The Q&A Archives: Brown Leaf Tips On Corn Plant

Question: My corn plant seems healthy other than many of the leaves having brown tips on them. It is in a dark corner away from windows and I water it regularly and add Miracle Grow periodically. I have only had it for a little over a year.

Answer: Brown tips on houseplants are often a sign of salt burn. Salts in the water and in fertilizer build up over time. Browning usually occurs on the old leaves first. This excess salt accumulates in the leaf edges, where it kills the tissue and the leaf dries out and turns brown. It's important to water deeply and slowly. At least once a month, water deeply enough to "leach" or push salts well below the root zone. Frequent, light "sprinklings" allow salts to accumulate in the top layers of soil, where the roots are, which is bad news. Similar symptoms occur when too much fertilizer has been applied. Always water plants thoroughly before and after applying fertilizer to help prevent burn. Dracaena fragrans prefers bright to medium light, although it is tolerant of low light. Allow to just dry out between waterings. I hope this info helps.

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