4 Reasons Why Your Spider Plant Has Brown Leaf Tips

spider plant brown tips
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Browning leaf tips on your otherwise lush spider plant can put a damper on your mood. It’s one of those problems that’s extremely frustrating because, unfortunately, there are so many reasons why your spider plant has brown leaf tips.

We spoke with Justin Hancock, a horticulturist at Costa Farms, about some of those reasons and how you can fix them. Say goodbye to those brown tips!

Your Plant Has Gotten Too Dry

There are a couple of common causes for brown leaf tips, including your plant getting so dry that it can no longer absorb the proper amount of water it needs. To avoid this from happening, you need to make sure you’re watering it regularly. You’ll want to water it when the top two inches of soil are dry.

“How often that is depends on a host of factors, including light, temperature, humidity, the type of potting mix, the amount of water you use at one time, etc,” says Hancock. “While it’s best not to water by the calendar, it is typically pretty easy to build a cadence of watering once a week or so by experimenting with the amount of water you give it until you find the right amount.”

Your Plant Is Exposed to Drafts

Another reason leaf tips can get crispy is that your plant has been exposed to a draft if it's near an air vent or window.

“When diagnosing brown tips, I usually start by making sure the plant isn’t near a vent or other draft source. If it is, simply moving it may prevent future brown tips,” says Hancock. Sadly once those tips go brown they won't ever turn green again. If they bother you, feel free to cut them off — it won’t hurt your plant at all. 

Humidity Levels Are Low

If there’s not enough humidity around your plant, it could also result in brown tips. The best way to deal with this is to either mist it regularly, get a humidifier, or place it on a pebble tray. You can even try keeping your plant in a room that naturally gets more humid, like a bathroom or kitchen.

You’ve Over Fertilized Your Plant

Over-fertilization is another reason your spider plant can have brown tips. If you think this could be the problem, stop fertilizing for a bit. Hancock also says that you can get rid of excess fertilizer by flushing out the plant's soil with running water, this will get out all the excess nutrient salts. If you are going to fertilize your houseplants, make sure you know how to use fertilizer properly.

  • What are some reasons your spider plant has brown leaf tips?

    Browning leaf tips is a symptom that could have any number of causes. Reasons range from the frequency of watering to lack of humidity to possible drafts and over-fertilization. 

  • Should you cut off the brown leaf tips on a spider plant?

    Hancock says that brown leaf tips don't affect the health of plants, so there's no harm in leaving them. If you're not a fan of the look of browning leaf tips, there is also no harm in cutting them off.

  • How do you fix brown leaf tips on spider plants?

    Ensuring you’re watering your plant enough, increasing humidity if you need to, and flushing the soil if you’ve over-fertilized your plant are great ways to prevent browning leaf tips. Once brown tips form, they will never get back to green.

  • How often should you water a spider plant?

    About once a week, but only when the top two inches of soil are dry.