What’s Damaging My Outdoor Plants? 5 Common Issues

Panorama of elegant decorated balcony with rattan outdoor furniture, bright pillows and plants

There is nothing worse than being a dedicated plant parent, only to find that your efforts are being undermined by something you can’t put your finger on. The truth is, there are a number of things that could be causing damage to your plants, so let’s look at some of the common issues so that we can stop them immediately and get back to nourishing those outdoor plants.

  1. Pests and insects

We’ll start with the prevalent issue that most homeowners face, and that is pests and insects. Pests and insects can, unfortunately, appear in even the most well-maintained gardens and outdoor environments, and it doesn’t take long before they have fully impacted the health of your plants. Getting onto pest control quickly can really save your garden, and you don’t even have to introduce any harsh chemicals to your space as there are a number of fantastic eco-friendly products on the market.

  1. Sun damage

Sunlight is the lifeblood for our plants, but too much can be a bad thing and put your garden in harm’s way. It’s usually pretty easy to detect sun damage in your plants, as they will be wilted and bent and will be browning in the corners of the leaves. You might also notice a slow growth in plants that are supposed to be thriving, so monitor any new growth to determine if they are in fact seeing sun damage. If this is the case, you can either move them to an area that gets partial sun or you can erect a cover that will filter out some of those stronger rays.

  1. Over-watering

Well, we don’t want to think that we are ever the problem, but over-watering plants is more common than you think. Some plants absolutely love to be drenched and will grow in gratitude, but most plants only need to be watered occasionally. You can tell if you have over-watered because the leaves on your plants will start to blacken, either on the edges or in the middle of the leaf. If they are supposed to be out in the sun, then they don’t need more water – it’s not as if they are house plants battling it outdoors. 

  1. Unpredictable elements

Some parts of the world see a rotating calendar of extreme weather, from unbearably hot to freezing cold. This can make it hard for a homeowner to select the right plants for your garden, and it can be even tricker to give them what they need in these periods, for example those gardening in Alaska. Man-made interventions like planter boxes, covers and umbrellas can really go a long way in protecting your plants from the elements. There are even some plant owners that will put up metal sheets around part of the garden to break the harsh wind that blows through the garden. Inspect your garden before, during and after these weather changes and then plan your approach.

  1. Animals and soil

The soil you use might not be of the quality your garden needs, and so any old soil will disadvantage your outdoor plants from the start. On the other hand, you might be using soil so rich that it attracts animals to your yard who might also want a piece of your garden too. Fruit trees and plants will not always be ravaged by animals, but as soon as they do you need to put up netting or another shield to stop them before they come back. Also, ask for advice on the right soil from your garden store so that you don’t get something too tempting for your local animals in the area.


If maintaining beautiful and healthy outdoor plants was easy, we would all have great-looking gardens. The truth is, it takes some work but these 5 facts might be what is holding you back from achieving a perfect garden.