The Q&A Archives: Leave are drying up

Question: I just moved to a new home and I noticed that all my indoor plants except the ivy have drying leaves. How can I resolve this?

Answer: I am not certain what is happening, but three possible causes come to mind right away. One is that the air in the new home is much drier than in the previous one, possibly due to a different type of heating or warmer room temperatures, or even drafts such as from heating vents. This could dry out the leaves and cause them to brown. If you think this is it, you could try placing a humidifier nearby or set the pots on a humidifying tray. This would be a shallow pan filled with pebbles. Set the pots on the pebbles and add water to just below the tops of the pebbles. (It is important that the bottoms of the pots not be in the water.) Add more water as it evaporates. Grouping the plants together will also help raise the humidity right around them, as will dropping the room temperature to maybe 65 degrees.

Another possibility is that they are reacting to increased direct sun exposure. This could happen if they are moved suddenly to a much brighter location, or if plants that prefer lower light levels are moved to an excessively sunny spot. Plants usually tolerate a range of light conditions but it is best to acclimate them slowly over a period of several weeks to any extreme change.

The other possibility is that they were exposed to excessive cold during the move. Many of the common houseplants do not handle cold well, for tropicals that have been inside and accustomed to steady warmth, even 55 degrees can sometimes be the break point. This would cause tissue damage that would not become apparent until later. If this is what happened, they should recover (unless they got really cold!) In the meantime you would remove any seriously damaged foliage as it will not repair itself.

Ivy is very cold tolerant, but it is also tolerant of many adverse situations, so of all your plants I am not surprised it is okay. I'm sorry about your plants but I hope this helps.

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