Why you might have brown tips on your leaves

Even the most careful plant owner may have suffered with this issue at some point in their plant growing career. I know I certainly have and it is something that can cause concern, especially if you don’t know why it’s happening! There are a few different potential causes of brown tips, I’ve listed them below – hopefully this will help you.

Not enough water

It’s important to get the level of water right for your plant, and under watering can be just as bad as over watering, especially in the summer months. You could see brown tips if you’re not giving your plants enough water – to check if they need a drink, put your finger into the top few centimetres of soil – if it’s dry, it’s time to water.

Humidity could be a factor as well – a lot of tropical plants may struggle if the room lacks enough humidity. You could solve this by misting your plants (daily if you can) or by placing your pots on a layer of stones or gravel.

Over watering

Plants are a bit like Goldilocks, you don’t want to underwater or over water, it needs to be just right! Monitor your plant closely when you first get it and check how its responding the levels of water you’re giving it and then you can adjust accordingly. If you over water a plant, it can impact on the roots. So much so that over watering is actually worse than under watering! Your plant doesn’t want to sit in water so make sure to pour away any excess water. Always check the care guide for each plant as they all have different needs.

Too much sun

It’s hard to believe a plant can have too much sun in this country but if you put certain plants infront of window and expose it to direct light, you can dry it out and scorch the leaves. Check the care instructions for each plant and see their preferred spot – there is only a few plants that really flourish in direct light.


Plants are continually growing – and as they do, they’ll say goodbye to older leaves to save energy. So it may be the case that this is simply an old leaf at the end of its journey. If that’s the case, carefully remove the leaf, it should come away quite easily.

Can you cut the brown tips off?

Once you’ve worked out what the problem might be, yes you can but use a shar pair of scissors and trim it carefully to avoid causing the plant any unnecessary stress.

Hope this helps!

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