Houseplant Leaf Torn? Here’s What You Can Do


Share this article

Suppose you accidentally ripped off one of the leaves from your plant? Or worse yet, suppose that your dog or cat got bored and decided to do some leaf-eating? It doesn’t have to be all bad though! There are many ways you can save your plant’s life if it has lost a few leaves.

Houseplants with large leaves can get torn by either accident or a playful pet, either way, there is no way that the leaf will repair itself. Damaged plant leaves can be safely removed from the plant causing nutrients that were being used to feed the leaf to be directed to other parts of the plant where it is needed.

Every time I get a houseplant leaf torn, it makes me cringe. It’s not that the leaf is very important to me, but rather because it reminds me of how delicate plants are in general.

In this article, we’ll shed some light on the reasons that can cause a plant leaf to tear and what you can do without harming your plant.

I have used a cost-effective Liquid Fertilizer called Purived to help strengthen my plant leaves, stems, and their overall health. You can find it by clicking here!

purvied for stronger leaves

Possible Causes For Plant Leaves Tearing (eg. Pets, Accident, Nutrient):

plant Leaf Torn

People grow indoor plants to decorate and enrich the empty corners of their homes with beautiful, soothing lush greenery. 

Despite their size or kind, Indoor plants add sparkle to your home with their lush green leaves and vibrant clusters of flowers. 

Possible causes for plant leaves tearing can depend on the species you are growing indoors. 

For instance, if you are growing banana plants or elephant ear plants indoors, their leaves are large, and tearing in them is common. Even the wind can cause them to be torn. 

There could be some environmental conditions that can affect the growth of your plants when growing indoors. 

Humidity plays a crucial role in the overall health of plants growing indoors. If your plant is not getting enough humidity, leaves can show splitting. Make sure that you water your plant regularly to keep the humidity level good. 

The best time to water the plants is in the morning.

The Geniani portable humidifier from amazon provides the ideal environmental humidity for healthy plant growth. You can find it by clicking here.

geniani portable humidifier

In addition to wind and humidity, there are some other causes of leaf splitting in plants growing indoors, which are:

1. Pets:

The indoor plant leaf can be torn by your beloved, adorable pets as well. Pets get attracted to the enchanting colors of the plants and want to have them for themselves. 

In their desire to have them, they end up tearing the leaves of your indoor plant. Other factors that can attract your pets towards plants are their smell and ease of reach. 

Your indoor plants are like chew toys for your pets. Even the well-behaved pet can get attracted by the plants and can damage it. 

Pets are playful and lively. They just want to play with them. 

NOTE: If your pets chew the plants, it concerns both plants and pets. Not all plants can be consumed by pets. 

Some are toxic or poisonous to pets like dogs and cats. Your beloved, small companion can end up with mild or severe health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, etc. Some plants are even poisonous enough to cause death. 

Therefore, stay alert not just for the plants’ safety but for your little buddy’s health as well. 

2. Accident:

Sometimes, you come across damaging your favorite indoor plants by accident. These mishaps can injure the plants in many ways: broken stems, broken branches, or broken leaves. 

Here are some examples of accidents that can cause damage to houseplant leaves, some of which you can take into consideration when sitting your plants –

  1. Strong winds can cause a plant leaf to tear as it brushes against other leaves on.

2. If the plant is accidentally tipped over, for example, if the plant is sited close to a swinging door, the impact can cause tears on larger leaves.

3. Fallen objects can cause multiple leaves to tear if the plant is in an area where there is a high potential for falling objects.

These torn leaves can serve as an open surface for fungus and bacteria to attack the plant. So, it is better to remove them before the issue gets worse. 

You can see our article on 7 Safe places to put houseplants at home.

3. Nutrient Deficiencies:

If you have prepared the soil well and given the plant the proper amount of water but still your plant isn’t growing vigorously, take a closer look at your plant. 

In such cases, your plants are most probably facing nutrient deficiency. Your indoor plant is susceptible to the nutrient deficiency if it is growing in acidic or alkaline soil. Your plants will show the following symptoms if it is suffering from nutrient deficiency:

  • Leaf splitting
  • Yellow or reddish colored leaves
  • Poor flowering
  • Stunted growth

If the growing conditions are not suitable for your plants, they will fail to take up nutrients from the soil. Other than acidic and alkaline conditions, plants can also fail to take up the nutrients from the soil due to dryness and waterlogging. 

Therefore, be more diligent in watering as well as the signals that your plants are giving you about their health. 

Will a Leaf Die if it’s Torn?

The indoor plants having torn leaves are susceptible to fungal infarction more than healthy leaves. If you don’t remove the damaged leaves as early as possible, it will have a fungal infection which can damage the whole leaf or even the whole plant. 

As the broken leaves are more prone to diseases, they will eventually die. 

A torn leaf doesn’t heal to the point that it can regrow the lost part. A covering layer may develop around that part preventing it from further deterioration. 

That is the maximum you can expect to happen towards the healing of a torn leaf.

Torn leaf doesn’t heal in the sense of it “forms” together again, like tissue repair. Instead, it creates a kind of callus over the wound, creating something that acts like a scab, keeping the pest’s diseases out, as well as protecting itself from water loss.

Can a Torn Leaf Repair Itself?

Most of the people asked whether the torn leaves will heal themselves or not? The answer to this commonly asked question is, no. 

Unlike humans who have an immune system in them that can repair their cuts and scars, plants cannot repair themselves. Because they don’t contain an immune system as a human does. 

Plants cannot repair the damaged leaves but they have the ability to produce new leaves in place of older leaves.

Drooping leaves (leaves that have been bent due to certain reasons) do bounce back after they receive an adequate amount of whatever they lack but torn leaves can’t repair themselves. 

Can You Remove The Leaf? (Will It Harm The Plant?)

As far as we know, splitting leaves is a part of the natural growth process in plants. The older leaves will split and eventually drop off from the plants and new leaves will be formed in their place. 

If the plant has enough leaves on it, you can simply cut off the torn leaves to save them from fungal infections. 

Make sure that you properly discard the leaves which you have cut from the plants. Because these leaves are still an open place for fungal infections.

If the leaf does not have any disease, however, you can just mix them back into the soil.
See our helpful article on mixing dead leaves into soil.

Another reason why people remove the torn leaves from the plant is that they don’t like the look of half-trimmed leaves on their plants. 

Which is fine, you, too, can do that. But, just make sure that you don’t damage the plant while cutting the leaves from it.

Pruning and cutting away old leaves, stems, and branches will not harm your plant. In fact, it’s a good practice to keep the plant healthy. 

This is because the nutrients that the damaged leaves are using can be redirected to other leaves on the plant for more healthy growth.

Therefore, it should be done every now and then. Trimming will benefit the plant most during spring and summer. These seasons are their active growing seasons. 

The Takeaway:

Everyone loves to grow indoor plants because they look beautiful. But growing them also brings some concerns with them. Indoor conditions are not that good for the plants as outdoor conditions are. 

So, one has to be really careful about the plants when growing indoors. You need to keep checking your plants, for their proper health. 

Certain factors can result in tearing the leaves of your favorite indoor plants. Your indoor plants can be damaged by your loved pets, due to nutrient deficiency, or by some accidents. 

If you have both indoor plants and pets, just make sure the plant is not toxic for the little buddy. 

But if it is toxic for your pet, simply put it somewhere where your pet can’t reach. Don’t give your pet a chance to damage the leaves of your plants as well as his health. 

The torn leaves should be removed from the plants for better growth and health. It should be done with ease as there is less or no chance that the plant will repair it. 

Taking care of the indoor plants is just a piece of cake only if you have some tricks and precautions at hand. Hopefully, we succeeded in answering all your queries related to the torn leaf of indoor plants. 

JayLea

JayLea has a passion for plants and has been gardening since 2015. He has valuable knowledge about gardening and houseplant care and can answer everyday practical questions that every plant owner has.

Posts to pique your interest