Live to Plant

How Do Plants Die?

Updated: December 30, 2022

Plants can die in various ways such as too much water, not enough water, poor soil conditions, bad drainage, incorrect temperature conditions, too much sunlight, not enough sunlight, pests, chemicals,too much fertilizer or even old age.

In this article we will cover these in more detail and help you ensure your plants will survive for a long time.


Plants need a certain amount of water to survive and for some plants you need they need a very specific amount otherwise the plant cells will die.

If you are unsure about how much water your plants need then it’s best to look it up online and check a few trusted sources to make sure your information is as accurate as possible.

Too Much Water

If you have been over watering your plants you may notice that the leaves are starting to turn brown and may be saggy, soft or starting to go rotten.

You can stick your finger into the soil and you will notice that it’s quite wet, this might be enough to kill your plant on it’s own however excess water creates a breeding ground for certain pests such as fungi gnats.

Not Enough Water

Without enough water your plants will die, quite quickly too. If you notice your plant leaves are going brown or yellow and feel very dry and frail then it’s a good sign that your plant is dying due to lack of water.

You can test the soil as well to see if theres any moisture in it, if it’s very dry then your plant definitely needs water.


Soil quality can be a big factor so make sure you are using a high quality organic soil from a well respected company.

Poor Drainage

One of the most common causes of plants dying is from poor drainage. If your plants are in a pot you need to make sure there is a hole in it and that it’s not blocked.

You will also want to make sure that the soil you are using is of high quality and porous so that water can easily soak through.

It would be a good idea to test pouring water into the pot and seeing if it flows through and out of the hole.

If you are finding that the drainage is sub optimal you should consider re-potting it. When re-potting the plant, make sure to put some stones in the bottom of the pot before putting in the soil as this will help with the drainage.



Plants need to get the right amount of sunlight to properly induce photosynthesis and survive. Every plant is unique and require different amounts of light.

Too Much Sunlight

If your plant is receiving too much light it may get burnt from the sun, similar to how we do. You will notice that the leaves look burnt if this is happening to your plant.

Not Enough Sunlight

Without enough sunlight plants won’t survive. The amount differs depending on whether or not it’s an indoor plant or one that belongs outside.

Indoor plants require far less sunlight, heres some common indoor house plants that don’t require a lot of light:

[categoryposts cat=”indoor-plants”]

Outdoor plants require much more sunlight to survive, some of the common outdoor plants that require lot’s of sunlight are:

[categoryposts cat=”outdoor-plants”]


It’s quite common that new gardeners will use too much fertilizer and kill their plants without realizing that fertilizer will actually choke and kill your plants if you use too much.

This is especially evident when working with baby plants that still have a lot of growth to go. Baby plants don’t need much fertilizer to be happy and healthy.

Make sure to ask your local gardening experts or look up your specific plants online to see how much fertlizer you should be mixing in with your soil to ensure that your plants are receiving optimal amounts so that they can be strong and healthy for many years to come.

Plant Pests

A very frustrating way that your plants may die is due to pests. Pests can negatively affect a plant in many ways.

Some of these pests to look out for are:

[categoryposts cat=”plant-pests”]

You can try using a natural insecticide such as neem oil to prevent these pests destroying your plants.


There are many powerful chemicals that get used for a variety of reasons such as killing pests but this may also kill your plants if too much is used or the wrong kind gets used.

If you do plan on exposing your plants to chemicals make sure you consult an expert first to ensure that it won’t harm your plants.

Can Plants Die of Old Age?

Yes plants can die of old age as they are living things which means they will eventually die, just like animals and humans.