Indoor Gardening Problems – Care, Placement, Pests, Vacation Watering

Although we all wish for pain-free gardening, indoor gardening problems are bound to come up at some point in your gardening journey.

But don’t dispair because I’ve got advice to deal with most issues you’re likely to encounter!

The main problems you’re likely to run into are:

  • Improper lighting
  • Plants dying due to improper care
  • Placement
  • Pests
  • Watering while on holiday

Improper Lighting

As a beginner gardener, you’ll soon realise that light plays a huge role in the success of your indoor garden and is one of the most common indoor gardening problems to deal with. Not the quantity of light alone, but ensuring that plants get light that is appropriate for their individual needs.

When you buy a plant, it will normally come with some advice as to what its light requirements are. This normally fits into one of these categories:

  • Full sun – these plants must be put close to windows getting sun most of the day. South-facing in the northern hemisphere and north-facing in the southern hemisphere.
  • Partial sun/morning sun/afternoon sun/bright filtered light – these plants do best when they receive direct sunlight for a part of the day, or light filtered through a curtain or other light diffuser.
  • Shade – these plants are tolerant of shade and would mostly die if put in direct sunlight.

If your plant doesn’t come with a label saying how much light the plant should get, Google it and you’re sure to light guidance.

Plants Dying due to Improper Care

Some plants are easy to look after, especially these common house plants. Even so, all plants need appropriate care in terms of:

  • Light (as discussed above)
  • Soil/growing medium
  • Watering
  • Fertilizing

Certain plants have special considerations that you’ll need to accommodate. Some tropical plants need a more humid environment than most heated homes provide. So you’ll need to use a mister or place a bowl of water near the plant to increase the local humidity.


The truth of the matter is that when you buy a plant, you’ve already got a home with doors, windows and furniture that all influence where you can put plants. And you have to balance the plants light requirements with the available light in your home which can be tricky especially with full-sun plants.

My suggestion here is to think about where you’re going to put a plant before you buy it. Do you have a north or south-facing window that is suitable? Is there a table or sideboard to put the plant on?


Pests are the bain of any indoor gardener’s life and they’re sure to come along at some point. Read about indoor gardening pests to see how to deal with them.

Watering While on Holiday

If you’re like us, you go away often for weekends and sometimes longer like overseas trips where you may be away for a couple of weeks. This poses a big challenge for you as an indoor gardener. I’ve got a page dedicated to vacation watering to help you find a solution.