Problems

Why is my Nerve Plant dying?

Popular due to their intense and colourful veined leaves, Nerve Plants aren’t always the easiest houseplant to take care of.

Why is my Nerve Plant dying?

There are several reasons why your Nerve Plant might be struggling to survive. The main things to look at are watering issues, light levels and pests. Below you will find all the information you need to figure out what’s wrong with your Nerve Plant as well as fix the problem and hopefully bring your plant back to full health!

Underwatering

If your Nerve Plant has developed really crispy leaves, then you may have been underwatering it for a while. Nerve Plants like their soil to be slightly moist and will really struggle if they have to go a long time between waterings.

We always recommend a little but often approach to watering Nerve Plants. This ensures that it keeps the soil most but not waterlogged. If you think your Nerve Plant is underwatered then check the moisture levels in the soil before making any changes to your care routine. When watering an underwatered Nerve Plant it’s super important you do it gradually. Drowning it in water will actually cause the plant to get quite shocked and this could lead to more problems.

Moving forward always remember to check the moisture levels in the soil using either the finger, chopstick or lifting methods. This will mean you can keep an eye on how much water it needs and avoid the problem recurring.

Overwatering

If the leaves on your Nerve Plant have turned yellow and are quite limp then this may be due to overwatering. Too much moisture in the soil will mean that the roots will have started to rot and become damaged. This stops your plant getting any water or nutrients which is why it has started to die.

Again before making any changes to how you water, check the soil to see if you are right in thinking it’s been overwatered. If the soil is clumpy and waterlogged replace it immediately for new fresh dry potting mix. This will give the roots the best chance at survival. Shake as much of the old soil off the roots and trim away any rotten ones.

Due to the damage to the root system, your Nerve Plant may take a little while to fully recover and grow new healthy leaves. But be patient and you should start to see the leaves looking fresher in a few weeks.

Lack of humidity

A humid environment is vital for a healthy Nerve Plant and they can really struggle if your home has dry air. This happens during winter a lot more as the heating and lack of ventilation will lead to much drier air. If the leaves have begun to go a little dry from the tips and edges inward or are curling inwards then a lack of humidity may be the problem.

Here are a few ways to increase humidity for your Nerve Plant:

Mist the leaves

This is one of the easiest ways to increase the humidity for your plant. Use a spray bottle to mist the leaves a few times a week. We recommend misting in the mid-morning to allow enough time for the water to evaporate. If the leaves are wet when the temperatures drop at night then it may cause the leaves to rot.

Use a pebble tray

This requires a little DIY but it’s a great solution. Fill up a tray with small stones and fill it up halfway with water. Place your Nerve Plant over the top and over the course of the day the water will evaporate under your plant. Always make sure the plant is not sitting in the water though as this will cause root rot.

Showering

One simple method that raises the humidity instantly is showering your Nerve Plant. It also gets rid of dust and potential pests that might be hiding underneath the leaves so it’s a great way to keep your plant healthy. Wash your Nerve Plant down with lukewarm water as you don’t want to shock or burn the plant. Keep the water pressure relatively low as you don’t want to damage the plant.

Placement

If you have good lighting in your kitchen or bathroom then we recommend moving your Nerve Plant in there. The natural humidity from showering and cooking makes them a great spot for your plant. Just make sure to keep them away from the cooker as you don’t want to burn the leaves.

Buy a humidifier

These affordable little devices keep the humidity in the room at a consistent level so are great for houseplants. Some humidifiers even have built-in features that allow you to put it on a schedule or turn itself off once it has reached a specific humidity level in the room!

We always recommend this humidifier from Amazon as a great place to start.

Want to know more about how to raise the humidity for your Nerve Plant and other houseplants? Check out our detailed humidity guide.

Leaf burn

If your Nerve Plant has yellow patches all over the leaves then they may be scorched by the sun. This happens when your Nerve Plant receives too much direct sunlight.

Nerve Plants like medium light, at most bright indirect light, so avoid placing them right next to windows. Watch out even more during summer as the sunlight is a lot stronger which means the leaves will burn a lot quicker.

Pests

Whilst rarer than some of the other reasons, your Nerve Plant might be dying due to a pest infestation. They can be susceptible to gnats, mealybugs and scale insects. They suck on the plant’s leaves which damages them and leaves behind yellow patches and holes.

Most pests can be visible just by looking closely but get a magnifying glass if you can’t see any – better to be safe than sorry! They like to hang out on the undersides of the leaves so make sure to check closely there.

Each type of pest needs to be treated a little differently, including showering, neem oil and insecticide treatment. We have written a whole chapter about identifying, treating and preventing pests in our downloadable ebook.

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Find out More

Those are the most common reasons why your Nerve Plant is dying. If you want to find out more about the care routine needed, check out of Nerve Plant Care Guide. We also have a downloadable ebook with all the information you need to grow healthy and happy houseplants.

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