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Brown leaf tips, not really your thing?

Brown leaf tips, not really your thing?

Yuck, I Got Brown Leaf Tip!

This can be caused by tainted water, erratic watering (too much, too little, or a combination of both), you may be overfeeding, or you are doing all of the above.

Tainted water:

Your tap water may have too much chlorine or fluoride in it so this can cause that brown leaf tip in your fussier plants like the Calathea, the Alocasia, Spider plant etc.

Ok, so what is your solution then?

Use a distilled water or filtered water with varieties with long scrappy leaves in particular or better yet boil the kettle and leave to sit, cool then water your plant babes. At the very least let your home tap water sit overnight before watering.


Oh yes some of us tend to love our plants a little too much!

If you over fertilise your plants this can also cause brown leaf tips. Unused salts build up in over-fertilised soil and damage the plant's roots, your plant can experience an artificial drought.

This can occur even if you fertilise only now and then. If you use too much fertiliser at once, it won't all be absorbed. Even worse, a sick or dormant plant isn't able to absorb even the normal dose.

So fertilising a sick plant can harm it? Oh yes it can, root hairs that are surrounded by excess salts are injured and, therefore, aren't able to send water up to the plant. This results in the leaf tips drying up and turning brown.

Ok, so what is your solution then?

Next time you are thinking of fertilising your new plant babes - think again. It is also good to note that a premium soil mix will have a slow release fertiliser already added to it, so you should only need to fertilise in the growing seasons. This is the case with outdoor plants too. You pay for what you get with soil mix.

What if I have already got carried away with the fertiliser?
Then you need to wash it away - the salts in the fertliser will only cause the plant to become thirsty and burn the leaf tips.

If the brown tips are causing you grief, trim them back with a pair of clean scissors. Take care to cut just outside the line where the green turns brown; otherwise, you can cause a new brown line to form.

Someone is performing erratic watering (too much, too little, or a combination of both)

The biggest killer of Indoor plants is watering. We are going to say it again "get your watering right" if you are shallow watering then it's hard to tell if you are over or underwatering your plants and this can cause the little brown tips to form. 

Ok, so what is your solution then?

We strongly recommend soaking your plants rather than little drinks, small and often. Wait for the water to drain out away from your soil after a good drink, this would require a pot with a hole in it or a self-watering pot which allows the plant to take up only what it needs via the base of the pot. If your pot is more of a plant sleeve you can then re-pot your plant into an insert that fits your sleeve and then you can take your plant in and out of the pot when soaking. Remember plants like free draining soil not wet and soggy. Another way is to put the bigger guys in the shower and wait till the water has drained away. A guide you can follow could be in the Summertime water weekly - Winter every two weeks (note this is just a guide and some may need more or less)

Overall it's a good idea to go over your plant care regimen and see which of the above factors is the most likely culprit and then adjust.

Or better yet if you're still unsure buy a Sustee watering device it takes out all the guess work.


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