7 mistakes when caring for plants that can spoil them

It is a classic that, surely, you have heard or have said on occasion. That «I have no hand with plants» usually translates, in reality, into a host of mistakes when caring for plants that kill them. Something that, beyond this outcome, usually generates frustration in those people who see how their plants are damaged without remission. Well, let’s break the myth. There are no exceptional gifts with plants, nor people with a greater or lesser predisposition to their cultivation. There are, in fact, mistakes when caring for plants that we all make and that, far from being enigmas, are easy to avoid. It is enough to know a little more about the specimen in front of us. And, also, with paying a little attention.

There are few things comparable to that unique and natural accent that plants put in the house. A compelling reason for those who claim to be at odds with them to try again and again. Something that usually triggers them to bet on artificial plants to avoid disappointment. And it is clear that they are a perfect option. But it is also true that nothing can replace the magic of the natural plant. Reason enough to take a few minutes and discover those mistakes when caring for plants that can ruin ours.

Because there is no doubt that there is nothing like knowing to be able to. And, since we want you to enjoy your plants for a long time, today we are going to focus on those mistakes when caring for plants that, sooner or later, we have all made. A simple and quick guide to corner that «I have no hand with plants» that sounds like a sentence.


The intention of this mini guide to mistakes when caring for plants is precisely that you can fully enjoy them. That you manage to carry them out without their cultivation becoming a headache, or that you feel the weight of the popular curse of not achieving it. To begin with, and importantly: if we do not have much experience in gardening, it is better to start with indoor plants or outdoor plantssimple care. What’s more: if memory is not our forte, there is nothing like choosing those that require little irrigation. And we start from this base because, if we are not very focused on taking care of plants, it will be the only way for them to get ahead. It is clear that this implies giving up plants that, perhaps, seem much more spectacular or interesting to us. But opting for the most rustic will serve as training to be able to expand our range.

Leaving aside this advice, let’s see the most common mistakes when caring for plants. Some with which, surely!, We will feel identified and that are easy to avoid.

1. Not knowing the plant we have

It is the basic and fundamental starting point to avoid unpleasantness. And, curiously, it is something that we do not usually notice. They give us a plant, we inherit it from a neighbor or we buy it. And we only know about it that we like it because of its shape, its color or the design of its leaves. We believe that, as a plant that it is and by default, it needs water and light. And, since we don’t know what your demands are, we give you both at will or by default. First mistake on our list. As green as it is, each plant species has its own characteristics. Some that we can know just by identifying what plant it is, looking for information about it or asking ourselves.

Only knowing what it is can we give you what you need. No excesses or defects.

2. Watering indiscriminately, one of the most common plant care mistakes

Perhaps the reason that tops the list of mistakes when caring for plants. And, also, the main reason why they die on us. If we do not have the plant identified, we will not know what its irrigation pattern is. A failure that can cause us to overwater a plant that is at odds with excess moisture, or underwater those that need a good degree of moisture.

And no, it’s not a minor bug. In general, plants do not like waterlogging. But it is that, even sometimes, these can be the reason for their death and destruction. Just take a look at the danger of overwatering orchids or even tips on how to water succulents correctly.

Added, watering is not just putting water on it. You also have to know how to do it according to what each plant tolerates. There are plants that do not tolerate their leaves getting wet, others that do not handle this resource well from the plate under the pot with water, or even those that need to be sprayed instead of soaked. Each plant has its water rhythms and, also, its ways of being watered.

3. Thinking that the substrate is just soil

Mistake! The existence of different types of substrates for plants is not to complicate the life of gardening lovers. It responds to the specific needs of different types of plants. And, far from being secondary, it can be said that they are vital. If we put a universal substrate on an acidic plant, we will see how its leaves lose color. The same thing happens if we do not provide one of our green plants with a soil in which it can take in the nutrients it needs to maintain the color of its leaves.

Not choosing the right substrate is one of the most common plant care mistakes. Find the one yours need here

But the thing goes far beyond colors. In addition to this, the substrates are designed to have certain textures or even properties depending on what type of plants. And, while some seek to keep humidity, others are designed to avoid it.

4. Underestimating the importance of light, another of the most common mistakes when caring for plants

We are so confident in our plant that we believe it will be able to thrive in almost any condition. And, suddenly, we see how little by little it goes off without understanding the reason. Well, apart from other mistakes when caring for plants, it may be because it does not receive adequate light. The fact of being a plant does not imply, by default, that we have to put them in full sun or protect them in the shade. Actually and we insist! Knowing our plant will allow us to know what type of light it demands.

5. Believing that it is not necessary to transplant

We have a plant that neither grows nor shrinks, and we wonder why. Perhaps we have also noticed that the leaves get smaller, or even that the roots come out of the drainage holes. Well, beyond seeing if we are not making a mistake in its cultivation, it is highly likely that the main reason is that it does not have room to grow. The transplant is a task that we will have to carry out from year to year, with few exceptions that are not very fond of transplants. A way to renew our plant’s substrate and nutrients, but also to give it space to evolve.

Include the annual transplant among your tasks, and your plants will thank you. Discover here our selection of pots and planters

And do not be afraid: it is enough to know how to transplant a plant to do it correctly.

6. Take temperatures into account… temperatures, did you say?

Another of the most common mistakes when caring for plants, and that usually goes hand in hand with not knowing a little more about our plant. Plants are marked by their origins and, far from being just part of their history, they largely define their care. Therefore, it is essential to know them thoroughly to know what temperature they demand. Although it seems minor, it is not. There are plants that can live even with degrees below zero, and many others that demand the same comfort temperature as humans.

7. Consider that it is just another decorative accessory

Another of the most common and most unknown mistakes when caring for plants. We have a pot with a plant that is beautiful and, from time to time, we decide to change its place. Negative! Incredible as it may seem, plants get used to the places we put them. An acclimatization process that takes some time, and that is one of those invisible care that we can give them. So if your plant is happily growing where it is, don’t touch it!

And now, confess: how many mistakes when taking care of plants of those that we have listed have you ever made? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!

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