Why Are My Houseplant’s Leaves Turning Brown?
In a week, you bought a beautiful houseplant and put it next to a bright window, but suddenly its leaves started browning or falling off. What did you do wrong? If you are going to answer this question, you will need to know a few things about the plant, its environment, and the care it has received from you.
Know Your Houseplant
Imagine buying a dog without being aware that it requires high-quality food, water, exercise, and affection to thrive. It’s possible to neglect one or more of the puppy’s needs even when you have the best intentions, and you may see your puppy grow thin, despondent, or sick. Just like animals have different needs, plants also have different needs, such as cacti ficus and spider plants. In order to foster the growth of your plant, you must understand where your plant originated and what conditions it needs to thrive.
Ensure that you understand the specific requirements of the plant before purchasing:
- Would this plant prefer a certain type of soil?
- Is it required to receive sunlight and shade? How much and what kind of sunlight is it suited to?
- How much water is enough (and how much is too much)?
- What type of fertilizer does the plant need; and how often should it be fed?
- What kinds of pests or parasites might infest this plant? If so, how can these be eliminated and the plant kept safe?
It is recommended to mist plants that require higher humidity levels every day. If your plant variety is susceptible to being revived by additional spritzing, choose your spritz accordingly.
What Causes Brown Leaves
It is not uncommon to find brown leaves on houseplants, even with the best care. If you observe the lower leaves on your plant turning pale yellow, then turning brown, then dropping off – this is perfectly normal. This can be observed with many tropical plants. The plant soon becomes bare from the stem down.
Insufficient light: If the lower leaves begin to turn brown or yellow, the plant may be getting too little light. In plants which have discoloration on the side away from the light source, the plant is probably not getting enough light.
Too much heat: This often results from a lack of moisture, however, too much heat will cause leaves to curl, become curly, and finally fall off. It may also be necessary to increase the water supply in the plant if the other leaves are healthy. If the overall health of the plant is good, introduce some airflow to cool it.
Inadequate water: Plants that are inadequately watered will initially wilt before their leaves turn brown and fall off. On bushier plants, it might also begin with the outer leaves. Usually, this starts at the bottom and moves upward.
There is too little humidity: If the browning is restricted to the leaf tip, but the leaf margin remains green, the plant may not be receiving enough humidity. The humidity requirements of tropical plants may require moisturizing. Too little humidity might cause leaves to develop black spots.
Watering Houseplants with Brown Tips of Leaves
Getting brown tips off of houseplant leaves can be a tricky process, as brown leaves are most commonly caused by over- and underwatering. How can you tell if your plants need more water? Follow these guidelines and you’ll know just how much to give them.
Your houseplants will remain healthy if you have good watering habits. Make sure you do your research before purchasing a houseplant to find out how much water it requires. More information about your plant will enable you to develop a schedule for watering that’s most appropriate for your plant.
Houseplants that develop brown leaf tips may do so because they have been overwatered. When houseplants that aren’t kept in direct sunlight are watered only once or twice a month, a lot of them will not need a lot of watering.
When houseplants do not receive enough water, they can develop leaf burn. Moreover, understanding your specific plant’s water requirements and when to water it can help you avoid this problem.
Type of Water
Depending on the type of water used, some houseplants could become damaged. City water is high in chlorine and other chemicals that can cause the leaves of some houseplants to turn brown. To prevent any potential issues, use distilled water for your houseplants. Softened water is also unhealthful for most houseplants. Additionally, you can let tap water sit for several hours before using it. This will allow the chemicals in the water to evaporate.
Method of Watering
Besides the types of water used, it is also important to consider how to water the plants. In order for houseplants to thrive, you should water them thoroughly so that the water drains freely through the holes. Avoid allowing water to sit in the houseplant.
Misting is beneficial to many houseplants, particularly tropical plants, since it provides them with humidification and refreshment. Spray the leaves of your plants once a week with distilled water and fill a spray bottle with it. In addition, this is a good practice if the environment inside your home has very low humidity.
Watering your plants properly, once you have determined what is causing the brown leaves, can make a big difference in the future health of your plants.
Know When to Water
Ensure that your plants are getting enough water. To find out if your plants need irrigation, you can stick your finger as deep as its second knuckle into the soil. As long as you can feel moisture all the way down your finger, you’re not required to water.
The sides of clay pots can evaporate the water more quickly than those of plastic pots, so they lose moisture more rapidly. The majority of plants grow well in pots that have drainage holes, so ensure that your pots have holes in them. The plates can also be used to catch any excess water that drains from the plant, protecting your patio and furniture.
It is important to not let water splash up onto leaves of the plant, as this can help infect the plant with diseases or insects from the soil. Make sure the plant gets enough water so that all soil looks moist. Also make sure excess water drains away as it passes through the root system to prevent root rot.
Other Causes of Brown Leaves
If watering of the houseplant is not an issue, there are a couple of other reasons why the tips of your plants may appear brown.
Relocation: Moving the plant can cause the leaves to drop when there is a change in sunlight, such as if the plant is moved from one room to another.
Root Bound: The first sign that a plant’s roots are bound is brown or yellow leaves. Therefore, this is one of the first things you should look for. The roots of the plant should grow in circles or appear as a mass, or grow through the bottom of the pot, which indicates the plant needs a larger container.
Over-fertilizing: If you fertilize too much, the soil’s minerals and nutrients generally cause leaves to brown. Brown leaves are related to a number of elements, including chloride, salt, and fluoride. Too much fertilizer may also be responsible. Consider having your soil tested if one of these issues is causing your issue.
Pests and Diseases: The root cause of brown houseplant leaves can be insect infestations or diseases. A plant can be damaged by spider mites and other insects, while blights or other diseases often turn the leaves brown or spotty.
Process of Elimination
There is an elimination process that you must follow if you’re going to figure out exactly what’s wrong with your plants, and each problem requires a different treatment. It is crucial to determine that watering is not the cause of the brown tips on your plants before considering any other possible causes.