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Why Does My Spider Plant Have Brown Tips? (6 Causes & Solutions)

“Ah, the spider plant: one of the popular indoor plants in homes everywhere. It is a low-maintenance plant that is know for its charming aesthetics. The vibrant green tendrils of a spider plant can light up any room, but what happens when those signature strands are marred by brown leaf tips, leaving a stressful question in your mind, “Why does my spider plant have brown tips?”

It’s a question many plant enthusiasts grapple with as they seek to maintain their indoor jungles. If you’ve found yourself scrutinizing spider plant brown tips, wondering if it’s a sign of neglect or a plant’s cry for help, you’re in the right place.

This is more than just an aesthetic concern; it’s about understanding our leafy companions.

Dive in as we delve into the causes behind the query: “Why does my spider plant have brown tips?” and unearth solutions to restore your spider plant to its pristine condition.

Why Does My Spider Plant Have Brown Tips
Brown tips spreading on my spider plant? – via Reddit

Spider Plant – A Brief Overview

The spider plant, scientifically known as Chlorophytum comosum, is one of the most popular houseplants globally, and for a good reason. Originating from tropical and southern Africa, this plant has graced the interiors of homes for decades, celebrated for its beauty and resilience.

Distinguished by its arching green and white striped leaves, it’s perhaps most recognized for the “spiderettes” or “pups” it produces—small offshoots that dangle from the parent plant, evoking the image of spiders hanging from a web.

Beyond the aesthetic appeal of these plants, their leaves boast impressive air-purifying capabilities. Studies, including NASA’s Clean Air Study, have highlighted its prowess in absorbing pollutants like formaldehyde and xylene.

This combination of beauty, resilience, and health benefits makes the spider plant an excellent choice for novice and seasoned enthusiasts.

6 Reasons Why My Spider Plants Have Brown Tips (With Solutions) 

There are many factors regarding your indoor spider plant turning brown, including water-related issues, excess fertilizer, excessive sun exposure, low humidity level, and diseases.

Stress from Overwatering or Under-Watering

Water-related issues are a typical reason for browned ends on spider plants, and both excessive and inadequate watering can trigger it. Following is a detailed explanation of both conditions. You might get your answer for spider plant brown tips is the first reason.


It’s a common misconception that plants always need excess water. However, an overwatered spider plant can lead to some significant setbacks.

The primary culprit? Root rot.

Root rot not only restricts the flow of water and essential nutrients to the rest of the plant but can also lead to the death of your indoor green companion. If you notice signs of distress due to root rot in your spider plant due to excess water, act swiftly. Follow this given easy treatments:

  • Trimming: Trim away the spider plant’s affected leaves with sharp scissors to give your plant a fighting chance.
  • Well-Draining Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent root rot, specifically formulated for indoor spider plants. A mix that includes perlite or vermiculite can help improve drainage.
  • Appropriate Pot and Potting Depth: Ensure that the pot has drainage holes, and don’t let the plant sit in standing water. Plant the spider plant at an appropriate depth to avoid water accumulation around the plant’s roots.
  • Watering Practices: Allow the top inch or so of the soil to dry out between waterings. Insert your finger into the soil to check for moisture before watering again.


While overwatering can be detrimental, not giving your spider plant enough water can also be problematic. These plants, while appreciative of relatively dry conditions, still have under watering water stress and need a fair amount of water.

Chlorophytum comosum, or the spider plant, has a threshold; if it’s left unseen and the soil dry out, its leaves begin to wilt or display brown tips.

If you suspect your spider plant is feeling parched, assess the peat moss and moisture content in your pot. Adjust your watering routine accordingly, ensuring that you water spider plants regularly.

For preventing brown tips, here’s a helpful hint: if the first 2 inches of the potting mix feel completely dry, it’s time to quench your plant’s thirst.

Fluoride Levels In Water

Your water supply might be one of the reasons your spider plant’s fronds are getting brown on the tips. Water generally includes salts, chlorine, minerals, and, notably fluoride, which may accumulate in your plant’s pot and cause the edges of the plant’s leaves to scorch and become brown.

Indeed, fluoride may be highly hazardous to your plants over time! Most of the time, spider plants frequently develop brown tips when exposed to excess fluoride water.

Fluoride ultimately accumulates in your plants and begins to harm their well-being. It will disrupt your plant’s normal photosynthetic process and potentially cause cell damage. In addition, it will ultimately exit your plant’s stomata causing the colour of the tips of the spider plant leaves turn brown. As a result, check to see if your tap water contains fluoride.

If that’s the case, you need to prevent potential fluoride toxicity by improving the water quality. Use distilled or purified water for healthy foliage.

Another way to fix brown tips from fluoride toxicity is to rinse the topsoil with distilled water frequently. To cleanse the soil, add a couple of buckets of distilled water to the plant’s vase and allow it to drip for a few minutes. After it’s drained, rinse and drain it again with distilled water.

Rain is quite effective at removing fluoride from the soil of your plants. Additionally, utilize fresh soil having an increased calcium content to avoid fluoride overdose.

Another option is to install a water filtering device. If you do not possess a filtering mechanism, you can remove much of the chlorine by keeping your water in an uncovered bottle or basin overnight before utilizing it.

How often should you water a spider plant
I’ve now noticed all these brown limp leaves – via Reddit

Overfertilization Prompting Salts To Accumulate

Overfertilization causes salt build up, another culprit for spider plant brown tips. Therefore, feeding your spider plant with too much fertilizer may induce plant poisoning and even harm your plant’s base, causing the tips on spider plants to become brown.

To prevent brown tips, repotting your plant in fresh soil is a fast cure for fertilizer burn. You may also suspend feeding and hydrate the spider plant’s soil. This will wash out the unwanted salt build up caused by repeated fertilizer and restore the soil to a healthy state.

A spider plant only calls for fertilizer once after 3 months throughout the growth phase. Thus, only use mild, adjusted, water-soluble fertilizer to fertilise your spider plant. Don’t go too far!

Too Much Sun Exposure

When placed outdoors, Spider plants thrive best in shaded locations where they can avoid the harshness of direct sun. This is because too much direct sunlight can cause their soil to parch completely due to the searing heat.

For those considering moving their spider plant outdoors, it’s vital to choose a spot that offers bright indirect light rather than direct sunlight. This will ensure a hydrated and healthy spider plant.

On the other hand, when we discuss indoor spider plants, it’s essential to position them where they can enjoy bright indirect light. Spider plants grow well in these conditions and will turn solid green leaves without unsightly brown edges.

However, exposing them to continuous bright sunshine or direct sunlight can be detrimental, leading to damaged and browned leaf tips. Hence, care must be taken to balance their light needs.

Low Humidity Levels

Spider plants have a natural affinity for high humidity levels, which not only aids in their overall development but also supports their flowering phase. One of the clear indicators that your spider plant is not receiving adequate humidity is its browning tips.

In environments where humidity is lacking, especially during the colder winter months, the indoor spider leaves can become stressed, leading to wilting and leaf tip burn on the spider plant’s leaves.

However, there are several remedies to maintain optimal humidity levels for your spider plant. Following are some of them:

  • During the hot summer months, regular light misting can prove beneficial, simulating the higher humidity spider plants crave.
  • Grouping it with other potted plants can create a microenvironment with higher moisture levels, as plants naturally release water into the air.
  • Additionally, using a humidity tray – a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles placed underneath the plant pot – can be an effective way to boost plants’ humidity. As the water from the tray evaporates, it raises the humidity levels around it, ensuring tips on spider plant leaves remain lush and vibrant.


When you see spider plant brown tips, this might be a solid symptom of a bacterial leaf spot or bacterial leave blight.

The difference between leaf blight and bacterial leaf spot is that a bacterial leaf blight manifests as large, water-soaked lesions that expand rapidly, often with a yellow halo, while bacterial leaf spots appear as smaller, isolated brown spots or speckles, sometimes surrounded by a yellowish border.

the disease starts with pale yellow leaves edge while turning dark brown to black over time. Scorching and humid environments frequently cause bacterial leaf patches.

Stop overhead watering and eliminate all affected plants to help minimize the expansion browning tips. If the infection has begun to attack the stalks, you will have to, unfortunately, get rid of your plant since it will die and may contaminate the neighbouring new spider plant.

Wrapping Up 

Now you’ve known the answer to, “Why does my spider plant have brown tips?” and some best ways to fix and prevent the situation from happening. Hopefully, this information is helpful and helps you save your spider plant! Good luck!