Why Are My Indoor Plant’s Leaves Turning Brown?

If a plant turns any color that is not its natural shade of green, this is generally a sign that all is not well with your plants. Why are my indoor plant’s leaves turning brown? There could be many reasons for this – and most of them are fixable! Let’s figure out how.

Why Are My Indoor Plant’s Leaves Turning Brown?

why are my indoor plants leaves turning brown

There are a good few things that can cause your plant’s leaves to turn brown – but don’t panic, this doesn’t mean your plant is done for!

We’re going to run through the list of things that can cause a plant’s leaves to turn brown, and what you can do to sort out the problem.

  • Sunburn. Plants like the sunlight, sure, but they cannot tolerate getting burnt! Your plant may be receiving too much light, or simply be too close to a window in the hot sun.
  • Lack of water. Not enough water is a sure fire way to kill a plant! If it does not have enough to drink it will signal its distress by withdrawing support from some of the leaves – brown spots are a sign of this.
  • Too much water. Conversely, overwatering your plants can kill them just as easily as not enough water. Make sure you are not giving them too much to drink, as this can rot the roots.
  • Excessive heat. If a plant gets too hot, they cannot move to the shade like we can! All they can do is show their misery with browning leaves and drooping. Try a cooler spot in the house.
  • Ageing. Finally, the browning of your leaves – if it is just on the older leaves and the rest of the plant seems fine – can be just the plant replacing its old leaves with new ones, and should be nothing much to worry about.

Why Are The Tips Of My Indoor Plants Turning Brown?

Brown leaves all over your plants is a cause for concern – but what if it’s not the whole leaf, and just the tips that are browning?

This is likely caused by watering issues – you are either giving too much or too little, and your plant is trying to tell you about it!

Underwatering is the main cause of browning on the tips of the leaves, whereas underwatering can cause brown spots in the center of the leaves.

Check the moisture levels by pushing your finger into the soil up the the first knuckle. If it is dry all the way down then you have found your problem, and you will need to get the watering can out.

Brown leaf tips can also be caused by a lack of humidity – some plants like to be kept moist, so regular misting is needed to keep the leaves healthy.

Poor ventilation can also cause brown tips to the leaves – if your plants are indoors, make sure they get some fresh air occasionally!

How Do You Fix Brown Leaves On Plants?

How Do You Fix Brown Leaves On Plants?

Browning leaves is, all too often, a sign of overwatering or underwatering (yes, I know it’s strange that opposite issues can cause the same problems, but there we are!)

You can easily check if this is the problem, and discover how to fix it, by following a few steps:

  1. Remove the plant from the pot to check the soil and the roots over. Any rotten or dead roots should be snipped off the main root ball at this point.
  2. If the soil is dry and crumbly, you should give your plant some fresh compost – then give it a good soaking.
  3. If your soil is sodden, try to shake as much off the root ball as you can, then repot in fresh, dry compost. Your plant should start to recover!

A lack of humidity is also the cause for browning leaves on some plants, especially those from tropical areas which like to be kept warm.

You can help to improve their issues if you increase the humidity in the area you keep them, and it’s pretty easy!

  1. Fill a spray bottle with water (rain or spring water is best, but you can also use tap water).
  2. Mist the plants with this every day or every other day, and you should see them start to improve.
  3. If your house is very dry, you can also consider running a humidifier to help your plants.

Some plants can suffer with too much feeding – a build up of slats and minerals from the fertilizer can play havoc with your leaves.

  1. Flush the plant through thoroughly – we’re talking watering it until it starts to run out of the drainage holes!
  2. You really should use distilled water for this – it contains no minerals at all, so it will help to clean off the roots and remove the build up without adding any more.

This is a fantastic, detailed video, taking you through the causes for brown leaves, and how to fix the problem:

Should I Cut The Brown Tips Of My Plants?

No one wants too see their plants becoming discolored and sad – it is not only a sign of the plant not being as healthy as it could, but also it’s not very pretty!

If the leaves are browning just on the tips, you can snip off these edges, following the shape of the leaf, to make your plant look perfect.

This will not damage the plant at all – after all, when leaves are brown it is a sign that the plant has stopped sending them nutrients, so you won’t be doing them any harm.

Simply take a pair of kitchen scissors, and carefully cut away the brown tips. Follow the natural shape of the leaf, and try to leave as much green as you can!

Make sure you also adjust the plant’s conditions so that it grows healthily in the future, then you shouldn’t have to get your scissors out again.

Here is a good article, showing you the many reasons why your plant’s leaves turn berown, and what you can to do fix them.

Final Thoughts

If we wanted brown plants, we’d paint them, right? If you have been dealing with browning leaves then you will know how frustrating it can be!

Now that you have a better idea about why your plant’s leaves are turning brown, you can fix the problem and get them back to being a gorgeous green jungle again.

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