How to Prevent Brown Spots on Plant Leaves

Are you seeing brown spots on plant leaves? Learn what causes leaf spots and how to care for your indoor plants to prevent this common problem.

Spots on the green leaf of a houseplant wisteria. Home plant diseasesAkintevs/Getty Images
Brown spots on plant leaves

Why does my plant have brown spots on the leaves?

Are your houseplants developing brown spots on the plant leaves? Water-soaked black and brown spots on plant leaves and stems often indicate a fungal or bacterial disease is the problem. Adjust the watering schedule and do not allow plants to sit in excess water. Often that alone is enough to stop the disease’s progress. Remove and dispose of any soft, discolored stems and leaves. Trim off any rotten roots and repot in fresh potting mix in a container slightly larger than the remaining roots.

Here’s what to do about plants with yellow leaves and brown tips on the leaves.

Why are the new leaves small?

When new leaves are smaller than normal, the plant could be pot-bound or may need to be fertilized or moved to a brighter location. Look for other clues when making your diagnosis. If the water runs out of the pot quickly and roots are filling the container, it’s time to move your plant to the next size container. Avoid moving pot-bound plants to much larger containers, which can slow above-ground growth and lead to root rot. If the pot size seems adequate, evaluate your fertilizer schedule and light. These are the best houseplants for low light.

Next, learn how to get rid of indoor plant bugs.

Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books. She hosts the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment” TV and radio segments and is the instructor for The Great Courses How to Grow Anything DVD and Instant Video series.
Melinda is a dynamic presenter, appearing at many events throughout the country each year. She has received recognition and numerous awards, including the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and was inducted into The Association for Garden Communicators Hall of Fame.