The Q&A Archives: brown tips on leaves of houseplants

Question: I have some beautiful, big houseplants that were in great condition when I got them, but now many of them have brown tips on the leaves. What causes this? How can I treat it or what should I do differently? They don't get a lot of light because we have solar shades on our house, but they are close to windows. I try to put them outside for sun and fresh air on the weekends when the temperature is mild. These plants are special to me because they are from my sister's funeral, and I don't want them to die.

Answer: Brown leaf tips on houseplants can be a sign of low humidity, overwatering or using tap water that has fluoride or chlorine. You can use bottled water for your houseplants or you can allow your tap water to sit out overnight before using it. The chlorine should dissapate when exposed to air. You might also try misting your plants on a daily basis to increase humidity, or set them on a gravel filled tray into which you pour a little water. As the water evaporates it will increase humidity around the plants. A final suggestion is to water thoroughly but then allow the top half inch of potting soil to dry out before watering again. Plant roots need oxygen as well as moisture and overly wet soils can suffocate plant roots. I hope this information is helpful!

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