Houseplant Care

Many ask, “Why are the tips of my houseplants brown?”  Caring for plants is a learning020 process.  One can only be successful if a problem is noticed early, figure the cause, and change the environment to cure the problem.

Browning tips of houseplants could be over-watering, poor drainage, under watering, low humidity, or heat ducts blowing on plants. One needs to look at the care that has been given                                                to the plant andspider tips see if these could be the cause.  If so, change the watering habits or move the plant to another location.

Other reasons for leaf tips browning could be over-fertilizing and excessive salts in the soil.  To remove excessive salts, leach the soil with water twice a year until it runs through the drainage holes and re-pot with new soil if in poor condition.dracaena tips 2

Another important factor is the water.  Well water vs. city water.  Big difference!  City water is often treated with chlorine and fluoride.  Some houseplants are very sensitive to these elements, causing leaf tip browning.  Plants especially sensitive are Dracaenas, Palms, and Spider plants.  Well water is great and so is rain water.  Chlorine in city water will evaporate into the atmosphere if left in an open container or bucket overnight.  One can also use distilled water or carbon filtered water to water the plants.  Fluoride does not evaporate like chlorine so if your plants have a lot of leaf tip browning it may be best to use distilled, filtered, or rain water.

Good Soil Structure

Adding humus and worm castings to soil improves its structure.  How?

  • Worm castings are full of beneficial microorganisms which benefit soil and the root zone.
  • Humus/organic matter create soil spaces for air and water. These spaces allow the microorganisms room to grow and reproduce.
  • Air spaces enhance root growth by making it easy for the roots to travel through the soil.
  • Aerated soil increases rain absorption and decreases runoff.
  • Good soil structure creates a perfect environment for earthworms to live which continue to aerate the soil.

Adding humus and worm castings to your soil on a regular basis ensures continued good soil structure and a healthy root zone.

soil airspaceA healthy root system needs plenty of air spaces in the soil to grow and reach the water and nutrients.

soil air 2

Well-structured soil has plenty of space for air, water and nutrients.


Good soil structure has space for roots to grow.