Leaf Edema: What Is It and How Can You Prevent It?

Leaf edema, also known as oedema, is a condition that affects houseplants. It is identified by the formation of small bumps or blisters on the leaves, typically on the undersides. Although leaf edema is not harmful to the plant’s health, it can be unsightly and affect the plant’s aesthetics. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent and manage this disorder.

Causes of Leaf Edema in Houseplants

Leaf edema occurs when there is an imbalance between the rate of water uptake by the roots and the rate of transpiration through the leaves. When the soil is consistently moist, and the relative humidity levels are high, the plant’s roots can absorb more water than the leaves can transpire. As a result, the excess water accumulates in the leaf cells, causing them to swell and rupture, forming bumps or blisters.

Some of the factors that can contribute to leaf edema in houseplants include:

Leaf edema is caused by a disruption in transpiration.
A diagram of water passing through a plant during the process of transpiration. Photo by iconwater.com.au
  1. Overwatering: Watering plants too frequently can lead to waterlogged soil and high humidity levels. This can cause the plant’s roots to absorb more water than the leaves can transpire, leading to leaf edema.
  2. High relative humidity: Plants that are grown in spaces with high relative humidity are more likely to develop leaf edema.
  3. Low light: Plants that are grown in low light conditions may not be able to transpire as much water, leading to an imbalance between water uptake and transpiration.
  4. Temperature extremes: Rapid temperature changes, such as cold drafts or hot air blowing on the leaves, can also lead to leaf edema.


  1. Avoid overwatering: One of the most effective ways to prevent leaf edema is to avoid overwatering your plants. Always check the soil moisture levels before watering, and only water when the top inch of soil is dry. Make sure that your plant’s pot has proper drainage to allow excess water to escape.
  2. Water in the morning: Watering your plants in the morning when temperatures and light levels are higher will encourage proper transpiration and reduce the risk of edema.
  3. Control humidity: If you live in a humid environment or use a humidifier, ensure the humidity levels are appropriate for the ambient temperature of your home. In general, lower levels of humidity are appropriate in cooler environments, and higher humidity is ideal for warmer parts of your home.
  4. Provide proper lighting: Ensure that your plants are getting the right amount of light for their specific needs. If your plants are not getting enough light, consider moving them closer to a window or using artificial lighting.
  5. Avoid temperature extremes: Try to avoid exposing your plants to extreme temperatures, such as cold drafts or hot air blowing on the leaves. Keep your plants away from windows and doors that may be opened frequently.
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If you notice leaf edema on your houseplants, don’t panic. The condition is usually temporary and does not harm the plant’s health. However, you can take steps to manage the symptoms and prevent them from worsening.

  1. Reduce watering: If your plant’s soil is consistently moist, reduce the frequency of watering. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent the accumulation of excess water in the leaves.
  2. Increase ventilation: Improving air circulation around your plants can help to reduce humidity levels and prevent leaf edema. Consider placing a fan near your plants or moving them to a more ventilated area.
  3. Avoid removing leaves: Removing foliage reduces the plant’s ability to transpire moisture, which can actually make edema worse. Avoid removing any leaves until you have resolved the issue causing edema on your plants.

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Return Policy

Last Updated July 2, 2022

Thank you for your purchase. We hope you are happy with your products! However, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may be able to return it to us for a full refund or store credit. Please see below for more information on our return and exchange policy.


Plants: Plants are eligible for a full refund or exchange with returned within seven (7) days of the purchase date. All returned plants must be in their original nursery pots with tags intact and proof of purchase. Plants may be exchanged for another plant of equal or lesser value. We are not responsible for the death or damage of plants that have been removed from their original pots after purchase. 

Non-plant goods: Any non-plant goods (pottery, macrame, plant care products, etc.) can be returned in new, unused condition for a full refund or exchanged for another item of equal or lesser value within fourteen (14) days of purchase. Packaging may be opened, but the product must be unused and returned with all of its original, undamaged packaging. 

Return Process

To return an item, contact us by email at ashley@pollenplant.co

For Plant returns/exchanges:

  • Title email “Return/exchange [your order #]”
  • please provide a detailed description of why you wish to return or exchange the plant, including any damage/pests/etc. 
  • Include a picture of the plant in its original pot.

For non-plant returns/exchanges:

  • Title email “Return/exchange [your order #]”
  • A brief description of why you wish to return the item
  • A photo of the unused item in its original packaging

All return requests will be responded to within 1-2 business days. If the return is appropriate, a pickup date and time will be arranged free of charge.


After we receive your returned item and inspect its condition, we will process your refund or exchange. Refunds will be sent to your original method of payment. Refunds might take 1-2 billing cycles to post to your credit card statement, depending on your bank. We will notify you by email when your return has been processed.


Plants that have been removed from their original nursery pots are not eligible for return or exchange.

Non-plant items that have been used or damaged (including any packaging) are not eligible for return or exchange.

All sales are final on discounted items, and they cannot be returned or exchanged.


Questions or concerns about our return policy? Please contact us at ashley@pollenplants.co