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5+ Care Mistakes Behind Spider Plant Brown Tips

The Spider Plant’s striped green leaves are among the most liked indoor ornaments until they turn crispy and brown.

Brown edges of Spider Plant leaves signify weak plant health due to hydration stress, water fluoride levels, low humidity, chemical buildup, sun exposure, and diseases.

Spider Plant lives for 20-50 years, but if the brown tips persist for longer, it does not take for the plant to die in a few weeks.

To diagnose the causes and fix them as soon as possible. 

Why do my Spider Plants have Brown Tips? [Causes & Easy Fixes]

Generally, there are several reasons why a Spider Plant develops brown patches, and each one needs individual fixes.

1. Hydration Stress

Brown leaf tips on your Spider Plant may signify water stress.

Root rot, a significant issue, can occur in your Spider Plant due to persistent overwatering and wet soil.

If the condition is left unattended, root rot can cause the leaves to become brown at the tips and eventually fall because it obstructs the supply of water and nutrients.

Spider Plants with brown tips
Water Stress is one of the prominent reason for the browning edges of Spider Plant.

A Spider Plant prefers moist soil in the summer and slightly dry soil in the winter. 

However, a drooping, stressed plant will come from soil that remains dry for a long time.

The Spider Plant enjoys that the soil gets dry between waterings, but its tips may turn brown if it goes too long without water.


  • Water your Spider Plant twice a week during summer, but dial it down to weekly during winter.
  • Provide hydration to the Spider Plant when the topsoil is partially dry.
  • Remove your Spider Plant from its container, chop off any affected sections and apply fungicide if you suspect it has root rot.
  • Use well-draining soil and a pot with ample drainage holes to repot the plant after removing the decaying areas brought on by root rot.
  • After watering the plant, wait for 30 minutes before draining the drip tray to be sure no more water has gotten into the soil or the roots.
  • Put the pot somewhere warm and with lots of light.
  • Additionally, use a soil moisture meter to note the moisture or dryness of the soil.

2. Water Fluoride Levels

Spider Plants’ leaf tips might become brown if exposed to Fluoride for an extended time. The level of Fluoride differs according to different domestic lands.

Fluoride in the water won’t instantly cause your Spider Plant to develop brown tips.

But when  Fluoride accumulates inside the plant excessively over time, it begins to harm the plant.

Flouride hinders a plant’s normal photosynthesis and damages the tissue. It will eventually harm the stomata of your plant’s leaf margins and ultimately become poisonous, causing the leaves to turn brown.

If you have noticed the soil surface or the area surrounding the planter turning into a white, crusty coating, it is a definite symptom of the Flouride problem.


  • Prevent hydrating your plant with tap water; use distilled or rainwater instead.
  • Provide your Spider Plant with a high calcium-content soil to help neutralize the toxicity of Fluoride.
  • Before watering, let the tap water remain for 24 hours at room temperature so that Fluoride will naturally evaporate.
  • Additionally, slide the plant out and aerate the soil to allow the Fluoride to vaporize.
  • Before reusing, allow the potting mixture to dry in the sun.

3. Low Humidity

The tropical elegance of the Spider Plant will flourish in a humid environment with a range of 50-60%.

Low humidity is tolerable for Spider Plants, but dry air below 50% can lead to leaf tips turning brown and dehydrated.

A plant cannot allow water to evaporate, which is a necessary step in the transpiration process, or extract nutrients from the soil when relative humidity levels are low.

Spider Plant in hanging pot
Low humidity affects Spider Plants because dry air draws moisture from their cells.

When heaters are on, the air is dehydrated during winter. 


  • A wonderful approach to naturally enhance humidity is to group your plants.
  • Purchase a humidifier for the simplest way to boost humidity for your Spider Plants.
  • Make a DIY pebble tray by placing pebbles in the tray with water and plant on top.
  • Place your plants in high-humidity locations like the laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom.
  • Mist your Spider Plant twice a day during the summer and once during winter.
  • Additionally, a humidity meter may be pretty useful for monitoring plant conditions.

4. Chemical Buildup 

If the tips of your Spider Plant’s leaves turn brown, salt buildup from fertilizer should be blamed.

Most fertilizer recommendations are made for outdoor plants since they grow faster than indoor plants, like Spider Plants.

Similarly, the roots of outdoor plants are more widely spaced and reach deeper into the soil.

When feeding, the entire roots get harmed through overfertilization. 

Overfertilizing leads to brown tips because the plant has inadequate water, which damages the roots.

Furthermore, the soil of the Spider Plant may begin to produce concentrated mineral salts and leaf curling due to too much fertilizer.


  • Remove the excessive chemical buildup due to overfertilization by flushing the top layer of the plant with distilled water.
  • Fertilize your plant only with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer twice a month during spring and summer.
  • Dilute the fertilizer to a quarter and a half in strength when fertilizing.
  • Alternatively, repot your Spider Plant in a fresh well-draining soil mix if the case is uncurable.

5. Sun Exposure 

Spider Plants are grown under the shade of other trees and plants in their natural habitat.

Spider Plants thrive in 6-8 hours of bright indirect sunlight.

When relocated abruptly, a Spider Plant in a highly sunny location may begin to grow brown tips.

Getting too much sun simply implies that the potting soil for your Spider Plant will dry up soon, causing the browning tips.

This way, leaves will dry and turn brown on tips from sunburn if the Spider Plant is left in the sun for an extended period.


  • Place your Spider Plant at eastern or southeastern windows for optimum sunlight.
  • Keep the Spider Plant at least 4-5 feet away from windows.
  • You may also use sheer curtains or drapes to block the intense sunshine.
  • Similarly, rotate your plant regularly to ensure it receives equal amounts of sunshine.
  • Provide 12 hours of fluorescent light to the plant during cold days or if you live in the low light region.

To provide Spider Plant with optimum light, first learn how much light it needs.   

6. Pests & Diseases

Bacterial Leaf Blight represents one of the most common diseases to ruin the Spider Plant’s aesthetics.

It is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae that makes the plant yield the leaf tips, initially having pale dots and then brown and black scars.

Bacterial leaf spots and tip burns are identified by browning tips and discoloration in the leaf border under hot, humid, and wet circumstances.

The plant is also prone to pests such as Aphids, Whitefield, Mealybugs, and Spider mites. 

These pests can attack indoor plants and cause their leaves to fade, leaving them yellow or brown.


  • To prevent the spreading of illness, quarantine the affected plant.
  • You should remove any damaged stems, leaves, or other plant parts.
  • You may also treat the infection in the roots with diluted hydrogen peroxide.
  • Put the insects and their eggs in a solution of soapy water. 
  • You may eliminate aphids by using 98% isopropyl alcohol.
  • Avoid overwatering and overfertilizing your plant because pests and diseases thrive in those circumstances.
  • You can also apply Neem oil or horticultural oil to eliminate pests.

7. Poor Quality Soil 

Well-draining soil is suitable for Spider Plants as the excellent drainage of the soil prevents water from pooling and puddling.

However, poor-quality soil stores too much moisture, which helps accelerate the buildup of chemicals, heavy metals, and salts.

Additionally, heavy soils can make it harder to remove these poisons, which can make the issue worse and cause browning edges of the leaves. 


  • Use a well-draining soil mix with a pH balance between 6.0 and 6.5.
  • You can improve the drainage by using perlite, pumice, or certain organic materials such as compost or worm casting
  • Ensure to pot your Spider Plant in a terracotta container with drainage holes.
  • Use a fork and gently poke through the soil to loosen and break any compaction.
  • Get rid of weeds and other wastes to avoid creating an infested environment.
Learn how to make a homemade soil mix for Spider Plant. 

8. Root-Bound

It might be interesting to know Spider Plant likes to be root-bounded to some extent.

However, they outgrow their containers and begin obstructing the drain after a few years. 

There is less area for soil to retain water when the roots grow in the container thoroughly, which can result in dehydration, lack of nutrition supply, and browning tips.


  • In between 2 and 5 years, Spider Plants achieve their full size. Make sure to examine the plant every spring to see whether it has outgrown the container.
  • It’s time to repot your plant in new soil in a container if roots are peeking out of the drainage holes.
  • Spider Plant prefers 4 to 6 inches pot; be sure to repot the plant in 1-2 inches bigger pot than the previous one.
  • You may remove the plant, divide the root ball into two to four equal halves and plant each of these parts in a separate container.

Should I cut off the brown tips on my spider plant?

Yes, it is better to prune away the brown edges of the Spider Plant leaves.

However, ensure to sterilize the gardening tools to avoid affecting your plant’s healthy leaves.

Why are my spider plant leaves turning yellow?

The leaves may turn yellow due to overwatering, low humidity, extreme temperature, insufficient sunlight, pests, and diseases.

To revive the plant, diagnose the causes of the colored leaves and fix them individually. 

Read more about Spider Plant problems and their solutions.

Final Thoughts

The key to caring for your Spider Plant is to provide it with a steady and tropical habitat.

External factors may cause the tips of Spider Plants to get brown, but most causes are often harmless to your plant.

Sometimes only a few modest adjustments and judicious leaf pruning are required to maintain its healthy appearance.

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