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September 5, 2022

Spider Plant Brown Tips (Causes & Solutions EXPLAINED)

Did you know that you can unintentionally cause brown leaf tips on your Spider Plant? This article will provide all the causes and solutions for your Spider Plant leaf tips turning brown.

The most common reasons for brown tips on Spider Plant leaves are:

  • Stress from overwatering or under-watering
  • Fluoride content in water
  • Fertilizer residue and salt build-up
  • Low humidity levels
  • Diseases

Spider Plants are popular indoor plants that can grow healthy and strong in sub-optimal growing conditions inside your home if you provide them with the necessary care. They can commonly thrive without much effort, but it’s not uncommon to notice brown tips on Spider Plants.

Spider Plants can get brown tips from different causes, although most are not harmful to your plant

Although these issues are common, they are treatable if you know what to do. However, you should be aware that Spider Plant brown tips are just a cosmetic issue, and they won’t affect the health of your plant unless a disease causes them.

Look at the detailed explanations below to learn what can be the cause and to get tips on preventing them on your Spider Plants.

Stress from Overwatering or Under-Watering

Water stress can occur when you overwater or under-water your Spider Plant, slowly leading to Spider Plant tips turning light or dark brown.

It’s likely to get brown tips on your Chlorophytum Comosum if you overwater or underwater the plant

When the issue is caused by overwatering, the excess water can lead to root rot, preventing water flow and nutrients from reaching your plant. Because of that, Spider Plant leaves can get brown tips. Excess water could kill your house plant if you don’t react promptly.

If this happens and the root rot is already spread, you’ll need to get rid of rotten areas from the root system to try to save your plant. However, if the problem is extensive, your plant might not make it. After removing the rotten sections caused by root rot, repot the plant using well-draining soil and a pot with enough drainage holes.

When the problem is under-watering, the leaves on your Spider Plant will eventually dry out. Spider Plants prefer that their soil dries out between waterings, but if they’re without water for too long, you could notice browning tips. If they occur due to under-watering, you can evaluate the plant’s soil and the level of moisture inside the container, ensuring you provide the plant with an adequate water supply.

This may raise questions about when to water your plant to avoid having to deal with water stress in the first place. You should water as soon as the soil fully dries out, to the bottom of the pot, don’t wait too long after that.

This is how not to overwater your Chlorophytum Comosum (read the caption):

Fluoride Content in Water

Another common thing that can cause Spider Plant brown tips is fluoride content in water. When exposed to fluoride for an extended period, Spider Plants can get brown leaf tips. That’s why it’s essential to verify the water quality of the tap water you use on your plants.

Other than making the tips of your Spider Plant turn brown, fluoride collects inside the plant and starts to threaten its overall health. Fluoride toxicity will decrease the process of photosynthesis inside your plant and damage the plant’s tissue.

Eventually, your Spider Plant’s leaves will turn brown, so you should inspect your tap water. If your Spider Plant’s browning tips are caused by fluoride toxicity, you should use distilled water to flush out the soil by following these steps:

  • Pour a couple of distilled water containers inside your plant’s pot
  • Wait for a couple of minutes for the fluoride to dissolve in the water and for the water to drain out
  • Once it drains out, repeat the same process several times

If you don’t have distilled water, you could use rainwater to flush the excess fluoride from the plant’s soil. To prevent potential fluoride toxicity, it’s best to use distilled water or rainwater for watering your Spider Plant.

Fertilizer Residue and Salt Build-Up

Salt build-up from fertilizer can also lead to brown leaf tips in Spider Plants. If you use too much fertilizer on your Spider Plant, you could cause unintentional toxicity, which could damage the plant’s roots and lead to Spider Plant’s leaf tips turning brown.

If your brown leaf tips issue comes from applying excess fertilizer, you can repot the plant in a fresh potting soil mix. You could also stop fertilizing and flush the soil to remove excess salts. Typically, you don’t need to fertilize your Spider Plant if you repot it annually.

Low Humidity Levels

Like most tropical plants, Spider Plants love humidity, but they can adapt to low humidity easily. However, when exposed to extremely low humidity levels, the leaf tips on Spider Plants can become brown.

The Spider Plant likes humidity, and a lack of it can turn its leaf tips brown; maintain your home’s humidity levels to avoid brow leaf tips


Last but not least, diseases can also be why your Spider Plant’s leaves are browning. Bacterial leaf blight is a common cause of Spider Plant brown tips.

If Spider Plants get infected with leaf blight, the Spider Plant leaves will slowly become brown and eventually turn black. Overly humid and hot conditions frequently result in bacterial leaf spots.

However, this disease is treatable, and you can cure your plant if the stems are not affected. To prevent leaf blight from spreading to other parts of your plant, you’ll need to prune off the diseased foliage. It’s also helpful to keep away from overhead watering.

If the disease has already spread onto the stems, you’ll need to eliminate your plant as it could put your other plants in danger. It’s always better to get a new Spider Plant than to risk losing other precious plants.

Should I Cut the Brown Tips Off My Spider Plants?

If the brown leaf tips on your Spider Plant are not caused by a disease, you can prune them off, but it’s not something you necessarily have to do. It’s more of a personal preference because, again, it’s just a cosmetic and aesthetical issue rather than an actual health-threatening problem.

You should cut off the Spider Plant brown tips if a disease is the cause. To do that, you should cut off the brown tips of the affected leaves, along with healthy leaf tissue. That way, you can ensure that all diseased sections will be removed from the plant.

Before you make the cut, sterilize the pruning tools to prevent the disease from spreading on healthy foliage. If your pruning tools touch the diseased leaf part when cutting, ensure to sterilize them before making a new cut.

How to Take Care of the Brown Tips on My Spider Plant?

To take care of the brown tips on your Spider Plant, you must find the cause behind the browning issue. Typically, most causes are non-harmful for your plant, as the tips on Spider Plants can turn brown from environmental conditions.

If you’re bothered by these tips, it’s best to prune them off, following the steps in the article. That way, you’ll resolve the browning issue, regardless of the cause.

Yours Truly,


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