Why Are My Spider Plant Leaves Turning Brown? [DETAILS]

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The common Spider Plant is a familiar, easy-to-grow houseplant hailing from South Africa. This hardy plant is available in several shades of green as well as several attractive variegated versions.

If you have an indoor location that is consistently warm, moderately humid and provides bright, indirect sunlight. 

spider plant displayed and growing in a coffee cupPin

If you use nice, light, well-draining potting soil and water correctly, you should not have any problems with these cheery, virtually pest-free plants.

In this article, we’ll take about why your Spider plants have brown tips on their leaves and how to fix it.

5 Reasons For Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) Leaves Turning Brown

Problems such as browning leaves arise when conditions are less than ideal. The most common reasons for this include:

#1 – Insufficient Light

If your plant is not getting at least six hours a day of bright indirect light, especially during the growing season, the leaves tips and margins will turn brown while the rest of the foliage fades to yellow.

If left in the dark for too long, your plant will begin shedding its leaves, and any new growth will be discolored and soft.

Too much sun exposure will also result in yellow and wilting leaves.

Remember to keep your Spider Plant near a window delivering good light for at least six hours of the day.

Bright, direct sunlight should be filtered through a sheer curtain.

#2 – Low Humidity

If your indoor plant is getting the right amount of the right of light, the margins of the leaves are turning yellow, and the tips are turning brown.

Your plant may not be getting enough ambient moisture.

This can cause wilting along with stunted, shriveled new growth.

To resolve this problem, mist your Spider Plant daily. Or make a humidity tray by placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water. As the water evaporates, the air around the plant will be humidified.

You can also use a plant humidifier to maintain the humidity levels.

#3 – Browning Leaves On Spider Plants From Lack of Water

If your spider plant’s leaves begin to curl under, and its lower leaves become yellow, brown, and fall off altogether, you may not be watering enough.

  • Underwatering can cause the edges of the leaves to take on a scorched appearance.
  • When new leaves grow, they will quickly die back.
  • To remedy this problem, give your plant a thorough, deep watering.
  • Do this by watering slowly over the entire soil surface, allowing excess water to pour through the pot’s drainage holes.
  • Alternately, water from below by setting the pot in a basin or bucket of water for half an hour or so until the soil is completely soaked.
  • Be sure not to leave it for longer than an hour, as this is detrimental to the plant.
  • In the future, keep a close eye on the moisture in the soil. Never let the soil dry out completely.
  • When the plant’s soil is close to dry but not entirely dry, give your plant another thorough watering.

In contrast, overwatering can result in root rot and your Spider plant developing brown tips. 

This is because spider plant roots dying will hinder the plants from taking up water and necessary nutrients. So ensure you’re using a proper watering schedule to keep your plant healthy and happy.

#4 – Dry Brown Leaves From Too Much Fertilizer

Fertilizer can cause salt to build up in the soil, and Spider Plants are very sensitive to this.

The excessive salt buildup will cause leaf tips to turn brown.

To avoid this problem, be sure to use very light, airy, well-draining potting soil.

Fertilize spider plants only once a month using a half dose of standard liquid houseplant fertilizer.

Use the pour-through method of watering to wash excessive salt out of the spider plant’s soil.

#5 – Bad Water

If you have very hard water in your area, or if your city water has too much fluoride or chlorine in it, your Spider Plant may suffer from brown leaf tips.

To prevent this, water with distilled water or rainwater instead of tap water. Using soil with high calcium levels will also prevent fluoride toxicity.

#6 – Bacterial Leaf Spot or Bacterial Leaf Blight Disease

Bacterial leaf spot can affect spider plants and many other types of plants. Plants can get leaf blight disease from contaminated soil, water, or plant debris. One symptom is the appearance of brown tips on the spider plant’s leaves. 

As the disease progresses, the brown spots may spread and become larger. If left untreated, the disease will cause the leaves to wilt and die. 

To prevent bacterial leaf spot maintain good hygiene practices, such as:

  • Clean pruning tools 
  • Avoid overwatering 

How do you control and prevent the spread of Bacterial Leaf Spot Disease?

For Spider plants affected by bacterial leaf spots:

  • Remove the affected leaves 
  • Treat the plant with a copper-based fungicide

Can My Spider Plant be Saved?

Spider Plants are generally very resilient plants and will usually recover from poor conditions if the problems are recognized.

You can remove the spider plant brown tips using a pair of sharp scissors. Make sure to sterilize the tool with alcohol to avoid infection when using it again.

Avoiding overhead watering and improving circulation will also prevent this from happening. 

It may take a while for your damaged plant to recover, but while it’s recovering, it will probably produce a bunch of baby plantlets, so start fresh!

More on Caring For Spider Plants

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