The Q&A Archives: Dying Spider Plant

Question: Help!! Two weeks ago, my 2 year old spider plant had it's first babies, two shoots. Now, the plant seems to be dying - brown leaves beginning at the ends and working they're way backwards towards the center. I've never seen this happen and have tried numerous things. I've just put in fertilizer spikes, but it doesn't seem to be helping. So far, I've cut the brown ends off the leaves, but it still seems to be progressing. Can you help?

Answer: There can be several possible causes for this to happen, but the most common is that the plant has outgrown its pot and needs to be repotted and as a result is suffering from water stress. Alternatively, it may be in need of leaching due to a build up of minerals or salts from fertilizer use. To leach the soil, water the plant to the point of runoff, allow it to drain, and repeat. Also be careful you are not overfertilizing it beyond the label instructions. These plants are potentially sensitive to chemicals in municipally treated water, so you might try watering with rain water or other untreated water. Next, the plant prefers a humid atmosphere and may be reacting to either dry air or a draft. If you have changed its location, that could also explain it. I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

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