Why do the tips of leaves in indoor plants dry?

Why do the tips of leaves in indoor plants dry?

Dry tips of the leaves of indoor plants often spoil their appearance and make you think about the health of flowers. The most common reason for the appearance of dry areas on foliage is considered to be insufficient air humidity, but sometimes the foliage begins to dry for a completely different reason.

When dry, the tips of leaves of a wide variety of home colors can turn yellow, brown, and even blacken. This does not always significantly affect the development of the bushes: they can continue to grow, bloom or bear fruit. To get rid of dry ends or just make sure that nothing threatens the plant, you should find out the reason why this or that bush began to dry out. The sooner it is possible to establish an accurate "diagnosis", the more chances are to avoid possible unpleasant consequences in a timely manner.

Possible Causes of Dry Plant Leaf Tips

Surely finding out why the tips of the leaves of indoor plants began to dry is not so easy. To do this, you should carefully examine the affected flower and evaluate what kind of care it was taken and in what conditions it was kept. After that, it will be possible to exclude for certain inappropriate options.

  • Pests. Most often, harmful insects hide on the seamy side of leaves, in internodes or on stems. Sometimes they settle in the root system. But without confidence in the presence of such insects, one should not disturb the flower once again by taking it out of the pot and examining the roots. Transplanting can only further weaken the plant. More often than not, pest symptoms are not limited to dry foliage tips.
  • Hard water. The use of unsuitable water for irrigation, which contains an excessive amount of various salts and impurities, changes the characteristics of the substrate, preventing the plants from absorbing the substances necessary for them from the soil. Water for irrigation of each type of plant must meet its requirements. When using tap water, it must be defended in an open container for at least a day.
  • Incorrect feeding schedule. Excess or lack of nutrient intake is also a common cause of foliar problems. The number of dressings should be calculated based on the needs of the plants and the characteristics of their life cycle, and also be guided by the dosages recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Air humidity level. Many indoor flowers come from the humid tropics, so the dry air of most apartments, especially in winter, often leads to the drying out of the tips of their foliage.
  • Unsuitable container. If the roots of the bush began to look through the drainage holes, it is time to transplant it. Shyness can also be detrimental to the health and appearance of the leaves.
  • Wrong watering schedule. Leaves can dry out due to frequent drying out of the soil. You can understand whether a flower is being poured or overdried by checking the ground in the depth of the container yourself or using special indicators of soil moisture.

If the analysis has helped to reduce the possible causes of foliage drying out, the relevant plant maintenance points should be adjusted.

Why do the tips of the leaves of indoor plants dry? What to do?

The main methods of treatment

Regardless of the exact reason for the drying of the tips of the leaves, the following universal measures will help to normalize the development of affected plants:

  • Replacing the top layer of soil in the tank. Changing the substrate will rid the plant of salt deposits on its surface and eliminate possible harmful components.
  • Cleansing foliage from dust. Gently wiping with a soft cloth or rinsing under the shower will help remove the layer of dirt and dust from the leaf plates that impedes photosynthesis. But for species with fluffy leaves (for example, Saintpaulia or Gloxinia), such washing is contraindicated.
  • Correction of air humidity level. Flowers can be sprayed or open containers of water can be placed next to them. An increase in humidity, if it does not completely solve the problem, will help improve the overall tone of the flower and serve as a prophylaxis against harmful insects. But it is possible to additionally increase the humidity only in those cases if there is confidence that the soil in the flower pots is not waterlogged.
  • Clarification of the rules of care. Nearby flowers may have radically different needs for the level of humidity or lighting, so each plant must be approached individually.

If, after examining the flower, it was possible to establish the specific cause of the dry tips of the leaves, first of all you need to deal with it.

Dry indoor air

Not every exotic plant feels well in conditions of low humidity, especially near working heating devices. To remedy this situation, additional measures are needed to humidify the air.

It should be remembered that soil moisture does not affect this indicator. Constant waterlogging of the soil in the pot will quickly lead to root problems, which will cause the plant to receive even less moisture than usual.

To make the air in the room more humid, use the following techniques:

  • Spraying. Some plants require irrigation up to 3 times a day, only this amount of moisture can significantly adjust the required indicator. But this method is not considered universal. Plants with pubescent foliage or full blooming flowers should not be sprayed. Falling on such foliage, water droplets can lead to stains, burns or rot, and spraying the flowers can lead to their faster wilting.
  • A tray of water. A pot with a plant that needs humidification is placed on a wide tray filled with moist moss, expanded clay or pebbles. By evaporating, the water will reduce the dryness of the air near the plant. But the bottom of the pot should not be immersed in water. The pallet can be replaced with an open container of water next to the flowers.
  • Humidifier devices. An effective way to regulate humidity throughout the room.
  • Moving plants. So that the plantings suffer less from a lack of moisture, they are placed farther from the batteries or transferred to the wettest rooms - for example, to the bathroom or kitchen. But such a move is not suitable for all cultures and is good only as a temporary measure. The flower bath can be too dark, and temperature changes, steam or smoke from cooking are considered unacceptable for some plants.

Watering indoor plants with hard water

The main sign of using hard water for irrigation is considered to be white salt deposits on the soil surface. Sometimes even well-settled tap water gives such an effect. To cope with the effects of soil salinization and prevent its progress, you should:

  • Remove the top layer of soil with a bloom. You should act carefully, trying not to damage the roots. The old soil is replaced with fresh soil.
  • Find out the exact preferences of a particular species. Some flowers prefer slightly acidified water (grains of citric acid can be added to it), others prefer distilled water completely devoid of impurities.
  • Use only soft water. Tap water should be defended for at least (or better - more) days, sometimes then it is additionally filtered or boiled. If possible, instead of tap water, it is better to use rain or melt water, but this can only be done outside the city, where precipitation does not accumulate urban dirt and smog.

Violation of the watering regime of plants

Both insufficiently moist and waterlogged soil can lead to the appearance of dry tips. Short periods of drought are perceived by many house flowers better than overflow. But both in the overdried and in the waterlogged bush, the leaves begin to wither, which is why it can be difficult to understand what the plant lacks.

Withering in dry soil is directly related to a lack of moisture. After watering, such a plant should restore the elasticity of the foliage. Watering the overflowed plant will not save: in this case, the loss of turgor is due to the fact that the roots have rotted and can no longer absorb water from the soil. Especially often, overflows occur on cool days, when the soil does not have time to dry out at the usual time. To normalize the watering schedule, you should:

  • Find out exactly how much water the plant needs. Some species can withstand complete drying of the soil coma, others should be watered as soon as its top layer has dried. In some cases, sump watering should be preferred over conventional watering.
  • Estimate the dimensions of the drainage layer and the holes in the pot. Insufficient drainage and too small holes in the bottom of the pot make it difficult to remove excess moisture and lead to its stagnation at the roots. It is recommended to transplant such a plant into a more suitable container.
  • In dry times, watering is carried out more often, and excess water from the sump continues to be drained. But too much heat from +30 and above sometimes leads to a slowdown in flower growth, so at such a time the earth can dry out more slowly.
  • The water temperature for irrigation should be at least room temperature - the roots will not be able to assimilate ice water.
  • If the plant is overmoistened, for the next watering you need to wait until the soil is almost completely dry. At normal times, moisture-loving plants are watered as the top layer dries, drought-resistant plants - when the soil is about half dry.
  • The soil moisture meter, which is used before each watering, will help to determine the needs of the flower.
  • The automatic irrigation system will help insure against mistakes.

Sometimes, even with a normal frequency of soil moistening, the plant still does not have enough water. This happens if water is absorbed only by the upper part of the substrate, but does not reach the roots located in its depth. To avoid this, water is poured into the pot until it begins to reach the pan, washing out the entire soil lump.

The appearance of pests

The reason for the drying of the leaves is often pests that feed on plant sap. In this case, not only the loss of foliage decorativeness is at stake, but also the health of the entire plant. In addition, insects can quickly move from one bush of flowers to all the others.

In addition to pests (aphids, spider mites, scale insects, etc.), fungal diseases can also cause such an effect. In this case, brownish specks appear on the leaves, and the plates themselves begin to wither and dry out. At the first signs of the appearance of insects or symptoms of a fungal infection, the affected bush must be isolated from other plants in order to avoid the spread of the infection.

Appropriate prevention will help protect home flowers from pests. Often insects appear on plantings during periods of heat and low humidity, so an increase in air humidity can block the path of pests. The transplant is always carried out only in a clean, disinfected container and treated soil. New plants brought into the house are kept in quarantine for about a month away from the rest of the plantings to ensure their health. If the flower is nevertheless affected by a pest or disease, appropriate treatments with fungicidal or insecticidal preparations are carried out for treatment. You can get rid of minor lesions with folk remedies. For example, a soap solution is used against a number of pests, which is applied to the leaves and then washed off.

Pot too small

Excessive tightness can also harm the plant. Its roots no longer fit in the pot and too quickly exhaust the nutrient resources of the soil available there. Due to lack of nutrition, the leaves begin to dry out. If the roots of the plant are already visible in the drainage holes, it must be urgently transplanted. But it is not recommended to choose a new container "with a margin". In a pot that is too spacious, the earth will dry out more slowly, leading to stagnant moisture. Excessive volume can have a bad effect on the flowering of many species.

Incorrect lighting

Lack or overabundance of light can lead to drying of the tips of the leaves. It is possible to determine what exactly does not suit the plant by evaluating the shape and characteristics of the spots, as well as how the rays fall on it. Sunburns are usually not limited to the edges of the foliage and appear as spots on the blades. They usually attack bushes exposed to the sun or plants exposed to light immediately after spraying.

If home flowers lack light, the color of their leaves may fade. Sometimes they begin to completely shed the leaf blades (often hibiscus does this). To provide proper lighting for the landings, you must:

  • Find out what volumes of light (direct or scattered) are required for a particular flower, and put it on the appropriate window;
  • If it is not possible to provide the plant with natural light, they resort to backlighting. Daylight hours of the required duration are created by turning on fluorescent or phytolamps;
  • If the ends of the leaves turn yellow and dry on only one side of the plant, the pot with it can be periodically turned towards the light in different directions;
  • Many flowers on the southern windows have to be shaded in the afternoon from bright rays. This is done using curtains, blinds or opaque "screens" that block the flower from light. They can be made from scrap materials, for example, cardboard corresponding to the size of the bush.

Frequent drafts

Regular ventilation, which promotes air movement, has a positive effect on the health of many flowers. But the same cannot be said for cold air currents. Drafts harm almost all houseplants. A sudden change in temperature leads to the appearance of pale yellow spots, which gradually become slightly transparent, or even shedding of foliage from the stress experienced.

Drafts can not only come from open windows, they are sometimes created by running fans or air conditioners. It is recommended to keep the flowers away from their influence, removing them from the path of the air flow.

Sometimes the reason for the drying of the tips of the leaves in indoor plants is not a sharp change in temperature, but an unsuitable temperature regime for the season. For example, if a flower is resting in winter and needs coolness, keeping it in a hot room can further weaken it.

Errors in the feeding schedule

An excess of mineral fertilizers, like their lack, can have a bad effect on the appearance of a flower and sometimes also leads to yellowing or drying of the tips of its leaves. Excessive amounts of mineral additives can contribute to the formation of plaque on the surface of the soil in the same way as hard water. In this case, feeding is stopped.

If feeding is not carried out as often as it should, signs of a deficiency of a certain element may appear on the leaves:

  • Lack of nitrogen - yellowing of the tips of leaves and veins, while the size of the foliage decreases, and the color gradually fades;
  • Lack of iron - yellowing of the leaves and a decrease in their size is combined with the preservation of the color of the veins and an increase in their volume;
  • Lack of potassium - yellowing of the edges of the leaf while maintaining the color of the veins;
  • Lack of calcium - the tips of the foliage turn brown, and the leaf itself begins to curl. This is usually observed on too acidic or alkaline soil;
  • Lack of zinc - the foliage seems to be burnt out, it loses its color, and the veins become convex.

Having identified the missing substance, the plant should be fed with the appropriate fertilizer.

The tips of the leaves dry HOW TO "REANIMATE" indoor flowers

Sometimes the yellowing of the tips of the leaves is just a seasonal problem that disappears with the end of the heating season. Often, only a small tip of the leaf remains dry, which practically does not affect the rest of the leaf blade and only slightly spoils the appearance of the bush. If the foliage dries up constantly and the situation is gradually getting worse, you should not start this process. Having eliminated the cause, you can happily enjoy the sight of a completely healthy plant.

Why do the tips of the leaves of indoor plants dry and how to deal with it

Adding an article to a new collection

Dry air is what immediately comes to mind when we see dry tips in indoor plants. But not everything revolves around moisture. There are other reasons why yellow or brown spots appear on the leaves.

Every florist has faced the problem of dry leaf tips in indoor plants at least once. It doesn't matter if you breed begonias, spathiphyllum, roses or orchids. At the same time, potted flowers do not show other alarming symptoms, continuing to grow and even delighting with flowering. Let's try to figure out why the tips of the leaves of indoor plants dry, is it dangerous and how to fix the defect.

Most often, yellow, brown and even black dry tips are the result of improper care or a reaction to the vital activity of pests. The natural aging process cannot be ruled out either. True, the latter can be postponed by creating the most comfortable conditions for the green pet.

Step one - comprehensive diagnostics

When dry, dark leaf tips appear on a plant, one usually thinks of too dry air right away. Insufficient humidity is indeed the most common cause of this phenomenon, but far from the only one. And misdiagnosis, exclusion of a whole range of other possible factors from the assumptions can turn into a big disaster. After all, if you try to increase the humidity of the air when the earthen coma is waterlogged, which led to stem rot, you can achieve the opposite results.

Drying of the tips of the leaves, in addition to insufficiently high humidity, can lead to:

  • - watering with low-quality water, especially hard and unstable water (dry tips in this case - salt burns)
  • - violation of the comfortable moisture content of the substrate in the container - too intense waterlogging or prolonged drought
  • - the spread of pests, the depressed state of the infected plant
  • - improper feeding - lack or excess of fertilizers
  • - hitting the plant with direct midday rays or too bright lighting for crops that prefer shading
  • - too hot conditions, high air temperatures (especially during wintering)
  • - complete filling of the free soil with rhizome, which has become a cramped container.

And in order to accurately diagnose the cause, it is necessary to take a responsible approach to the process of assessing the state of the plant, in which it is better to move from the opposite, by the method of exclusion:

  • Look closely at the plant, especially the shoots and undersides of the leaves, for signs of pests and other signs of impaired growth.
  • Check if the container is too tight and if roots are showing up from the drain hole.

Read also: Dieffenbachia. Growing problems

  • Determine the moisture content of the substrate, the degree of drying between treatments. If you find it difficult to assess just by touch, buy special indicators from a flower shop that will show how dry the soil is.
  • Analyze the feeding schedule and compare it with the recommended one for a particular plant. Citrus fruits, for example, tend to dry out when iron is deficient. And in most non-flowering crops, too frequent feeding can cause serious developmental disorders, including at the initial stage manifested in drying tips.
  • Analyze the water quality. If you use running tap water, then this is the most likely reason for the drying of the leaves: it contains impurities of fluorine and chlorine, salts and other unpleasant heavy substances that lead to a violation of the characteristics of the soil and change its balance.
  • Determine the humidity of the air, its dryness and comfort for moisture-loving species.

A deviation by one point will reveal the main reason for the drying of the tips of the leaves, by 2 or more - it will indicate the need for complex measures.

How to solve the problem with dry leaf tips?

General hygiene measures

Regardless of the results of the assessment of the causes, the first thing to do is to take general hygiene measures:

  1. Start by removing the risk of soil contamination, eliminating salt deposits: remove white deposits from the surface of the substrate, replace the surface layer of the soil with fresh, clean substrate.
    1. Be sure to clean the leaves of the plant from dust, give him a shower and follow the "behavior" of your pet.
    2. Try changing the humidity by placing a container of water or humidifiers next to it.
  2. These measures must be taken regardless of whether it was possible to find the cause and what it was. After all, even if the plant is infected with pests, an increase in humidity will serve as a preventive measure. But the 2nd and 3rd steps have their own exceptions:
    • - obvious waterlogging of the substrate, which led to decay of the shoots, during which the leaves can be cleaned, but it is better not to increase the air humidity until the soil dries out
    • - if the problem manifests itself on plants with pubescent leaves that cannot be cleaned of dust by classical methods, then it is better to refuse cleaning and shower.

    The tips of the leaves of Gusmania dry up.

    The second important step is also general - personalized care. Houseplants are all different, and they also need not the same care. Do not add orchids, chlorophytum and cacti with the same frequency. Each plant should receive exactly the care (and those conditions) that it needs. Check your exit strategy and make sure you adhere to this principle. If not, rebuild the care program, having studied the information about each plant.

    Further measures depend directly on the cause of the drying out of the tips of the leaves.

    If the tips of the leaves dry out due to dry air

    The dry air problem can be solved by standard methods:

    • - spraying (not suitable for flowering plants and pubescent leaves)
    • - installation of special devices-humidifiers
    • - installation of pallets or trays with wet pebbles, moss, expanded clay, on which a pot with a plant is placed so that the bottom does not touch the water
    • - placing plants in flower display cases.

    If the tips of the leaves dry out due to water quality

    If the drying of the tips of the leaves in your plant has caused the water quality, immediately make changes to the usual watering pattern:

    1. check what kind of water it is recommended to water your plant (it may need acidified or especially soft water)
    2. refuse to use running water, let it settle for at least 24 hours (or better, several days) in containers, then carefully drain
    3. replace tap water with rain, thawed, boiled water.

    If the tips of the leaves dry out due to improper watering

    If the cause of the problem lies in the wrong irrigation regime and the violation of the comfortable moisture content of the substrate, the actions should be different:

    1. Learn about the basic plant preferences (today, for most species, the recommendation of "poor or abundant watering" has long been replaced by more precise instructions).
    2. in case of waterlogging, which has already led to the process of decay and a violation of the air permeability of the soil, evaluate the quality of the drainage and drain hole. If everything is okay with them, let the substrate dry almost completely before the next procedure and postpone watering. If the problem is a small drain hole, lack of drainage, proceed with an emergency plant transplant.
    3. If there is excessive drought, water more frequently and abundantly. But do not let the water stagnate in the trays, anyway, carry out each subsequent watering after a few top centimeters of soil for moisture-loving plants have dried out and the middle layer for ordinary crops and succulents has partially dried.
    4. Consider the possibility of purchasing self-watering pots, which will save you forever the hassle of customizing the frequency of treatments.

    The tips of the leaves of anthurium dry out.

    If the tips of the leaves dry out due to pests

    If the plant is infested with pests, start an integrated control:

    1. isolate the plant from other indoor crops to prevent the spread of pests
    2. wash the leaves with soapy water
    3. increase the humidity
    4. start using special insecticides (you can evaluate the range of preparations, both biological type and with a purely chemical composition, in the nearest flower shop or garden center)
    5. when transplanting a plant, carefully process and disinfect the container
    6. Strengthen preventive measures for the rest of the plants in the collection.

    If leaf tips dry out due to containment breach

    If the reason for the drying of the tips of the leaves was the violation of lighting, temperatures, feeding regime, then the conditions must be returned to comfortable for a particular species and variety of plants. If there are clear signs that the plant is cramped in its capacity, carry out an emergency transplant. It is also carried out if the excess of nutrients cannot be corrected by a simple reduction in feeding.

Examples of

Why leaves of Geranium and Spathiphyllum can dry

Consider why the tips of the leaf plates can dry out on two plants:

  1. Geranium.
  2. Spathiphyllum.


Geranium tips can dry out for reasons such as:

  • First of all, the lack of winter rest
  • Irregular watering
  • Poor lighting in winter
  • Small capacity for the root system.
  • High humidity.


In Spathiphyllum, the tips of the leaf mass dry out for the reasons:

  • Irregular watering
  • Standing a flower in a draft
  • Reduced air humidity
  • Overabundance sunny Sveta.

What to do to help dry plants

Help for Geranium

Knowing that Geranium is a resident of the African coast, you can be sure that the sun cannot damage the flower. Therefore, in winter it is kept at a temperature of 10-12 degrees Celsius and in good lighting.

At the same time, feeding for flowering plants is introduced and they are bred strictly according to the instructions indicated on the package.

When overfeeding, the pet stops blooming and discards yellowed leaves.

It must be remembered that with frequent bays, Geranium will also begin to shed its leaves, since its root system is about to rot.

You need to familiarize yourself with what the plant needs at the moment of growth and rest and abide by these rules. We described the general rules for care in the article on the proper care of geraniums.

Help for Spathiphyllum

This plant needs timely watering with soft water and high humidity of the room air. It can be achieved only by placing the flower on a tray with water and expanded clay, or using a cat tray that will increase the humidity, and the roots of the flower will not touch the water.

We gave the rules for caring for a flower in the section on caring for spathiphyllum.

When you find dry tips on your favorite plant, you should not panic, you need to think about what is missing or what it gets in excess and solve this problem.

How to prevent darkening

Correct care saves from blackening. The pot is placed on a window with a bright diffused light. Direct rays will not only cause burns to the leaves, but also quickly dry out the earthen lump.

With insufficient lighting, the foliage will fade due to a lack of ultraviolet radiation. You can hang the pot on the wall opposite the southwest window. As an ampelous plant, the flower grows quickly and produces small rosettes.

Under natural conditions, chlorophytum lives in a humid subtropical climate. Its varieties are native to South America and Africa.

Hence the delusion of flower growers that the flower should be filled. From spring to autumn, the bush is often watered: the ground should be constantly wet. In winter, water is added as the soil dries out.

You can purchase a special indicator at a gardening store that will show the degree of soil moisture. The roots of chlorophytum have tubers that can store moisture. It will survive for a long time without watering, but the appearance will suffer from this: the leaves will fade.

The minimum temperature for healthy growth is 12 ° C. If the mark is lower, then the plant will hibernate. In summer, the pot can be displayed on the balcony or terrace. However, it should be noted that chlorophytum does not like drafts.

Blackening at the edges of the leaves can form due to improperly selected substrate. The bush grows quickly at home in slightly acidic soil.

When planting a young plant, soil is used for begonias or azaleas. You can cook it yourself: leaf soil is mixed with turf, humus and sand. In this case, it is necessary to water it once a month with slightly acidified water.

The tips of the leaves and the bush as a whole can suffer from the small pot. If the root system appears on the surface, then the plant will have to be transplanted. You need to take a pot several sizes larger. Young chlorophytum is transplanted once a year.

In the warm season, the flower is fertilized twice a month. Mineral and organic fertilizers alternate. It is allowed to use complex preparations: "Kemira Lux" and "Agricola". In winter, plants are fed once a month with small doses of fertilizer.


Carrying out preventive measures is an important part of caring for indoor plants. Do the following: balance the feeding and irrigation processes, and maintain the temperature and humidity levels required for a particular crop. It is important to regularly prune off diseased or dying plant parts, as well as transplant to provide space for growth. The room should always be ventilated and the required amount of light should be present. In addition, the plantings should not be thickened.

The water used for irrigation should be at room temperature and poured directly under the root, without filling either the root collar or the leaf axils. In addition, it is important that the liquid is free of chlorine and salts. If suspicious spots or formations appear on the leaves or shoots, then it is better to remove them immediately. Before planting, both the soil and the seeds must undergo a decontamination procedure.

The plant itself can be watered with "Baktofit" or "Fitosporin-M". At the slightest signs of infection, it is better to spray with a systemic fungicide immediately.

For more information on indoor plant diseases, see the next video.

Watch the video: How to Properly Clean Indoor Plant Leaves and Make Them SHINE!