Spider plant leaves turning brown is what leave a gardener frightened for our plant’s health. These subtle beauties are the perfect addition to any home, with their vibrant green leaves and charming little spiderettes that dangle like jewels.
However, nothing can ruin the look of your spider plant quite like browning tips. Fear not, as in this post, we’re going to share all the common causes of those unsightly brown tips, and how to fix them for good.
- What Causes Spider Plants Leaves to Turn Brown?
- How To Deal With Browning Leaves of Spider Plants?
What Causes Spider Plants Leaves to Turn Brown?
The causes for spider plant leaves to turn brown are poor soil and water issues. Moreover, it could also be due to salt build-up, an abundance of sunlight, or infection with diseases. It can also be due to poor humidity, or growing excessively.
Spider plant care doesn’t mandate too much meddling. They are resilient and low-maintenance, adorable pieces of pot art, making them ideal for any hobbyist! A great deal of effort is involved in killing these so, if a spider plant turns brown on you, it’s not all over yet because the solutions will bring it back.
– Poor Soil
Low-quality soils lead to all sorts of problems, most commonly connected to poor drainage, but it doesn’t stop there. These soils will often be too compact and won’t drain well, causing your plant to suffocate in its water bed, and this is one of the common reasons why it starts to develop brown tips on the leaves.
Too much moisture is never a good thing, and without receiving enough air, the roots will begin to shut down, eventually leading to yellow and brown leaves.
Soils can go to another extreme, too, being unable to hold enough moisture to feed the roots. So you should always be aware of how your soil’s texture and quality have become. This is why Chlorophytum comosum, better known as spider plants and their leaflets, will not be able to grow rapidly in all directions reaching upwards nor will they grow and mature, reaching 24 inches.
– Watering Issues
Any kind of water stress is bad for the plants. Water is the quintessential substance but, at the same time, the most unforgiving one. If you water spider plants in an excessive way, then you bring them the risk of developing root rot. This can render the roots unable to drink up the water, and as a result, your leaves will wilt and die.
On the other hand, water it less than the requirement is just as dangerous. Some of us are too afraid of overwatering issues, so we sometimes give too little to our indoor plants. Some enthusiasts will even measure the amount of water they provide. Nothing wrong with that, but this can cause parts of your soil to remain dry, creating air pockets that will dry up the roots, thus browning and drying huge parts of your indoor spider plant.
Both extremes can make your plant suffer, and having poor water quality can have our spider plant turning brown too, and if you’re using plain tap water with too many minerals, you may want to rethink this because it would harm the plant.
– Building up of Salt
Fertilization is another life-giving activity that can backfire on us and have our leaf tips turn brown. If we give our plants excess fertilizer, they often won’t be able to take it all up, making salts crystalize and stay in the soil. In combination with poor soil and watering habits, the salt build-up on roots will burn and destroy them.
You should never ballpark the amount of fertilizer you’re using on any plant, but this also goes into two extremes. Either you’ve put an excess amount of fertilizer in water or you might have combined a lower-than-necessary amount of water with the proper fertilizer dose in your indoor plants.
Either way, if you’re experiencing some sort of shriveled, brown tips on leaves or fully dehydrated leaves, and if the soil is staying moist longer than usual, you’re likely in trouble with too much fertilizer residue in the soil.
– Excessive Sunlight
Spider plants are often assumed to be sun-loving plants that can handle direct sunlight without issue. However, the abundance of sun exposure would easily be damaging to spider plants.
So note that just as the temperature often goes above 104 degrees Fahrenheit and your plants are under direct light, they will begin to develop brown spots on their leaves. This can cause them to wilt, shrivel and even collapse as it would become weaker.
To prevent your spider plants from becoming burnt by the sun, you should closely monitor different signs of damage. If you notice brown spots or if the plant feels soft to the touch, it’s probably getting too much sun.
Out of all diseases, spider plants are particularly prone to catching bacterial leaf blight, which can quickly kill the little ones growing. This one will most commonly be triggered by combined moisture, stale air, and heat. You’ll first experience brown lesions on leaf tips before they’re completely taken over and turn yellow and drooping.
– Poor Humidity
Spider plants love to sit in aerated but well-humified areas. Any extreme that places them in too dry or too wet conditions can cause yellow leaves. If you live in mild or temperate climates, air humidity shouldn’t be a problem in the summertime.
However, cold winter months will bring increased dry air, especially if you like to overheat the living space. Moreover, dry winters require you to group these plants and turn that humidifier on, or mist the surrounding air every now and then.
– Too Big For The Home
Becoming pot-bound is a serious issue for any plant, and now that the foliage grows, so do the roots. And once they begin to hit against the pot walls, they will quickly become entangled and fight for the room with other roots. Every single root of your plant is important, and they should all have enough space to grow.
You’ll spot root boundness by plant base going above the ground, or if the parts of your spider plant leaves go partially brown, while others may seem fine. Another way to determine if the plant has become pot-bound is that it can be easily taken out of the pot without any resistance and wiggle.
How To Deal With Browning Leaves of Spider Plants?
To deal with browning leaves of spider plants, you should first use a proper potting mix, and improve the irrigation of the plant. Then, be cautious with feeding, and flush the soil. Then, you should increase the humidity, deal with the diseases, and repot the plant properly.
– Use Proper Potting Mix
Start from the ground up if you want to keep your beautiful plant lush and healthy. In addition, one of the ideal things you should do is to make sure your plant is potted in high-quality, well-draining, and additive-free soil. Avoid using synthetic fertilizers and moisture-holding chemicals because it can stress the plant.
Make sure you go for a soil mixture rich in organic matter, allowing for proper drainage. If you wish to make your own soil mix, you can blend your soil by combining peat moss or coco coir with perlite or pumice, and throw in some worm castings to give your spider plant an extra boost of nutrients. Giving your spider plant a solid foundation to grow and have a great increase its chances of success.
– Improve The Irrigation
Proper hydration is massively important for overall plant health. But don’t go overboard with watering, as that’s a surefire way to root rot!
Try to keep some balance between keeping the soil moist and letting it go completely dry. The best guiding rule is to let the top two inches of soil dry up before watering again. Using a pot with drainage holes is another way to allow excess water to escape is a bonus.
Perform watering slowly and deeply, allowing water into every nook and cranny. Then, let the pot drain to make sure that your spider plant isn’t standing in a puddle of water. If you’re able, don’t use tap water for your watering and go for filtered water.
– Be Mindful About the Feeding
Providing your plant with the right amount of fertilizer is crucial for its growth and health! However, synthetic fertilizers we all use can create a buildup of chemicals and salts, so go easy on them.
Although natural compost isn’t always readily available, options like a balanced, all-purpose granular fertilizer exists. Just remember that with fertilization, less is always more.
In short, apply granules of fertilizer only once per season, and if you have to go with liquid options, don’t use more than what the label says you should. This is because spider plants take a break during the fall and winter seasons, so no need to feed them during this time.
– Flush the Soil
If you notice some gross, slimy brown-orange or white crust on the soil surface of your spider plant, you’re likely dealing with excess nutrients in the pot, so it’s time to do some soil flushing. But beware, because this method is only for pots with drainage holes, or it will be filled excessively with water.
Use a large bucket or sink and put your pot in it. Then pour some rainwater or distilled water through the pot, and go with at least four times the volume of the pot to ensure a good flush.
– Increase Humidity
If you wish to start increasing humidity levels around the spider plant, there are different ways to accomplish it. For instance, you can use a tray of pebbles can be used underneath the plant’s pot, and when the water evaporates, it will increase the moisture around the plant.
Another option is to give your spider plant a light misting with a spray bottle. Be careful not to do it excessively, because too much moisture on the leaves can lead to other issues. This shouldn’t be thought of as a replacement to your watering regime, but rather an addition.
If you want to take measures to another level, consider investing in a small humidifier. Other than helping your plant, it will greatly improve your overall air quality. To keep the moisture amount in the right parameters, you can get a humidity monitor. This device allows you to adjust your humidification strategy.
– Dealing With Disease
Diseases are best dealt with through the use of horticultural or neem oils. If you’re dealing with a heavy case of a fungal disease, start by removing the affected leaves before applying any treatment.
If your case is more serious, you can use copper-based sprays. Also, sprays containing chlorothalonil, propiconazole, or thiophanate-methyl can be just as effective, but be careful about using them in closed spaces.
– Re-pot The Plant Properly
If the roots have become too large for the pot, and it is growing out of it, it’s time to change clothes. Repotting is an essential part of maintaining the vitality of your plants.
When choosing a pot, opt for one that is only slightly bigger than your previous container. Going up to one or two pot sizes ensures that the roots have enough breathing room, without risking waterlogging or compacting the soil and leaving the roots without any air.
Always go for a pot with holes in the bottom for better drainage. Always look to repot your spider plant during the spring or summer, just as it is beginning to grow actively. Gently loosen the root ball and remove any dead or damaged roots before planting in the new pot.
Spider plant brown tips are no joke, so you should always cautiously approach this situation, so to review, here are some of the things that might have happened:
- Always perform a close-up inspection to determine what’s wrong. This will help you achieve better results.
- Knowing the culprits behind the brown leaf tips is only half of the battle, but you can always tackle it with repotting, or applying the right fertilizer amount.
- Sun damage, over and underwatering, and a lack or abundance of nutrients can all be dealt with fairly easily by simply changing and tweaking your approach.
- However, some things can cause you to approach them more holistically, changing a whole array of living conditions for your spider plant.
With the right care and attention, your spider plant will continue to thrive and bring joy to your space for years to come.
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