on your umbrella plant and cause it to look unhealthy. A severe infestation could eventually kill the plant, but usually you’ll just notice that the plant will start drooping.
Other pests can bother umbrella plants as well. Aphids and scales are two other types of pests that you might need to look out for.
If you suspect that your umbrella plant is having issues with pests, then you might want to treat it with insecticidal soap. This can help to get rid of any bugs that are bothering the plant.
5 – Fungal Diseases
Umbrella plants can also have issues with certain fungal diseases. If the leaves are falling off of your plant, then this could be what is going on.
When umbrella plants are going through fungal disease issues, you’re going to notice black or brown spots on their leaves. These infected leaves will fall off and it’ll cause the disease to spread throughout the plant.
You want to remove infected sections of the plant before things can spread. This gives you the best chance of saving the plant.
It might be prudent to treat the plant with fungicide in certain situations as well. Sometimes it might not be possible to save an umbrella plant if a fungal disease is advanced and you didn’t catch it in time.
Now you know about the things that could cause your umbrella plant to die. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use this information to make changes that will help you to save your plant.
Umbrella plants are great houseplants to own because of how nice they look and how easy they are to take care of. For the most part, it should be possible to make subtle adjustments and get good results when caring for umbrella plants.
Just do your best to avoid watering issues and try to ensure that the plant is getting enough sunlight. Try to stay on top of things such as pest issues and fungal disease problems so that you can take action before things get really bad.
If you’re a proactive person who pays attention to plants, you’ll have better luck. Even if your umbrella plant does die, you’ll be able to know what to do next time so that you can take care of things better.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.