Spider plants look very beautiful when they have bright and lush foliage. But sometimes the tips of spider plant leaves turn brown.
There are many factors that trigger brown tips like too much sunlight, fertilizer burn, heavy water, low air moisture, and unwanted minerals in the water.
Spider plant brown tips are not a serious problem. The good news is you can easily treat it by making some changes in its care routine.
If your plant has brown leaf tips don’t worry you can cut off the brown tips of spider plants. Do this smartly and make cuts at an angle to maintain the beauty of the plant.
Further details are discussed below:
Why is my spider plant turning brown at the tips?
If your spider plant has brown tips then identify the cause from the below list. All common causes are listed below with solutions.
Overwatering and underwatering both result in brown tips in spider plants. The problem is both these conditions have similar symptoms. A new grower cannot differentiate them.
In overwatering, plant soil becomes waterlogged and this damages the spider plant roots. Damaged roots cannot absorb water, nutrients, and oxygen.
Due to this damage, your plant becomes nutrient deficient and also loses the water that is stored in the leaves. This first sign of lack of nutrients and water is brown tips.
In underwatering, the soil of the plant becomes too dry and roots become unable to absorb nutrients from the soil. Due to the absence of water (moisture).
In these conditions, spider plants start using the stored moisture to prepare the food from light. This turns the plant leaves yellow and then brown.
How to prevent and fix this water damage?
The first step is to cut and remove the leaves that are dead and have brown tips. The reason is they will not turn green again at any cost.
By removing them you can save the energy of your plant.
If underwatering is the cause then take your plant and soak it in the water until the soil stops absorbing water. Then allow it to drain extra water in the saucer and empty it.
Then place it back in its permanent location.
In overwatering, at first, you need to cut off the water completely. Then take the plant out of its pot and cut the damaged roots.
Curing an overwatered plant is a little more difficult than a dehydrated plant.
Overwatered spider plants will take a few days to heal. After cutting the roots plant them in the new soil. Place it on its location and do not water for 10 hours.
After 10 hours you can use a spray bottle to mist water on the soil to keep it moist.
Chlorine and Fluoride in your Tap water
You will be surprised to know that more than 80% of the spider plant brown tips cases are caused by city water.
Chlorine and fluoride bath salts are not good to plant roots. They are neither nutrients nor required for plant growth.
But city water authorities add these chemicals in city water to make it suitable for human consumption. These chemicals kill all types of harmful bacteria.
Unfortunately, they accumulate in the plant soil and block the normal function of the roots.
According to the University of Florida, fluoride is more damaging for plants. It damages the internal tissues of the plant leaves. This makes the spider plant leaves brown at tips.
If you are sure that chlorine and fluoride both are damaging your plant. Then there are some full-proof solutions to correct the damage.
First of all, use filtered water to flush these chemicals from the soil. keep flushing the soil until the draining water gets clear.
Secondly, stop using tap water and start using filtered water. Actually, rainwater is best for all types of plants. You can collect it in rain barrels.
Low Air Moisture in Room
Good Humid level is ideal for the spider plant to grow. It prevents the plant from being dry and dehydrated.
In low humidity, spider plants use the stored moisture and they also become unable to absorb moisture from the air.
This turns the spider plant leaves brown.
The best solution is to use an electric humidifier and give nice comfort to your plants in the winter season.
Because the cool air always lacks in air moisture.
If you do not have a humidifier then you can use the pebble tray method or you can use a spray bottle and mist water on the plant.
The kitchen and bathroom are two places with high humidity than rest of the house. You can place your plant in your kitchen, it is safe to do so.
But when you move it to the bathroom you must make sure the air circulation. Because the lack of fresh air flow can result in a bacterial infestation.
High humidity with no air circulation invites many bacterial diseases.
High Intense Light
Generally, spider plants do well in indirect bright light. They develop brown tips only when you leave them in direct sunlight for a long period of time.
The second drawback of direct sunlight is sunburn. Spider plants cannot handle too much sunlight. High intense light makes the leaves slightly reddish in color. Then they turn brown and crispy.
Redness is the first sign of sunburn.
Sunburns are a common problem in the spring season because the days are longer and the sun emits high intense sharp rays. Bring your plant indoors or the sunrays will suck all the moisture by leaving your plant weak and almost dead.
If your spider plant is growing indoors near the sunny window. Then move it to the less bright place, especially on hot summer days.
Spider plant is a tough plant it can handle different growing conditions. But your negligence can infect your plant roots and leaves.
Root rot, leaf rot are two main fungal diseases that can infect your plant. If you give excessive water to it.
This result in brown tips of spider plant.
Learn the right watering technique to avoid this problem.
How to treat spider plant fungus?
Cut the damaged leaves by using sharp shears. Use copper-based fungicides to kill the fungi in seconds.
But before the treatment, you must move your infected plant away from other healthy plants. This way you can save your other healthy plants from infection.
Too much use of fertilizers
Too much use of fertilizers results in the salt build-up in the root zone. It also causes toxicity in the soil. This results in root damages.
And we all know damaged roots cannot function properly and the spider plant becomes nutrient deficient. This deficiency of nutrients and water turn the leaf tips brown.
But as you know you can cut the brown tips off spider plant to save its life.
Whereas in root damage you need to take the plant out of its pot and cut the infected and damaged roots.
Then repot the plant by using freshly prepared soil.
Before repotting it wash the current plant container with dishwashing soap and warm water to kill all kinds of pathogens.
How to fix overfertilized spider plants?
There is only one method of fixing the overfertilized plants that is flushing the soil with clean and filtered water. You can also use tap water if it is free of chlorine and fluoride.
Flush the soil until you see the clear water draining from the bottom holes.
Then place the plant in indirect bright light so that the extra water evaporates easily from the soil. To avoid overwatering related issues.
Why you must cut off the brown leaves of spider plants?
To encourage the new growth of purely new foliage you need to prune your spider plant. When you remove the dead leaves, this saves a huge amount of energy.
Then the plant spends this saved energy to develop new growth.
This also makes your plant dense and leaves grow long and wide. To cut your plant please use sterilized pair of shears.
Sterilization of tools is necessary to avoid all types of plant infections.
How to trim infected and damaged leaves?
Trim the leaves at an angle so that they do not look ugly. You can pinch the brown tips and cut the yellow leaves with a sharp knife to give them a nice shape.
This way your plant will look good and appealing.
If you find using shears and knives difficult then you can use sterilized pair of scissors. After cutting the plant apply rubbing alcohol on each cut.
This will kill the remaining bacteria and prevent the further spread of pathogens.