Q&A: Spider Plant Browning

Here's a tip on how to take care of your spider plant.

Q: Lately the tips of my spider plant have all been turning brown. Is this from overwatering or not enough sun? I usually water once a week, and the plant gets indirect light.

A: Spider plants tend to brown at the tips for one or more reasons, most commonly moisture stress. As the plant grows it requires more frequent watering because the plant is root-bound. If your plant has grown a great deal, it may need to be repotted into a larger pot or divided and part of it replanted in the same pot. Also, winter heating can create a very dry atmosphere, and indoor plants suffer from the lack of humidity, especially if located near a heat vent or radiator. Moving the plant away from such heat sources, running a humidifier, grouping plants together or keeping them in a humid area (such as over the kitchen sink or in a bathroom where people shower) can help.

Another common reason for browning of leaf ends is the gradual build-up of minerals or salts from fertilizer. To leach out these salts periodically, water the plant to the point of runoff and repeat several times.

Heavily chlorinated water or water that's been run through a water softener can be additional reasons for browning tips. If you suspect this, try using collected rainwater or water from another source.

Finally, the tips will not regrow, so trim them off neatly. Hope this helps you troubleshoot!

Keep Reading

Next Up

Houseplant Care: 8 Keys to Success

Learn how to keep your indoor plants looking good with these easy maintenance and care tips.

Tips for Growing Plants Indoors

Enjoy a garden view even if you don't have a garden when you grow flowers and foliage indoors.

Overwintering Houseplants

Houseplants that have spent summer basking in the sun need a little TLC before coming inside for the winter.

Treating Ailing Houseplants

Get tips on properly watering and fertilizing indoor plants.

Fishtail Palm Care

Learn about growing flashy and splashy fishtail palm—indoors and out.

Happy Houseplants

Learn how to avoid the most common problems that can afflict houseplants.

Winter Houseplant Care

Winter is the perfect time to give your houseplants a little extra attention.

Q&A: Norfolk Island Pines

A gardener seeks advice on the best way to take care of a Norfolk Island pine.

Budget-Friendly Flower Arrangements

These clever tips will help you cut the cost of creating a beautiful flower arrangement.

Q&A: Taming Maple Tree Roots

Tips on how to prevent a tree's roots from spreading.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.