What To Do About Spider Plant Leaves Turning Brown

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The 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.

spider plant displayed and growing in a coffee cupspider plant displayed and growing in a coffee cup

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

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

5 Reasons For Spider Plant Leaves Turning Brown

Problems such as browning leaves arise when conditions are less than ideal, for example:

#1 – Insufficient Light: If your plant is not getting at least six hours a day of bright, indirect sunlight, the tips and margins of the leaves will tend to 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.

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

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

#2 – Low Humidity: If your plant is getting the right amount of the right kind of light, yet 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 place the pot on a tray of pebbles and water so the water evaporates, the air around the plant will be humidified.

You may also like our article: Are Spider Plants Poisonous To Cats?

#3 – Lack of Water: If your plant’s leaves begin to curl under, and its lower leaves become yellow and then brown and then 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 surface of the soil, 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. 

When it is close to dry, but not entirely dry, give your plant another thorough watering.

#4 – 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 a very light, airy, well-draining potting soil. 

Fertilize 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 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 filtered water or rainwater.

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 and addressed. 

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!

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