Indoor plant leaves turning brown is the most frequent reason your houseplant is not getting the essential attention it requires, is afflicted with pests and illnesses, or is merely going through a natural phase.
To discover more, continue reading as we examine each potential cause and its accompanying solutions.
- Why Are the Leaves of Indoor Plants Turning Brown?
- How Do You Fix Brown Leaves on Indoor Plants?
Why Are the Leaves of Indoor Plants Turning Brown?
The leaves of indoor plants turn brown because of not meeting the right light requirements, having low humidity, or watering issues with bad quality. It may also go through fertilization issues, an infestation of pests or diseases, temperature fluctuation, and the natural aging process.
– Not Meeting the Light Responsibility
Determining your plant’s precise lighting requirements is important because different plant types have varying needs. While some plants that survive indoors need full sun to thrive, others can tolerate little shade to full shade. If lower leaves turn brown or yellow, the plant may not receive enough light.
The leaves of plants that are struggling to grow may also turn brown when placed in a spot where they receive too much direct sunlight or when they don’t get enough sunshine exposure. If the discoloration is only present on the side of the green plant not in front of the light source, it is probably because it is not receiving enough sunlight.
– Low Humidity
If you notice that the browning is only on the ends of the leaves while the edges are still green, the plant could not be getting enough humidity. Numerous typical houseplants are originally from the jungle. In contrast, homes often have low humidity levels, especially during the chilly, dry winter months, so houseplants may display signs of brown leaf tips when that happens.
– Watering Issues
You must provide the right amount of water for houseplants because both under and overwatering lead to serious issues. Inconsistent watering can also cause the browning of the leaf edges and tips. The browning tips of your houseplant leaves are frequently an indication that you are not watering them enough. This will result in insufficient water being taken up to the leaves because whatever is on the soil will already have been absorbed by the roots.
As a result, leaves will start to wilt and turn brown before dropping off; however, it may begin with the outer leaves of bushier plants, which most frequently occur from the bottom up. On the other hand, giving plants too much water can be just as harmful to them as providing them with too little. When plants are overwatered, the air in the soil is forced out, resulting in water filling every pore space.
Without oxygen, your plant will essentially drown, and the leaves will begin to turn brown as it dies. Furthermore, it may result in root rot, which may ultimately prevent the roots from functioning to absorb water and nutrients from the soil, and this is how the plant’s leaves will begin to wilt and turn brown.
– Water Quality
If you are using tap water, its content like fluoride and chlorine can result in brown leaf tips on your plant, especially if you have delicate species like prayer plants, calatheas, or spider plants. Your houseplant leaves turn brown due to many different factors, and the quality is one of them, so if you water them with tap water that is rich in minerals, the plant will weaken and show brown tips. In addition, it might also be because the plant’s essential needs still need to be met.
– Fertilization Issues
To avoid nutrition issues, it’s crucial to provide your indoor plant with the sufficient amount of fertilizer that it requires. When an appropriate nutrient is lacking due to under-fertilization, the plant will go into self-preservation mode. This is when the plant maximizes its growth based on the available resources. It will cause the older leaves to turn brown and fall off while channeling all the other resources to the younger parts of the plant.
Another common reason for browning leaf tips is fertilized excessively. This can result in fertilizer burn, wherein the salts from fertilizers may accumulate in the soil over time. This buildup of salt may either trap water in the soil, preventing it from reaching the roots of the plant, or the salts may directly harm the roots, preventing water intake.
– Pests and Diseases
Although problems with pests and diseases are less frequent in indoor houseplants than in outdoor plants, it still happens and can cause the leaves to turn brown in specific locations or patches. Plants that are plagued with insects like scale, mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids develop brown blotches on their leaves.
These insects may cling to your leaves and feed on the water and carbohydrates found in the plant tissues, leaving behind brown “lesions” wherever they have been. Unexpected dark spots on a plant’s leaves frequently result from a disease attacking the plant tissue in that location, particularly fungal diseases. Fungal diseases can also result in brown spots on leaves because the fungus targets a specific area of the leaf, killing the cells and causing them to turn brown.
– Temperature Fluctuation
The majority of houseplants can adapt to and suit the temperature inside a home. However, extreme temperature changes cannot be well tolerated by plants and can cause them stress, which can result in the browning of the leaves because they would go through extreme temperatures.
Moving plants to a new area or potting them in new containers is occasionally necessary. Even if you try to adapt your plant gradually, this shift in circumstances may put it into shock, resulting in entire leaves turning brown and eventually falling off.
– Natural Process of Aging
It is normal for older leaves to completely turn brown and eventually fall off as your plant matures and flourishes. The browning and eventual loss of leaves allow the plant to focus its limited resources on the development of new leaves.
How Do You Fix Brown Leaves on Indoor Plants?
To fix brown leaves on indoor plants, you must know the specific light requirements it needs, increase the humidity level, have a consistent watering schedule, and irrigate with rainwater. You must fertilize it to their needs, do a routine check-up of pests and temperature, and provide the right care.
– Know the Specific Light Requirement
To find out how much sunlight your particular plants need, check online or with a nearby nursery or garden center. If plants are not getting enough light, consider shifting them to a new spot inside your house first, and if they are still not improving, you can provide grow lights to be used as supplemental illumination.
Meanwhile, for plants receiving too much sunlight, moving them further away from windows is better as the light intensity decreases noticeably. You can also use sheer curtains to lessen the intensity of the light that your plant receives.
– Increase Humidity
Use a humidifier, a pebble tray, or a terrarium, or arrange plants together to allow their collective foliage to hold in more moisture and increase humidity levels. Which means that, if your home is excessively dry, mist your plants every day, especially in the winter.
Another way to maintain high humidity levels is to group indoor plants together. Put their pots in a shallow tray on top of a layer of pebbles to increase moisture even further. Now is the time when you can add water only to the pebbles’ tops, or the rim of the tray.
– Have a Consistent Watering Schedule
Whether it is being watered in such a small quantity or overly the issues that you should know that all indoor plants, aside from succulents, prefer a steady source of hydration. Instead of pouring a large amount of water at once and then trickling water on your plant, it is preferable to water it consistently.
Check the amount of water you provide your plant according to its needs. Some plants prefer their soil always to be moist, while others prefer it to temporarily dry out before receiving additional water. Review the soil’s moisture content as you place your index finger, and only irrigate it once the soil has dried out enough for the plant you are growing.
Make sure to empty the saucer so that moisture doesn’t build up within the pot and cause the roots to rot, which would cause a whole new set of problems. You may also bottom water your houseplants by locating the pot in a few inches of water and letting it sit there for about 10 minutes, or until the drainage hole lets moisture through.
– Use Rainwater
If you are using a water softener system that uses sodium or hard water from the tap, you will need to have a different water supply. A good alternative to this is rainwater. You can start collecting rainwater, or if you have money to spare, you can either purchase filtered water or use a water filtration system.
– Fertilize According to the Plant’s Needs
Using the right fertilizer and following the instructions on the package label are the best ways to address issues with nutrient levels. It is optional to fertilize more frequently than the manufacturer advises.
In addition, plant growth slows down in the colder autumn and winter months, which means you need to reduce the application of fertilizer or completely stop it; otherwise, your plant may have salt buildup. In short, when that happens, you must completely rinse the buildup out of the soil, so one must be aware of this; as a result, put your plants in the sink or bathtub and fill the container with distilled water until the water flows out freely.
– Do a Routine Checkup
The most crucial step in solving these issues is routinely checking your plants for pest infestation or illness and acting swiftly to remedy them. You could now cut off those leaves to stop the issue from spreading if it just affects a small area of the plant. If not, apply an insecticide or fungicide to the plant.
– Always Check the Temperature
Inspect and try to ensure your plant is not located in any areas where it can get chilly drafts from windows or doors or be directly exposed to air from your vents. This includes both the heat produced by a furnace and the chill produced by an air conditioner.
– Provide Proper Care
Unlike the other factors, there is no way to correct environmental adaptation or aging and stop this from occurring because it is a natural process. It can take a number of weeks to even months for a plant to adapt.
Most houseplants lose their oldest, lowest leaves, which turn yellow and brown before dropping off. This frequently happens as a new leaf is forming. To help the plant in adjusting to its new surroundings during this time, just concentrate on providing proper care conditions.
Having brown leaves on your plants can be worrisome, but now that we have discussed the reasons and their corresponding solutions, you are better informed on how to combat them, so here are the key points:
- Browning of your houseplant’s leaves can happen if it is not receiving the proper care it needs, such as sufficient light, water, nutrients, humidity, and temperature.
- Pests and diseases can be prevented by frequently checking your plant to spot them as early as possible. You can either pick the insects out or use an appropriate insecticide or fungicide.
- Environmental adaptation and aging are natural processes that your plant can go through, which can cause the browning of its leaves.
- What you can do during the acclimatization and aging times is to provide the proper care your plant needs to get through this phase.
After reading everything we have discussed here, you are better equipped to ensure your house plant stays as beautiful as it is, and it will be thriving.
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