Brown tips are a warning sign that something is going wrong with your houseplant care regiment. Learn why houseplant leaves turn brown and how you can prevent it.

By Jenny Krane
Updated May 31, 2020

We've all seen it happen—most of your houseplant's leaves look perfectly healthy but just the tips are dried up and brown. That can happen for a number of reasons, but it's a sure sign that something is off with your houseplant's living conditions. Here's how to remedy these common houseplant problems that turn leaf tips brown.

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Poor Watering Habits

When houseplants get brown tips on their leaves, it's generally an indication of poor watering habits. The best way to water a houseplant is to thoroughly flush it until water runs freely out the drainage holes. Shallow watering can cause brown tips on the leaves.

Lack of Humidity

Brown tips are also an indication of lack of humidity. Many common houseplants are native to jungle conditions so if your home is very dry, you'll need to mist your plants and give them a shower every few days. Grouping houseplants together can also help keep humidity levels up in your home.

Salt Build-Up

Brown leaf tips can also indicate a buildup of salts from too much fertilizer or from softened water. Overfeeding houseplants is as bad as not feeding them at all. Don't overfertilize your houseplants and, if you use softened water, buy distilled water to keep your plants happy.


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