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Why Are My Plant’s Leaves Falling Off?

5 min read
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Natural cycle of shedding leaves in winter

Plants have a natural cycle of growth, during which they produce new leaves and shed old ones. As the seasons change, some plants shed their leaves as a way of preparing for the colder months. Deciduous trees, for example, shed their leaves in the fall to conserve energy through winter. 

Water stress

Water stress is a common reason why plants lose their leaves. When plants do not receive enough water, they become dehydrated and start to wilt. This is because the leaves cannot retain moisture, and the plant tries to conserve water by shedding its leaves. This is a survival mechanism to ensure the plant can survive until it receives enough water. Overwatering can also cause plants to lose their leaves, as waterlogged roots can lead to root rot and damage the plant.

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 Natural cycle of shedding leaves in winter

Plants have a natural cycle of growth, during which they produce new leaves and shed old ones. As the seasons change, some plants shed their leaves as a way of preparing for the colder months. Deciduous trees, for example, shed their leaves in the fall to conserve energy through winter. 

 Water stress

Water stress is a common reason why plants lose their leaves. When plants do not receive enough water, they become dehydrated and start to wilt. This is because the leaves cannot retain moisture, and the plant tries to conserve water by shedding its leaves. This is a survival mechanism to ensure the plant can survive until it receives enough water. Overwatering can also cause plants to lose their leaves, as waterlogged roots can lead to root rot and damage the plant.

Pests and diseases

Pests and diseases can also cause plants to lose their leaves. Insects such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs can suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to wither and fall off. Fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew and rust, can also cause leaves to fall off. If you notice yellowing or brown spots on the leaves, it could indicate a fungal disease. Identifying the pest or disease and taking the necessary steps to control it to prevent further damage to the plant is essential.

 Nutrient deficiency

Plants require a range of nutrients to grow and thrive. If a plant is not getting enough of a particular nutrient, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off. Nitrogen deficiency, for example, can cause the leaves to turn yellow, while iron deficiency can cause them to turn brown. It is essential to fertilise plants regularly to ensure they get the nutrients they need.

 

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Environmental stress

Environmental stress can cause your plant’s leaves to fall off. When exposed to extreme heat or cold, the leaves can become damaged and start to fall off. High winds can also cause leaves to fall off. It is essential to protect plants from extreme weather conditions to prevent damage to the leaves.

Age

Like humans, plants age, and their leaves can become less efficient over time. Older leaves may turn yellow or brown and eventually fall off. This is a natural part of the plant's life cycle, and it is nothing to worry about. Removing any dead or dying leaves is essential to prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

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Plants lose their leaves in winter for various reasons. Whether it is a natural cycle, water stress, pests and diseases, nutrient deficiency, environmental stress, or age, it is essential to identify the cause and take the necessary steps to address it. Proper care and attention can help prevent leaf loss and ensure your plants remain healthy and vibrant. 

If you’re looking for hardy indoor plants that make the perfect gift, look no further than Interflora’s extensive range of plants

How do you care for your plants? Let us know by tagging Interflora on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #AlwaysInterflora and #InterfloraAU.

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Interflora Australia has been operating across our country since 1954. Originally based in Adelaide, South Australia, we now operate out of Interflora House in Melbourne, Victoria. Interflora Australia is 100% Australian owned - via a licensing agreement, issued to us from Interflora in the United Kingdom...