Gardening Help FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about garden plants. You will find concise information on general gardening techniques as well as plant selection and care. For detailed information on specific plant pests and problems refer to our Common Garden Pests and Problems page.

Do you have additional gardening questions? Please contact us. Here's how.

Horticulture Questions and Answers

How can I diagnose my indoor plant's problem?

Most common problems with indoor plants are cultural; that is having to do with light, water, warmth, soil, humidity and nutrition. After inspecting your plant and not finding obvious signs of insects, suspect a cultural problem. Check the soil. Is it too dry? Is it too wet? Tip the plant out of the pot. How do the roots look? Are they brown and dead? Are they rotted? It is often surprising what this inspection will turn up. Often the answer to the problem stares you in the face when you see that the root ball is bone dry or soaking wet! If the inspection doesn't turn up the answer and you are unclear about the cultural requirement of the plant, look it up in a house plant book. Our Garden Gate Shop offers a wide selection of books on this subject. You may discover that the plant you located in a shady corner actually needs full sun to grow and flower! If you are still unable to solve the problem, Master Gardeners are available to diagnose plant problems in person at the Garden's Kemper Center for Home Gardening Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.