Why Does My Plant Have Brown Tips on the Leaves?

Noticing brown tips on the leaves of your indoor plants? Solve the problem with proper watering tips from a gardening expert.

green houseplant, brown tips on leavesrfisher27/Getty Images
A healthy philodendron plant with no brown tips on the leaves

If your plant is sporting crispy, dark or brown tips on the leaves, it may mean you need to water more often. Check the soil moisture, and slowly reduce the number of days in between watering. Watch your plants for signs of improvement. Here’s 6 helpful tips for watering container gardens.

Lack of humidity could also be the cause. Tropical plants prefer higher humidity than we have in our homes. When we turn on the heat in winter, there’s even less moisture in the air. Group plants together so that as one loses moisture through its leaves, the neighbors benefit. Or place plants on saucers or trays filled with pebbles and water. Set a pot on the pebbles above the water. As water evaporates, it increases the humidity around the plant, where it is needed.

Check out the top 10 best houseplants for low light.

Signs of Nutrient Deficiency

A burned look on leaf tips, or dark green/reddish-purplish older leaves may indicate a phosphorus deficiency. With a potassium deficiency, you may see yellow or brown along older leaf tips and edges, yellowing between veins, curling leaves or spotting.

Next, find out why are the leaves on my indoor plant yellow?

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.