Since more attention have been paid to the aesthetic value and ecological effects of residential landscape in the research level, the ecological benefits and visual aesthetic effects of residential areas have been deeply studied. The growth performance of plants is related to the landscape effects of plants, therefore it is a feasible approach to select suitable plant species for greening in residential areas by means of evaluating plant growth status. There are many studies on the evaluation index and system of plant growth status, which can systematically analyze the health status of trees, including the overall situation, tree crown, tree trunks, roots, etc. However, applying above method to the study of residential greening is insufficient, and it is rare to investigate and analyze the damage status of plant growth and its causes. In order to study the status and causes of plant damage, 20 residential areas were selected as the research object in Beijing. The species, quantity and status of the damaged plants were analyzed by field investigation. According to the statistical results, the botany characteristics (life type, tree form) of damaged plants were studied, and the causes of growth damage such as planting location and suitability of tree species were further analyzed. The results showed that deciduous trees and shrubs had the largest number of damaged plants, followed by evergreen trees. The analysis of species frequency and tree form also supported this result. The analysis of the plant damage causes showed that the artificial damage caused by unreasonable planting location (distance from building, infrastructure and road) was the main reason, and no tree species were found to be unsuitable for growth in Beijing. Finally, suggestions are put forward to strengthen the further study of planning of trees and shrubs and common tree species in the residential area, and to concern about the gardening behavior.