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Why Is My Spider Plant Turning Brown? (Brown Tips+Brown Spots)

Spider plants have beautiful foliage, and they are sturdy plants, which makes them perfect for beginners. Their leaves can turn brown if you pressurize them with unfavorable conditions and expect them to thrive. Brown spots or brown tips on leaves are different signs with different reasons behind them. But what causes these brown spots and tips?

Intense sunlight, overfertilization, pest problems, inadequate watering, and temperature fluctuation are common causes of brown tips in spider plants. Spider plants also suffer from brown spots that are usually caused by overwatering and pest infestation. Provide a balanced cultural environment for healthy growth in spider plants.

We need to go through the signs and then identify the actual reason troubling our plant. There are many possible reasons, and it could be one or more reasons for the problem, which should not be treated immaturely. 

We are here to guide you throughout until you completely resolve the issue and help you identify the actual cause of brown leaves and spot on your spider plant leaves.

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Identifying the browning

Plants cannot speak, but they react through their leaves. Spider plants also have beautiful leaves, which will tell you by visual cues when they are suffering.

These signs should be addressed with patience, and you should go into the roots of the issue step by step. Going slowly and steadily is the key.

We want you to first look at your spider plant, which part of the plant is turning brown, and understand the possible reasons behind the problem. 

You need to understand that there could be two types of brown leaves of spider plant:

  • Browning at the edges or the tip of the leaves 
  • Brown spots on the leaves

These signs have different issues behind them, which some plant owners misunderstand, which gets their plants into further problems.

Spider plant has brown tips

Spider plants are beautiful and can go through several issues due to mistakes on our part or unfavorable cultural conditions.

There could be a few significant reasons for brown tips on spider plant leaves, which we will go into detail so that you can identify and cure.

They are:

  • Direct sunlight 
  • Over-fertilization of the spider plant 
  • Pest infestation
  • Watering Problems
  • Stress caused by temperature fluctuations
  • Changes in the environment 
  • Chemicals in the water 

The plant can be affected due to any of these issues or a combination of multiple issues. However, those are the primary reasons for brown tips on your spider plant.

Direct Sunlight

If a spider plant placed outdoors is suddenly moved indoors, then the shock can affect the plant leaves due to a shift in extreme conditions suddenly. The same can happen when moving them from indoor to outdoor.

Moving the spider plant from one extreme to another can even lead to stunted growth of the plant.

Also, keeping the spider plant in direct sun for long hours can cause sunburn on their leaves, which appear as brown tips.

Due to too much sun, the soil will dry out fast, which will result in flaky and dry soil. That will dry the leaves and can result in brown tips in spider plant.

For saving the spider plant from the sudden shock, you can gradually move the plant from one place to another.

Provide the plant ample indirect, filtered light the whole day long, and you will never see any brown tips on the leaves.

Trim the brown tips and if the leaf is severely damaged, get rid of the entire leaves. Take good care of the plant after pruning with proper watering and enough indirect light for more green and healthy leaves.

Also read: How much light do spider plant need?

Over-fertilization of the spider plant

Fertilizing spider plants is as essential as water and light, but the dosage is not the same as water and light. Most beginner hobbyists can make the mistake of overfeeding their spider plants as they expect to see rapid growth in their plants.

Please slow down with fertilizing as the excess fertilizers harm the plant rather than boosting their growth. Over-fertilizing can cause toxicity and damage the roots, eventually resulting in brown tips of leaves.

Fertilizing in winters is the most common reason for leaves tips turning brown. During winters, the plant rests and needs just some light and water to maintain their health and no fertilizers.

If you are checking your spider plant’s fertilizer needs by slowly increasing the dosage of fertilizer, then stop immediately and follow the right instructions and recommended dosage.

How can we correct the over fertilization?

It is essential to take necessary actions quickly when you see these signs. Otherwise, you will see your spider plant dead in no time. The first step is to stop fertilizing your spider plant altogether.

Now take the plant under running water and wash the soil thoroughly so the excess salt in the soil will come out with water.

That has to be repeated a few times to remove the excess salt from the soil altogether.

Now when you see your plant is recovering, fertilize them with all-purpose fertilizer once a month during summers. Dilute the fertilizer with water so that it distributes evenly.

During winters, you don’t need to fertilize your spider plant; if you have fed them during summer and spring, the plant will remain healthy throughout the dormant period.

Also read: How often should you fertilize your spider plant?

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The Pest Situation

Pests attack on spider plants is heartbreaking, and a severe infestation can cause several problems to the plant, among which brown tips is one of them.

The pests suck the sap of your spider plant that makes them weak and vulnerable. The leaf’s tips turn brown and crisp due to the continuous feeding of sap by the pests.

Sap keeps the plant thick and firm and also contains nutrients and helps to keep the leaves green.

If you feel you are doing everything right for your plant still see brown tips on leaves, examine the plant closely. If you find unwanted guests on your plant, take immediate action.

At first, quarantine your infested spider plant. Now wash the plant with a warm stream of water. This will help you to get rid of a lot of pests.

Now you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil on the infested plant and repeat it for a few days so that complete control is done.

You can also use chemical pesticides on the plants as per your preference. Follow the instructions to avoid any harm to your plant.

Do not stress your spider plant with too many pesticides as they are already weak and cannot tolerate too many pesticides and become weaker.

Watering Problems

Usually, watering your spider plant irregularly can cause several problems in the future. Underwatering usually results in brown tips on leaves, yellow leaves, and even curled leaves.

Spider plants have thick roots called rhizomes, which store water and carry nutrients. When you keep underwatering your spider plant, the roots have to provide the leaves with the required water, leading to dehydration in the plant in the long run.

Due to lack of water, the leaves develop brown tips on them and other leaves related issues.

Since the roots are thick, they can also become a reason to under-watered spider plants. The roots take up a lot of space and prevent water from absorbing through all parts of the roots and soil.

That leads to under watering and results in brown tips on leaves.

Water the plant thoroughly and let the water drench completely from the drainage holes. You can soak the plant in a sink filled with water to soak the water soaks in the soil and roots thoroughly.

Make sure the drainage system is proper. Let the soil dry briefly before watering them, and keep the soil moist during summers.

Also read: How long can houseplants go without water?

Stress caused by the Cold weather

Spider plants thrive in temperatures between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In low temperatures, the plant cannot thrive below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and gets stressed.

The first sign of a stressed spider plant is curled leaves, which are very common during cold weather. But this should not be encouraged and should be regulated.

Cold drafts in winters can directly harm the plant leaves, leading to brown tips and slowly damage them.

Even the radiators, heating systems used during winters produces dry air from them that will harm the spider plant’s leaves and result in brown tips.

You can keep the spider plants away from the heating systems so that they can get some warmth, and the effect of cold weather can decrease. That will help maintain a balanced environment.

Changes in the environment

Spider plants can tolerate and thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions, but sudden shifts in the environment can harm the plant.

The environmental condition plays a vital role in the plant’s health, and when the condition changes, you will see a change in plants’ health through their leaves.

Even when you move them from one extreme condition to another, they can get stressed and become vulnerable resulting in brown tips, yellow, and curled foliage.

When you keep your plants in bright lighting during winters to provide them with sufficient sun, and when the summer approaches, the sun becomes strong due to which the plant can suffer due to too much direct light. In such a case, you need to move them away to adjust the lighting conditions.

Keep proper care of your spider plant and move them gradually to different conditions as needed so that they adapt to the changes without getting stressed.

Also read: Can spider plants live outside?

The type of Water

Fluoride is a common additive in water to prevent tooth decay, which can become toxic to some plants such as spider plants in the long run. The chlorine and fluoride in tap water are not suitable for a spider plant.

That affects the plant’s photosynthesis, and they are toxic, which slowly affects the leaves and results in brown tips.

For resolving this issue, you need to wash the plant with distilled water in large amounts to flush out the toxic fluoride and chlorine from the soil. Let the soil dry out and repeat washing it 2-3 times.

You can repot the plant with fresh soil if the roots are slightly bound, and repotting will not harm or shock them. That will encourage new growth, and obviously, the plant will get rid of fluoride and chlorine.

Also, in the future, water our spider plant with distilled water only or let the tap water sit overnight in a tub and then water the plant using that water.

Spider plant has brown spots

Spider plant leaves can be affected with brown spots due to different reasons and should be cured accordingly. 

  • Overwatering situation
  • The pest situation 

We will go into detail about the issue and how to cure it.

Overwatering Situation

Overwatering is one of the major reasons for brown spots on spider plants. Due to excess water in the soil and roots, they cannot breathe due to suffocation, and the water, air, and nutrient flow suffer.

The leaves don’t get enough water and nutrients, due to which they develop brown spots and turn yellow in the long run.

The spider plants like to stay moist during summers but do not like to stay soggy for a long time and can lead to root rot. This situation becomes severe and can damage the entire plant gradually.

How to avoid the situation?

To avoid this situation: 

  1. Make a watering routine as per the plant’s needs.
  2. Always feel the soil with your finger or a stick before watering the plant. If the soil feels wet, then wait for some time till the soil is dry.
  3. Check the drainage system of the pot. The water should drain completely within 2-3 minutes.
  4. Never let the roots and soil sit in water.
  5. Provide full-day indirect sun.

Also read: Overwatering vs Under-watering

Pest Condition

Due to overwatering, the plant can attract pests and slowly kill the plant. The plant shows signs through their leaves, such as brown spots developed on them due to pests.

There are more signs plants keep giving with an increased infestation. The spider plant keeps getting weak and also encourages fungal growth if the infestation is not dealt with.

As we have discussed earlier on how to treat pests, you can go organic or use chemical methods to treat pests as per your preference. Both will work and get rid of the stubborn pests with repeated application.

Keep examining your spider plant and check the undersides of the leaves as the pests hide under them, escaping from your sight.

Final Words

  1. Keep a good check on your spider plant to avoid any contamination.
  2. As soon as you see anything weird or unusual on your plant, closely examine and identify the issue.
  3. Please do not panic and go step by step rather than shocking them by repotting or stressing them even more.
  4. Keep the leaves clean. That will prevent a lot of issues such as pests attack and clean debris from time to time.

Source: Spider Plants IntroductionSpider plant care.

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