Browning Leaves On Zebra Plant - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, CA
Avatar for cdlev
Question by cdlev
December 16, 2000
My houseplant, is a zebra plant with a pale- green leaf with white veins, very pretty. It sends up new leaves in a dark green with white veins readily and as the leaves mature and change to the pale green color, the edges of the leaves begin to brown. I keep the soil moist but not wet and I mist the leaves. The plant receives diffused light. What else must I do to keep the leaves from browning? Many thanks.

Answer from NGA
December 16, 2000
Sounds as though you're giving your plant proper moisture and just the right exposure to light so I suspect the browning margins on the leaves are due to either fluoride or chlorine in your water. Try using bottled water for your sensitive zebra plant, or allow tap water to sit out overnight prior to using it on your plant. Salt build-up from too much fertilizer can cause browning leaf edges, as well. You might want to flush excess salts from the soil by thoroughly saturating the soil with water, making sure it floods out from the drainage holes in the pot. Wait 30 minutes and repeat the process, then wait 30 minutes and flood the soil again. This combination of flushing the soil and using untreated or distilled water for your plant should result in attractive leaves without brown margins. Hope so!

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