The Q&A Archives: Brown Edges On Grass-like Plant

Question: I have a plant that is grass-like, not sure what the name is. The tips of it have become brown and dry. Is this due to underwatering? How do I know how much water to give it. How do I know if I'm overwatering a plant?

Answer: Based on your description I would guess that you have what is commonly called a spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum, with arching grasslike foliage. It is available in plain green, or in a variegated form as shown in the photo at

The tips may become brown for a number of reasons. Underwatering is a possible cause as is overwatering, but they may also brown due to overly dry air as well as possibly due to a build up of minerals in the potting soil. On this particular plant, fluoridated water is very often the culprit because spider plant is very sensitive to it. To avoid the problem, you can water it with collected rain water.

When you water this plant, soak the soil well, allow any excess water to drain out and make sure it is not sitting in a saucer of water afterwards. Water when the soil feels dry when you stick your finger in it. It tolerates medium light and does better in a bright location but not an overly sunny and hot spot -- where it may burn.

Finally, when it is potbound it will begin to produce baby plantlets dangling down on arching stems. These can be used to make more plants. Enjoy your spider plant!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"