Introducing Pistils Rx: Your Plant Problems and How To Fix Them

Posted on Feb 5, 2016

Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to come by a wide variety of tropical plants, succulents and cacti, and spend enough time with them to watch how they react to our care. Plants tell you what they need, and if you know what to look for, you can answer their calls for better houseplant care.

For example: Put a Ficus lyrata (aka Fiddle leaf fig) in our doorway, and it will be dropping leaves before the day’s over. But put it in our sunny storefront window? You’ve never seen deeper green than those leaves.

Better houseplant care

Over the years, we’ve fielded hundreds (thousands, really) of questions about houseplant care, both in our retail shop and by email. Though we’re the first to admit that it can be challenging to diagnose houseplant problems, a lot of times a small change in plant care regimen can yield huge results in terms of the happiness of your plant.

That’s why today we’re introducing Pistils Rx, a recurring feature in which we’ll answer your plant questions and give you advice about how to improve your houseplant health. We’ll look at the questions we’re asked in the shop, plus the one’s you send us (see below!), and post practical solutions to common indoor plant problems.

Pistils Rx: Your Plant Problems and How To Fix Them

How to submit your question

What’s your (plant) problem? We want to find out, and help you reach houseplant care nirvana! Here’s how to submit a question to us.

  1. Send an email to, and include “Pistils Rx” in the subject line.
  2. In the body of your email, try to be as specific as possible when describing your houseplant care problem. When did it start? What kind of light does the plant receieve? How often are you watering your plant? The more detail, the better.
  3. Include a photo. Or three! It’s really hard to diagnose plant problems without being able to inspect the plant. A photo is the next best thing! Plus, If your question is chosen, we’ll use your photos in our blog posts answering your questions so that other folks can see if their houseplant care issue is similar.

After you submit your question, we’ll do our very best to get back to you. And, if it seems like others are having the same problem, you can look for an answer up on the journal.

Keep your eyes out for our first installment, coming early next week. Here’s the better houseplant care!


  1. Kristin Cooper
    February 13, 2016

    How do you stop the tips of the plant leaves from turning brown?

    • Jesse
      February 15, 2016

      That’s a great question! We’ll add it to the queue and hopefully get a nice long post up on the subject soon.

      Jesse – Pistils Nursery

  2. Kara
    April 19, 2016

    Is there really a way to pot plants in attractive (non-drainage hole) containers that won’t eventually cause them to drown? I see so many cute pots out there but many have no drainage….how do you water, in that case? (i’ve read about using packing peanuts, pottery shards, etc etc at the bottom but is that for real?)

    • Jesse
      April 28, 2016

      Hey Kara,

      Careful watering, as well as a thick drainage layer (the peanuts, pottery shards or activated charcoal are all good options) are the only ways to ensure that your plant won’t drown in it’s pot without drainage. Regular re-potting is also helpful, as it will allow you to take a look at the roots and ensure there isn’t much damage. If you can, using a pot with drainage is a safer bet! Without drainage, make sure that you’re only watering enough to moisten the soil, and not to form a puddle at the bottom of your pot which will take a very long time to dry out. Also ensure that your plants are the appropriate size for their pots, as too much soil and not enough roots will cause the pots to stay wet too long.

      Hope this helps!

  3. Marcia Chambers
    May 26, 2016

    My propeller plant is beginning to distort.. Too much water? I’ll send the pics in another email.

    • Jesse
      May 27, 2016

      Yes, an email with photos would be very helpful! Thank you!


  4. Lyla
    September 7, 2016

    I have a rope hoya that is 40 years old. I recently moved and all the plants are doing well,but that one. It is loosing leaves on all branches, and seems to be on general distress. I have fertilized it and no change. It does not have any parasites. It is next to another large hoya and it is doing well. I am not sure what else to try!

    • Jesse
      September 19, 2016

      Hmm – I’m not sure what to tell you. Could it have been damaged during the move? Left outside in the sun/heat or cold? Sounds like it’s in shock. I’d try cutting it back, and keeping it as stable as possible as it adjusts.



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