7 Reasons Why Spider Plants Have Brown Tips and How to Prevent it 

 April 26, 2022

By  admin

Spider plants are just as likely to have brown tips on the end of their leaves, but it’s not because they’re eaten. It might actually be a sign that something is wrong with your plant and needs some help. Take note before you repot!

Spider plants are a popular house plant that many people grow. However, if you notice brown tips on your spider plants, it is possible to prevent them from happening again.

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Spider plants are perennial blooming plants that are also known as spider Ivy or St. Bernard’s lily. It’s a popular houseplant because of its variegated leaves. 

Light green leaves with a central white stripe or dark green leaves with white edges are the most popular varieties of this plant. 

Spider plants are a popular indoor plant since they can survive in a variety of environments. They are able to withstand temperatures ranging from 35 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. With a little attention, these plants may even produce blooms.

These plants have long, thin leaves that may reach a length of 20 to 45 cm. These leaves often acquire brown or black tips. Are you curious as to why? Brown tips on spider plants may appear for a variety of causes.

In this post, we’ll go over the seven most common causes of spider plant brown tips, as well as how gardeners may avoid them.

Check out this complete tutorial on how to grow a garden as a bonus read.

Seven Causes of Spider Plant Brown Tips and How to Avoid Them

A spider plant, in theory, does not need much attention. It’s a plant that doesn’t need to be watered often, prefers moderate sunshine, and thrives in places like bathrooms and kitchen windows.

So, why do spider plants’ tips typically become brown?

1. Overwatering or underwatering stress


One of the most prevalent causes of spider plant brown tips is stress from overwatering. Many inexperienced gardeners make the mistake of overwatering their houseplants.

Excess water promotes root rot, which is why overwatering produces browning of the tips. Root rot is a problem that inhibits water and other necessary nutrients from reaching the plant’s other sections – how severe might it be?

Consistent overwatering eventually kills the plant. Remove any portions of your plant that have root rot if you see the leaves drooping. It’s possible that you’ll be able to save your plant if you do so.

Overwatering may be avoided by planting your plant in a container with a good drainage system. Root rot may also be avoided by using a well-draining potting mix.

Always repot your overwatered spider plant and empty the saucer to avoid additional moisture absorption.


Underwatering plants is a common problem among those who misunderstand how much water a houseplant requires. 

While spider plants are robust and may survive in less-than-ideal circumstances, submerging them causes the leaves to dry up. As a result, the leaves tips get brownish.

To avoid drowning, pay attention to the potting mix and how much moisture it demands. Keep in mind that your plant doesn’t need to be watered if the first two inches of soil are moist. 

2. Fluoride or Boron Concentration

Plants may be severely harmed by fluoride or boron ions. Fluorinated or chlorinated water may be poisonous to spider plant leaves, which is another typical cause of brown tips.

Chlorides and fluorides in irrigation water are around 10 meq/L, which are not detrimental to plants. Boron levels in the blood should be between 0.7 and 3.0 me/L.

Domestic water supplies, on the other hand, often contain different quantities of fluoride. If you use tap water, the fluoride concentration in your plant will gradually build up, resulting in toxicity and browning. 

Fluoride enters the transpiration stream via the leaf’s stomatal apertures, causing accumulation in the leaf margins.

Fluoride and boron harm plants in a variety of ways, including:

  • Photosynthesis inhibition
  • resulting in tissue damage 
  • Necrosis of the margins and tips
  • Reduces nutrient accumulation in the soil’s top layer.
  • Plant roots are harmed.

If you fear your plants have too much fluoride, wash the soil with distilled water on a frequent basis. Also, stay away from fluoridated water and fertilizers with a high phosphate concentration. 

This problem may be avoided by using low pH soil with high calcium content. Rooting medium such as dolomite (a calcium magnesium carbonate) might also be beneficial.

3. Overfertilization causes salt buildup 

Salt accumulation is caused by overfertilization. Excessive concentrations of fertilizers, like fluoride, are hazardous to plant soil and cause root damage. Brown tips appear on spider plants as a result of this. 

Fertilizer burn is the browning or withering of plant leaves produced by too much fertilizer in the soil.

Because spider plants are low-maintenance plants, they only need fertilization every three months. Keep in mind that fertilizer accumulation reduces vital nutrient absorption and decreases water intake. Root rot and eventual browning of leaf tips are caused by these conditions.

A decent fertilizer for indoor plants should be diluted, balanced, water-soluble, and specifically designed for them.  

Flush out the soil with distilled water or rainfall to undo the effects of too much fertilizer. This will assist in the leaching of surplus mineral content from the soil. In more severe instances of browning, repotting is another an option.

Remember that indoor plants only need fertilization while they are actively growing. Late spring or early autumn is the most common time for this.

This guide to the many forms of lawn fertilizer might assist you in determining which of these high-quality fertilizers you need for your spider plant.

4. Excessive Sunlight Exposure

Spider plants are killed by temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

These plants need bright, indirect light, and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may cause leaf blistering.

Direct sunshine dries out the soil and overheats the plant. Spider plants’ thin leaves will begin to scorch and become brown.  

Because spider plants thrive as undergrowth in wooded areas, the optimum location for them would be in a shady area with moderate illumination. 

On the other hand, spider plant brown tips might be caused by the leaves not receiving enough sunshine. This is more likely to happen in the winter. 

Reposition your plant near windows to ensure it receives enough sunshine. The variegation in these plants is also brought out by bright, indirect light, making them seem healthier. 

Read this bonus article to learn how to add air plants, also known as Tillandsias, to your garden.

5. Low Humidity or Dryness 

Dry surroundings will cause spider plants to wilt since they need adequate humidity to sustain healthy leaves. This is particularly common during the winter months.

Getting a humidity meter is a fantastic approach to determine the humidity levels in the air. Humidity meters, particularly in the winter, can assist you in keeping track of the moisture. For a healthy spider plant, a minimum humidity level of 40% is required.

In the winter, most dwellings have a humidity level around 30%. 

There are two strategies to deal with the issue of low humidity:

  • Humidity trays are a plate with a layer of stones and water on top of it. As water evaporates, the amount of moisture in the atmosphere rises.
  • Humidifiers: These devices raise the humidity level in a single room or the whole home. 

Watering your plant on a regular basis is the simplest approach to keep it from drying out.

Plant Diseases No. 6

Plants, like people, may get a variety of illnesses. Infections caused by bacteria or fungi are the most prevalent. 

To avoid illness in the first place, use pasteurized soil and thoroughly clean all of your plant containers before using them. Also, keep an eye on your plants for any signs of illness.

In the case of spider plant brown tips, there are five primary illnesses to be concerned about. These are the following:

  • Bacterial Leaf Spots: Bacterial leaf stains are yellowish-brown areas on the leaves that are often associated alongside water drenched spots.
  • The patches dry out and become a reddish-brown color under more humid circumstances.
  • Infected sections should be removed and the plants should be kept in mild sunlight. Copper sprays may also help prevent the condition from returning.
  • Root Rot & Stem Rot: There is noticeable wilting and browning in stems and leaves affected by this disease. Stems may have a disc of brown or black tissue near the soil level. Beware of the roots rotting and turn brown or black.

    Splashing water on an infected plant can spread the virus even faster. It may be beneficial to use sterilized pots and soil. Make careful not to overwater your plants, since this might lead to root rot. 

    Repotting the plant after removing these pieces will help the plant recover if just a tiny amount of the roots is impacted.

  • Powdery Mildew: This disease is caused by the fungus Oidium and results in dry, brown leaf patches. The disease is carried by airborne spores and may spread quickly if your plants are packed together.

    Provide proper ventilation to your plants to avoid this. Keep the moisture content of the air above 40% and don’t overwater them. Sulfur sprays and myclobutanil may help you recover from Powdery Mildew.

7. Roots that are swollen

Swollen roots are a less prevalent problem with spider plants that are pot confined. This basically signifies that your spider plant doesn’t have enough space to flourish. 

Nutrient and water intake are restricted in pots with constricting roots. Brown tips appear on spider plants as a result of this. The leaves will eventually fall off as well.

The lily family includes spider plants. Spiderettes are produced by these plants, which may be replicated and cultivated as new plants. They may even produce fleshy tubers, which are often exposed to the earth.

It’s time to repot the plant and allow it more space to develop if you observe more than a few of tubers appearing on the soil.

Other Problems with Spider Plants

  • Weak and splitting Leaves: Indoor plants, on the whole, are a bit weaker than outside plants. After the formation of flowering stems, spider plants have a tendency to split and leaves drop off.

    Spider plants may stay healthy and develop well for up to six months or a year. When they reach a certain size, though, the leaves begin to fall and split lengthwise. 

    In the early summer, you may address this problem by putting your spider plant outside for three weeks. This helps to restore the plant’s appearance by increasing the waxiness of the leaves. Plants that are moved to locations with more exposure, such as open windows or patios, may also assist.

  • When the spider plant is too young to blossom, there will be no flowers. Spider plants need a long time to grow, therefore flowering happens only in mature plants. Always remember that spider plants produce little, exquisite white blooms; if you don’t see them once they’ve matured, something is amiss.

    The plant may not have enough room to develop and mature in certain cases. As previously stated, this might result in root congestion and swelling. Simply repot your growing plants on a regular basis to avoid this.

    When you observe roots coming out of the drainage holes beneath the pots, it’s an indication that your plant needs to be repotted. It’s possible that roots are emerging from the earth. 

    Plant propagation in other pots is an alternative to repotting. 

    However, if your spider plant is kept in ideal circumstances, it will almost certainly blossom. It may even sprout runners from the plant’s core, indicating that it is healthy and growing well.

  • Pale, yellow leaves: In general, pale or yellowing leaves indicate a lack of light exposure. Replace your plant in a location that receives more sunshine. This is particularly crucial since too little light may cause spider plants to become pale and lose their variegation, causing them to return to a dull green tint. 

    If you’re having trouble getting enough sunlight for your spider plant, you may want to consider investing in a plant light.

    There are several tiny, inexpensive plant lights (including fluorescent grow lights) on the market.

  • Drooping, droopy leaves: Drooping or withering leaves are often caused by underwatering or a lack of sunshine. Overwatering and excessive temperatures, on the other hand, may cause withering leaves. 

    Replacing the plant in a location with moderate light and humidity is a good idea. Set a routine for watering the plants if you have a habit of forgetting.

    Another reason for this is a lack of nutrients for the plant. This might be the consequence of poor soil quality, root rot, or plant overgrowth. 

    These problems may be rectified by adding water-soluble or natural fertilizers to the soil and repotting the plant to avoid root rot. Make sure you’re using purified water or water with low mineral content. Fertilize developing plants that are generating plantlets more often, up to once a month.

    Crushed eggshells, banana peels, and leftover coffee grounds are some natural fertilizers you may use for your houseplants.


When discovered and treated early, brown spots do not pose a significant threat to plants. 

It takes very little work to care for your spider plants. The plant will grow in a steady, healthy environment. Reading about frequent concerns and putting basic remedies in place to prevent them, on the other hand, may go a long way.

There’s nothing to be concerned about as long as you keep an eye on your plants and know how to recognize the signs of common plant illnesses. 

Read this if you’re thinking about adding succulents to your plant collection. Here is a list of 19 different Aloe species. 

Spider plants have brown tips because they are overwatered. It is important to remember that an overwatered spider plant will also have yellow leaves, which indicates the plant needs more water. Spider plants are not picky about their soil, but they do need a well-draining potting mix and plenty of light. Reference: what does an overwatered spider plant look like.

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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