Plant Dying During Flowering: Ultimate Trouble Shooting Guide (Answers)

There is little more devastating than seeing your plant dying during flowering. Just as you thought you were making progress with your plants, they put on one last show, and then tragically wasted away.

What could be the problem?

What is causing your plants to die when they flower?

plant dying during flowering

To be frank, there could be many reasons that will cause a plant to suddenly die. Such as:

  • inappropriate care and maintenance schedule,
  • inadequate conditions, or even
  • an imbalance of fertilizer.

Unfortunately, the list is endless.

So to help you identify your core problem, we’ve together a comprehensive troubleshooting guide that you can work your way through.

Here is how to approach this guide.

How to Stop your Plants from Dying when they Flower

The key to finding the solution to your gardening issues is patience and persistence.

We recommend reading this guide in its entirety, and then bookmarking the page. The reason being, it may not be just one cause of your plant dying during flowering. There could be multiple problems at play (cue dramatic music).

credit: giphy

And there is nothing more frustrating than trying to remember where you read those troubleshooting issues and solutions!

Analyse Symptoms

We find you can save a lot of time and effort by taking a bit of time at the beginning to properly analyze the symptoms of your dying plant.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • what areas of the plant are showing symptoms? Leaves? Stems?
  • How quickly did the symptoms show up?
  • Have you made any changes to your husbandry duties or responsibilities?

Approaching your problem with a detectives’ mindset can really help you remove yourself (emotionally) from the situation and resolve the problem with a level mind.

And this includes understanding the intention of why plants flower.

Why do plants flower?

why do plants flower

Before you roll your eyes, we promise this isn’t going to be a long botanical lecture that will put you to sleep. But, we do think it is important to understand the intention of your plant behind its unusual behavior of flowering just before dying.

The primary purpose of a plant’s flowering is reproduction. It is part of the process of ensuring that the species continues to exist and flourish well beyond that individual plants’ life.

Now let’s apply this newfound knowledge to help us understand why your plants are dying during (or shortly after) they flower.

When a plant feels threatened or knows it is dying, it sends out flowers in a last attempt to reproduce and continue the species existence.

So, what can we conclude from this? There is a problem (or problems) with the way you care for your plants. And we need to identify the issue before more of your plants send out their last hurrah!

Which is the perfect segue into the next section – the troubleshooting portion of the guide.

Plant Dying During Flowering? Trouble Shooting Guide

credit: Unsplash

Now we know why your plant is dying during flowering, let’s get into the potential causes of why your plants feel threatened.

We have structured this section to make it easier for you to troubleshoot your way back to flourishing, healthy plants that flower and DO NOT die.

Each section helps you to identify the problem from the symptoms you observed in the previous section. We then provide you with actionable solutions to implement.

If you’re ready, grab your detectives hat and let’s begin.

Problem: Under Watering Your Plants

Water is one of the key ingredients to a plants’ survival. Without an adequate source of water, a plant will quickly dry up and die.

It is easy to see when a plant is not receiving enough water. The overall look of the plant will look droopy and limp. While the leaves will look withered and feel dry and crispy. The leaves can also lose their color and begin to turn yellow.

Solution for too Little Water

If you suspect a lack of water is your plants primary issue, it is time to adjust your maintenance routine. This doesn’t necessarily mean simply increasing the amount of times you water your plant, because too much water can also be a problem (as you will in the next problem).

It means becoming more aware of your plants’ water needs. We recommend using the soil moisture finger test to determine when to water your plants. It is a simple and effective way of getting to know how much water your plant needs at different times of the year.

watering to stop plants dying during flowering

Problem: Overwatering Your Plants

Keeping a plant well watered is important, but sometimes we can take it too far and become overzealous with our watering. Your plants won’t show symptoms straight away, however constant waterlogged soil will eventually suffocate your plant.

Overwatered plants usually first show symptoms in their leaves by changing to a yellow or brown color. You will notice the tips of your leaves beginning to brown and your plants may have stunted growth.

Soggy or waterlogged soil can also lead to other problems for your plant, such as root rot, pest infestations and a lack of oxygen absorption for the roots.

Solution for too Much Water

Like we said in the above solution to under watering, a change in your watering approach will help to resolve this problem. Understanding your plants’ water requirements at different stages of its growth cycle will go a long way in keeping your plant happy and healthy. And the best way to achieve this intimate knowledge is to get your hands (or fingers in this case) dirty with the soil moisture finger test.

Problem: Poor Soil Quality

If you haven’t repotted or revitalized your soil for a while, your plants may be suffering from due to poor soil quality.

Like everything in life, soil has a shelf life and will eventually decompose to a point that it is no longer useful to plants.

Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if your soil is at the point of exhaustion without signals from your plants. Symptoms to look for in your plant are the constant appearance of being limp and lifeless (less vibrant). As well as stunted growth.

Solution for Poor Soil

Revitalize the soil by repotting your plant or folding through nutrient rich compost into your topsoil. Remember to give the soil a good drenching to help move the nutrients towards the deeper roots.

Fertilizing your soil regularly will help to maintain the quality of your soil in both potted plants and outdoor plants in the ground.

improve soil quality and drainage to stop plant dying

Problem: Soil with Poor Drainage

This problem is somewhat linked with the two previous problems of poor quality soil and overwatering your plants.

If your plant is sitting in poor quality soil that doesn’t have the necessary drainage properties, the soil will become water logged and soggy. This restricts the plants roots’ access to oxygen, leading to your plant slowly suffocating. As well as increasing the likelihood of diseases forming, such as root rot and fungal growth.

The symptoms to watch for is when you are watering your plants, the water doesn’t soak into the soil and remains on top of the soil for a period of time. Testing the soil moisture levels will also tell you if the soil is too wet.

Solution for Poor Soil Drainage

Replacing the current soil with a soil that contains growing medium that has proper drainage qualities (such as peat moss, perlite and vermiculite) will help expel any excess water and moisture.

In addition, you can mix in substrate that consists of varying organic materials and sizes to help create a more varied mix that will provide your plant with a richer quality soil.

Problem: Incorrect Lighting Conditions

Plants that don’t receive enough light will not thrive. At the same time, plants can suffer from too much light. We don’t blame you if you are scratching your head and wondering if it is beginning to feel like a Goldilocks moment here?

credit: giphy

Plants that receive an incorrect light source don’t display the correct coloration, often looking paler than usual. They may also become leggy as they search for a source of light.

Plants that receive too much light will have burnt leaves. You will recognize this when the leaves turn yellowish or brown towards the upper half of the plant, while the veins of the leaves remain green.

Solution for Incorrect Light

So, the big question is what is the right amount of light?

Unfortunately, there is no straight answer here. That is because each plant will need different levels of intensity of light and durations. The best way to learn how to determine the best amount of light is to read care guides on your specific species of plant.

Alternatively, you can take the trial and error approach by moving your plant around your garden. This may take longer to reach your solution, and may not be practical if your plant is bedded in the ground.

Problem: Pests and Insects Plague

pests can cause your plant to die while flowering

Insects and pests are problematic for plants as they generally feed on the plant tissue and sap, slowly weakening it.

It may not be apparent straight away, especially while the pests are in small numbers. However, as they multiply and become out of control, they can be extremely damaging to your plants’ health.

An over-abundance of pests will become obvious because you will be able to see them all over the leaves, stems, flowers and buds of the plant.

The trickier pests to identify are the ones under ground, like termites. They can do damage to the base of your plant, as well as the roots. Unfortunately, once they have done their damage, it is too late, as the plant will have died within a short amount of time.

Solution for Pests

You may think the only method of deterring insects is chemically, such as insecticides. We cannot argue that they do work, but at what cost?

At the Garden Bench Top we always look for organic and natural solutions before resorting to chemical solutions. We find the best way to combat pests and insects is regular maintenance and inspections. While you do the rounds with the watering can, perform a quick inspection of your plants. It doesn’t have to be every time. Maybe you can inspect half your plants one week, and the other half the following week?

Pro Tip – Go for a walk while you are on the phone and inspect your plants as you are talking. And don’t forget to check the underside of your leaves.

Problem: Nutrient Imbalance

Another problem that can cause plants to flower before they die is an imbalance of nutrients.

A deficiency in nutrients, such as nitrogen, magnesium and iron, will result in your plant not having the right minerals to grow properly. This can affect their roots’ system, as well as their stems and leaves.

Plants that suffer from malnutrition will often appear gangly and weak with thin stems and unformed parts (such as poor bud formation).

At the same time, too many nutrients at one time can also cause problems for a plant. This can occur when gardeners get too excited and dump an excess of fertilizer or garden feed onto the plants. The excess nutrients can become toxic and actually damage or burn the plant.

Signs of over fertilized plants are wilting and overall droopiness. As well as the leaves appearing burnt or dry.

Solution for Nutrient Imbalance

To correct a deficiency in nutrients, gradually increase your feeding schedule. Feeding too many nutrients too quickly can overload the plant, which can also lead to the demise of your indoor plants. We recommend scheduling your feeds with reminders on your calendar. We find it is the easiest solution to ensuring your plants receive the right amount of nutrients to grow healthy and strong plants.

If you are facing an overload of nutrients (and your plant is still alive), the best and quickest solution is to change out the soil for fresh soil. If your plant is planted in the ground, try cleaning your soil by providing a slow drip of water to the affected area for an extended period of time. The water should push the excess of nutrients away and allow the plant to recover.

What Next?

Once you have completely read all the potential causes of your plants’ problems, choose the one that matches your plants symptoms. And begin implementing the suggested solutions.

After implementation, it is a matter of patience to see if your plant(s) respond positively.

If you have correctly identified the issue, you should see your plant bounce back quite quickly. If not, then we recommend coming back to this article and progressing to the next likely cause of your plant dying during flowering.

Remember, patience and persistence are the key!