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Why Is My Arrowhead Plant Turning Brown? (Causes+Fix)

Arrowhead is loved for its beautiful foliage and low maintenance. But like all other houseplants, this plant can also face some health problems.

If arrowheads don’t get favorable growing conditions, they can develop brown leaves.

Exposing the plant to direct sunlight, improper watering, low humidity, overfertilization, and sudden temperature changes will lead to brown leaves in arrowhead plants. Maintaining proper watering, lighting, humidity, and temperature can prevent the further browning of leaves.

If you see any brown leaves on the arrowhead, it means the plant is facing some problem, and you need to identify it as quickly as possible to save your arrowhead.

This article will help you identify the problems behind your arrowhead plant turning brown, along with the possible ways to cure your plant.

Arrowhead Plant brown leaves

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

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Why are my arrowhead leaves turning brown?

Low moisture and excess heat are the two major causes of brown leaves.

As arrowheads are tropical plants, they need a warm climate with high humidity.

When the plant gets low humidity and water, they experience dehydration.

Because of this, arrowhead leaves turn brown.

Now, let’s discuss all the possible causes behind brown leaves on the arrowhead plant.

Exposing the plant to extreme heat

Direct sunlight exposure can be the reason for browning leaves on your Syngonium.

Arrowhead plants need full-day sunlight but not direct.

Direct heat can scorch the arrowhead leaves and turn them crispy brown.

Providing arrowhead plants with extreme heat can also cause sunburn.

When the plant receives heat for too long, it loses excess moisture. 

Due to extreme moisture loss, the plant dries up, and the leaves turn brown.

Direct sunlight can cause brown leaves, but heating sources can also cause the same harm.

The heat coming from heaters or radiators can be extremely harmful to arrowheads as it dries the plant entirely.


  • Brown spots on upper leaves, whereas lower leaves are uninfected.
  • Dry soil is a common symptom.

Also read: Arrowhead Plant Sunburn: Signs, Causes & Fix

Underwatering the arrowhead plant

Arrowhead Plant dry soil

If you are not watering your arrowhead on time, it can suffer from various health issues.

Arrowheads thrive in moist conditions, making it extremely difficult for the Syngonium to survive without water.

If the plant is underwatered, the flow of water inside the plant is reduced, and because of this reason, the cells of your plant’s leaves start dying, causing brown tips on leaves.

Watering your arrowheads irregularly without giving them proper attention leads them to underwatering, which can even destroy the plant.

Symptoms: Tight soil, drooping leaves, pale look are the common symptoms.

Also read: How To Water Arrowhead Plant? (How Often+Summer & Winter)

Overwatering the arrowhead plant

Arrowhead Plant overwatered

Overwatering is the most common problem caused by almost every person.

No houseplants like to stay in damp and soggy soil as the plant feels uncomfortable in wet conditions.

If your arrowhead plant stays in the water for a longer period, the roots fail to breathe and get suffocated.

Due to injured roots, the plant stops functioning.

The plant fails to function properly and can also develop various fungal diseases like root rot and should be fixed quickly before the plant is entirely killed.

The leaves turn brown if your arrowhead experiences overwatering and fungal diseases.

Symptoms: Bad smell coming from the soil, yellow leaves, droopy leaves, curly leaves, soft and brown leaves are the common symptoms.

Lack of humidity

Arrowhead Plant temperature

Arrowhead prefers a humid environment for faster growth and the development of gorgeous foliage.

Low humidity will cause the leaf’s tips and edges to turn brown.

Other than that, the leaves will also droop and shrivel.

Arrowhead needs humidity ranging between 40-60% to thrive.

Lack of humidity inside the house increases the transpiration rate.

Due to too much moisture loss by transpiration, the plant starts getting dehydrated, which causes brown leaves.

The problem of low humidity mostly arises during the winter months.

Cold conditions contain less moisture in the atmosphere than warm conditions.

So, the plant needs special care during this time.

Symptoms: Curled and dry leaves stunted growth are the common symptoms.

Also read: Why Is My Arrowhead Plant Curling? (Possible Problem+Fix)


Arrowhead Plant fertilizer

Fertilizing arrowheads frequently with high doses can cause extreme harm to the plant.

Arrowhead plants need to be fertilized once a month during their growing season in summer and spring.

Frequent fertilizing with stronger doses can cause damage to the roots.

It happens because of hard chemicals in the fertilizers.

Arrowhead doesn’t need fertilizers during the winter months and can get overfertilized quite easily during that time if you do so.

Excessive fertilization can make the plant’s leaves extremely dry, brown, and crisp.

Symptoms: Salt build-up in the soil surface, brown tips on leaves, burnt roots are the common symptoms.

Also read: How Often Should You Fertilize Arrowhead Plant? (Best Fertilizer For Arrowhead)

Poor soil

Arrowhead Plant soil needs

Arrowhead plants prefer soil that has suitable moisture retention.

They like to stay in a slightly moist condition to thrive. 

If the soil doesn’t retain enough moisture, the water will drain out fast without properly absorbing the roots.

Due to this, the plant fails to get sufficient water and nutrients and becomes extremely dehydrated, causing brown spots and crispy leaves.

Symptoms: Soil drying faster, leaves turning droopy and curly.

Also read: What Kind Of Soil For Arrowhead Plant? (+Best Soil Mix)

Temperature fluctuations

Arrowhead plants prefer warm temperatures ranging between 60-80°F.

This is why these plants thrive best during the summer and spring seasons when the climate is quite warm. 

All the processes like transpiration, photosynthesis, and respiration of the plant depend on the temperature.

When your arrowhead plants are exposed to extreme cold or warm temperatures, it can affect all the processes, and because of this, they start facing difficulties in surviving.

Due to sudden temperature fluctuations, it becomes hard for the arrowhead plant to adjust, developing brown spots on the leaves.

Symptoms: Dull look, slow growth, and brown spots are the common symptoms.

Also read: Do Arrowhead Plants Go Dormant? (Winter Dormancy+Care)

Poor water quality

Arrowhead Plant watering 2

Giving your arrowhead plant poor quality water that contains hard minerals can be extremely harmful.

People prefer to use tap water for their houseplants that contain unwanted minerals like sodium and chloride, which is very harmful to arrowheads.

Poor quality of water cause stress as the plant fails to obtain nutrients that they need from the water, and the growth gets restricted completely. 

Due to this reason, the tips of the leaves start turning brown.

Symptoms: Chalky leaves, salt build-up on the soil surface

Low light

Arrowhead plants need a whole day of indirect sunlight to thrive.

If your arrowhead plant is not getting enough light, it can lead to brown tips on leaves.

The plant needs light to regulate its daily activities.

If they fail to get sufficient light, the process of photosynthesis slows down, affecting the health of a plant and causing brown and droopy leaves.

Solution: Yellow, brown, wilting leaves, and stunted growth are the common symptoms.

Also read: Arrowhead Plant Light Needs: What Type, How Much & More

How to fix brown leaves on arrowheads?

Arrowhead Plant leaves turning brown

After discussing all the reasons behind brown leaves on the arrowhead plant, let us discuss how to prevent the brown leaves.

Even if your Syngonium is experiencing any health issue, it is never too late for the plant to recover from that problem.

You have to find out the exact problem and cure it without panicking.

Water your arrowhead correctly.

As discussed before, both overwatering and underwatering can cause brown leaves, so it is important to water your arrowhead properly.

  • Water your arrowhead until the roots completely absorb the water to fix underwatering.
  • To fix overwatering, don’t water your plant until the top inches of the soil feel dry and provide them with a whole day of bright indirect sunlight.
  • Make sure you don’t sprinkle water on the leaves while watering.
  • Avoid using tap water. Even if you want to, let the tap water sit in the open for one day to reduce the hard minerals.
  • Consider using rainwater or distilled water for watering your arrowhead.
  • Set a proper schedule so you don’t forget to water your Syngonium.
  • Always use a pot with suitable drainage holes.
  • The best time to water your plant is in the morning.
  • Use soil that supports good drainage as well as retention.

Provide arrowhead with bright indirect sunlight

Providing your arrowhead with the proper light is an important task.

Both direct sunlight and low light can cause severe health issues to your plant.

  • Avoid keeping the plant in the dark where the light is very low. 
  • The best place to keep your arrowhead plant is where it would receive 8-10 hours of indirect light, near a south-facing window.
  • Don’t keep your Syngonium near a window that gets direct sunlight. Always provide shade, for instance, curtains to keep the arrowhead protected from the direct sunlight.
  • If your arrowhead is not receiving enough natural light, you can also provide them with artificial light.

Use the right soil

Arrowhead Plant root bound

Soil plays a very important role in the growth of a plant and should be chosen wisely while planting.

Poor drainage and moisture retention can trouble your arrowhead and discourage the plant from growing efficiently.

  • Provide arrowhead with a well-draining and fertile soil. You can prepare one by mixing good quality potting mix, orchid barks, and perlite.
  • If the soil is dense, you can improve it by adding gypsum powder, brick powder, and sandy soil.
  • To enhance the soil’s water retention, you can mulch the soil surface with wood chips, shredded barks, etc.
  • Other than that, you can also add compost or manure to the existing soil for improving water retention.

Fertilize your arrowhead at the right time

As discussed earlier, overfertilization could cause brown leaves on arrowheads, so you need to provide fertilizers only during their growing season.

  • Don’t fertilize your arrowhead during the winter months. 
  • The right time to fertilize your arrowhead is spring and summer. 
  • Always use a liquid fertilizer to avoid overfertilization. First, mix the liquid fertilizer with water and then apply it.

Maintain the proper temperature and humidity

Arrowhead Plant humidifier

Temperature and humidity play an important role in the growth of an arrowhead plant.

If the plant is not getting any of this properly, it can get stressed.

You should always maintain the temperature and humidity properly to keep the arrowhead healthy.

  • Try to maintain a temperature between 60-80°F.
  • Keep your arrowhead away from low temperatures, cold drafts, frost and provide special care during the winter months.
  • Don’t place your Syngonium near a window or door that is frequently opened and closed. The frequent temperature change can stress your arrowhead.
  • Avoid keeping your arrowhead near heating devices like heater, incinerator, radiator, etc.
  • Try to maintain 50% of humidity inside the house. Grouping houseplants altogether can increase humidity around the atmosphere. Keeping your arrowhead in the bathroom or kitchen can also boost humidity. You can get a humidifier device to raise humidity. 

Should you cut off brown leaves of arrowhead?

Arrowhead Plant pruning

First, you need to understand that there is a difference between brown leaves and brown tips on leaves.

If the leaves have already turned entirely brown, you should prune them off the arrowhead.

But if you see only brown edges or tips on the foliage, you don’t need to cut the entire leaf from the plant.

You should only cut the infected part of the leaves as the remaining part will continue to grow.

You should remove fully brown leaves from the plant to prevent further growth.

Eliminating the defective leaves will help your plant to grow at a faster rate with new healthy growths.

While pruning, you should keep some important things in mind that has been listed below:

  • You should always use a sterilized scissor while cutting. Poor and messy cuts can cause infections and fungal diseases to your arrowheads.
  • While removing the only brown tips or edges, cut the leaves in their natural shape.

Final words

Almost every houseplant gets brown leaves once in its lifetime, so it is nothing to get worried about. You can easily make the arrowhead plant recover from brown leaves once you know the exact problem they are facing.

Brown leaves can also occur because of natural reasons. Once the lifecycle of the leaves comes to an end, they naturally turn brown and fall off. You don’t need to worry about it as it is completely natural.

Take care of your arrowhead properly by providing them with sufficient water, bright indirect sunlight, warm temperatures, high humidity, and proper drainage. Following all these things will keep your arrowhead fresh and healthy.

Reference: CABI, Britannica, United States Department of Agriculture, Wikipedia, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Missouri Botanical Garden.

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Are you looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.

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