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Common Plant Problems Every Maltese Plant Owner Faces And How To Solve Them

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The Maltese climate is a bit weird to handle, it’s very humid and it varies from cold and damp to hot and sticky.

Most of the information we find online when it comes to plants does not suit our crazy climate since most websites cater for more temperate climates. A database for Maltese plant care is virtually non-existent, but sweat not, plantbros, we’re here to give you a hand.

A number of factors can cause stressful conditions for your beloved plants and here are ways you can solve them.

1. Overwatering

We tend to overwater our plants, especially during the summer. Sure; it’s hot and dry, but that doesn’t mean that your plant’s soil is not humid. You might notice wilting or browning leaves and you will probably think “this babe needs some watering,” but no, those are signs of overwatering.

When you notice these signs the first thing you need to do is check how moist your soil is. And that does not mean the top part, but the base.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

Get some drainage holes in the bottom of your pot and keep your plant in proper shade, if it dries up too quickly it will definitely feel stressed out.

2. Not enough water

If your plant looks really sad, it’s most probably under-watered.

Signs of plant sadness include wilting leaves, cracked soil, dry leaves (well, dry everything really) and discolouration of leaves. Your plant will literally look depressed.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

This is the easiest one ever, you just need to carefully water your plant, preferably from the base in order to help it regain its health again.

You might also need to add some compost in order to loosen up your dry soil. And all that because you neglected your beloved plant. You actual monster.

3. Root rot

Root rot is the result of overwatering. If your soil is too damp you’re risking getting this foul rot, which prevents your plant from breathing, thus developing literal fungus all over your precious roots.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

If your roots are slimy and look somewhat disgusting, your plant totally has root rot. The best way to save it is to remove it from the soil and washing the roots properly under running water. You’ll also have to dispose of the potted soil as it’s most probably infected too.

You will need to cut off any infected roots; not to worry though, the plant will totally regrow them. Either get yourself new pot or thoroughly wash the old one to remove any rot residue. Repot the plant in clean soil, and this time make sure your pot has a good drainage system and only water it when the soil is totally dry.

4. Browning leaves

This might be a case of too much or too little water too, however other factors may be at play here. It might be that there’s too much fertiliser in your soil.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

Well if it’s a water thing you can easily solve it with any of the above solutions, however if it’s too much fertiliser, it gets a little bit tricky.

Fertilisers might damage your roots, thus affecting your plant’s ability to drink up water. The best solution is to remove any accumulated fertiliser crystals on the surface and water the soil properly. This allows the water to drain out any of the fertiliser (since you have no idea how to use it ux). Try to keep away from fertilising next time. Please.

5. Leaf spots

Oh boy; there’s a number of diseases and insects which cause spotting in your babyleaves. If your spots are small, dark and look like the devil, they are most probably bacterial spots. If you’ve got yellow spots, congratulations – you’ve got aphids. Fun!

If your spots look kind of like that mouldy thing from Stranger Things, it’s grey mould.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

If you’ve got bacterial or yellow spots sadly, you will need to completely destroy your the plant and apply fungicide on any other plants which happened to be close to it.

If your plant has grey mould, you need to throw it away too. You literally just threw away everything you own.

6. Wilting plant

Apart from good old water problems, your plant might also be wilting due to the fact that it does not have enough room to grow.

You’ll most probably see roots peeking out through the pot and being all over the place and a general hot mess.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

Repot it in a larger pot (obviously). Just remove your plant from its tight fit by tapping the sides of the pot and gently shake it out.

Repot it in a larger, well-drained pot with some extra soil.

7. Mites

There’s a lot of different types of mites which might infest your beloved houseplant, however we’ll only mention the most common ones here in Malta.

There’s spider mites which are microscopic baby-like spiders. You will identify these by spotting really tiny-looking webs all over the plant.

There’s also leafminers, which you will identify be finding weird squiggly continuous lines on your leaves. These guys won’t kill your plant per se, but they will definitely make it weaker.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

When it comes to spider mites your best bet is to prune infested leaves and stems or kill the whole plant. Since dusty plants welcome spider mites, try your utmost to keep your plants clean by removing any dust which may gather on your leaves.

Leaf shiners and washes help control and prevent future infestations.

If you’ve got leafminers, you can use yellow sticky traps, however be careful as these traps can also catch beneficial insects such as bees and ladybirds. You could also acquire a fast-acting botanical insecticide.

8. Sunburn

Sunburn is a proper plant killer, and sadly it’s very common on this island. It comes from, you know, leaving your plant in the sun. You will know if your plant is sunburnt, no need to explain it to you.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

When this happens, move your plant to a spot where there’s little to no sunlight.

Reduce watering for a while, especially if your plant has some severe sun damage — it will not be able to use up the water as much. Reduce fertilising, keep your eye on it and wish for the best.

9. Aphids

These little assholes will cause your leaves to curl. They also look like actual nightmares, skittering across your plants leaves – horrific. There’s generally a million of them crawling on the bottom side of your leaves and they look genuinely scary.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

Throw the GD plant away.

10. Mealybugs

Another nightmare for any plant owner. These guys really enjoy warm humid climates, making Malta their festival grounds. These terrible looking insects are a proper nightmare who will infest anything in sight.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

Rubbing alcohol is a mealybug’s worst enemy. Just dip a cotton bud in some alcohol and rub it over them.

Another trick you might find handy is to grab an empty spray bottle and fill it with some water, dish soap liquid and lemon juice. Spray it all over the plant and leaves to get rid of them in no time.

11. Stem rot

This is caused by overwatering or very warm soil, so it will probably plague your darling plants mostly during summertime.

The easiest way to identify stem rot is by the mould on the base of your plant’s stems. It also happens when you water your plants in an overhead manner.

How on earth will I save my precious baby?

Your best bet is to change the soil, get a pot with holes at the bottom and a dish to place underneath it.

Stop watering your plants from the top and instead pour the water directly into the dish. This will not only prevent stem rot but also root rot.

Did you find this article helpful? Leave us a comment below

READ NEXT: 12 Maltese Stores That Will Satisfy All Your Plant-Loving Needs


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