Why Is My Spider Plant Turning Brown


Lack of Water

One of the most common reasons why spider plants turn brown is a lack of water. Spider plants prefer evenly moist soil, so if the soil dries out too much, the plant may begin to suffer.

When a spider plant doesn’t receive enough water, its leaves will start to turn brown and dry out from the tips inward. This can be especially noticeable during hot summer months or if the plant is located near a heat source, such as a radiator or heating vent.

To remedy this issue, it’s important to water your spider plant regularly. Check the moisture level of the soil by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water the plant. However, be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to other problems like root rot.

A good watering routine for spider plants is typically once a week. However, this may vary depending on factors such as the surrounding environment and the size of the pot. Be sure to adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

In addition to regular watering, you can also help increase moisture levels by misting the leaves with water every few days. This can create a more humid environment for the spider plant, which it will appreciate.

Remember, consistent and proper watering is key to keeping your spider plant healthy and vibrant. By addressing the issue of a lack of water, you can help prevent the browning of the leaves and ensure that your spider plant thrives.


While a lack of water can be detrimental to spider plants, overwatering is another common cause of browning leaves. Overwatering occurs when the plant receives more water than it needs or when the soil remains consistently soggy.

When a spider plant is overwatered, the roots may become waterlogged, leading to root rot. This can prevent the plant from absorbing nutrients properly, resulting in brown, wilted leaves.

An overwatered spider plant may also exhibit other signs such as yellowing leaves, mushy or discolored roots, and a musty odor emanating from the soil.

To address the issue of overwatering, it’s important to establish a proper watering routine. Spider plants generally prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Check the moisture level of the soil before watering by inserting your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels damp, hold off on watering until the top inch has dried out.

It’s also crucial to ensure that the pot has proper drainage. Excess water should be able to flow out of the pot easily so that the roots don’t become waterlogged. If your spider plant is potted in a container without drainage holes, consider repotting it into a pot with proper drainage or using a well-draining soil mixture.

If you notice that your spider plant is overwatered, take immediate action by reducing the frequency of watering. Allow the soil to dry out a bit more between waterings, but be careful not to let it dry out completely.

In some cases, it may be necessary to temporarily withhold watering altogether to allow the roots to dry out. However, it’s important to monitor the plant closely during this period to ensure it doesn’t become dehydrated.

By addressing the issue of overwatering, you can prevent further damage to your spider plant and promote healthy, vibrant foliage.

Poor Drainage

Poor drainage is another factor that can contribute to browning leaves in spider plants. When the soil doesn’t drain properly, water can accumulate around the roots, leading to root rot and other moisture-related issues.

If your spider plant is potted in a container without drainage holes or if the potting soil is compacted and doesn’t allow water to escape, it can hinder the plant’s ability to thrive. Over time, this excessive moisture can result in browning leaves and overall decline in the plant’s health.

To address poor drainage, it’s important to repot your spider plant into a container with proper drainage holes. This will allow excess water to flow out of the pot more efficiently, reducing the risk of waterlogged roots.

In addition to using a pot with drainage holes, it’s crucial to ensure that the soil used for the spider plant is well-draining. You can achieve this by mixing equal parts of potting soil and perlite or vermiculite. This will create a looser soil texture that allows water to drain away from the roots more effectively.

When repotting your spider plant, carefully remove it from the old container, loosening the roots if they are tightly bound. Place it into the new container, ensuring the drainage holes are not blocked by excess soil. Fill in any gaps with the well-draining soil mixture, and gently firm it around the roots.

Once repotted, be sure to adjust your watering routine accordingly. With improved drainage, you may need to water your spider plant a bit more frequently to prevent the soil from completely drying out. Regularly monitor the moisture level of the soil and adjust your watering schedule as necessary.

By addressing the issue of poor drainage and providing better conditions for your spider plant’s roots, you can help prevent browning leaves and promote overall plant health.

Inadequate Light

Spider plants are known for their ability to tolerate a wide range of light conditions, but inadequate light can still cause their leaves to turn brown. These plants thrive in bright indirect light, and when they don’t receive enough light, their growth and overall health can be affected.

If your spider plant is located in a dimly lit area with little natural sunlight or if it’s placed too far away from a light source, it may not be receiving the amount of light it needs to thrive. This can result in browning leaves and a more leggy or stretched out appearance.

To address the issue of inadequate light, it’s important to find a suitable location for your spider plant. Ideally, place it near a window that receives bright, indirect sunlight for a few hours each day. If this is not possible, you can also provide supplemental light using artificial grow lights.

When using grow lights, opt for full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs or LED lights specifically designed for plants. Position the light source about 6 to 12 inches above the plant and leave it on for 12 to 14 hours a day. This will mimic natural daylight and provide the necessary light energy for the spider plant to thrive.

It’s important to note that too much direct sunlight can also be harmful to spider plants, causing sunburn and leaf damage. Therefore, aim for a balance between light exposure and shade.

Regularly monitor your spider plant for signs of too much or too little light. If you notice the leaves are turning brown and the plant is not growing as vigorously as it should, it may indicate that it needs more light. On the other hand, if the leaves become pale or yellowish, it may be a sign that the plant is receiving too much direct sunlight.

By providing adequate light conditions, either through natural sunlight or artificial grow lights, you can prevent browning leaves and promote healthy growth in your spider plant.

Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

Spider plants are generally adaptable to a range of temperatures, but exposure to extreme heat or cold can cause their leaves to turn brown. These plants prefer moderate temperatures and can suffer when exposed to harsh extremes.

If your spider plant is placed in an area with high temperatures above 90°F (32°C) or low temperatures below 50°F (10°C), it can experience stress and develop browning leaves.

In hot temperatures, the leaves may become scorched, turning brown and crispy. On the other hand, in cold temperatures, the plant’s metabolism may slow down, impacting its ability to absorb nutrients and leading to browning of the leaves.

To address the issue of exposure to extreme temperatures, it’s important to find a suitable location for your spider plant where it can thrive. Ideally, aim for a temperature range between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C).

If your spider plant is placed near a window with direct sunlight, consider moving it to a more shaded spot during the hottest part of the day to prevent leaf scorching. You can also use curtains or blinds to filter the sunlight and provide some protection.

In cold temperatures, it’s crucial to protect your spider plant from drafts and frost. If the plant is located near a window with a cold draft, consider moving it to a more sheltered area or providing insulation around the window. If temperatures drop significantly, you may also need to bring your plant indoors temporarily.

Regularly monitor the temperature of the area where your spider plant is located and make adjustments as necessary. If you notice browning leaves, it may be an indicator that the plant is experiencing extreme temperatures.

By providing a suitable temperature range and protecting your spider plant from extreme heat or cold, you can prevent browning leaves and promote optimal growth and health in your plant.

Stress from Transplanting

Transplanting spider plants from one pot to another can sometimes cause stress to the plant, leading to browning leaves. When a spider plant is uprooted and placed in a new environment, it takes time for it to adjust and establish its root system.

During the transplanting process, the roots may suffer damage or become disturbed, which can disrupt the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. This can result in browning leaves as the plant struggles to adapt and recover.

To minimize the stress from transplanting and prevent browning leaves, it’s essential to handle the plant with care. When removing the plant from its current pot, gently loosen the roots to prevent damage. Ensure that the new pot has adequate drainage and is filled with well-draining soil.

After the transplant, provide the spider plant with proper care and attention. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy, to help the plant root and establish itself in its new home.

During the initial period after transplanting, it’s also essential to avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Place it in a shaded area and gradually increase its exposure to light over time.

It’s normal for spider plants to experience some stress and temporary browning of leaves after being transplanted. However, with proper care and patience, the plant should recover and produce healthy foliage once again.

Keep in mind that transplanting is best done during the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This allows the spider plant to recover more quickly and adapt to its new surroundings.

By minimizing stress during the transplanting process and providing appropriate care afterwards, you can help your spider plant overcome the initial challenges and prevent browning leaves.

Low Humidity Levels

Spider plants are native to tropical and subtropical regions, where they thrive in environments with high humidity. When the humidity levels drop too low, it can cause the leaves of spider plants to turn brown and dry out.

Low humidity levels can occur in homes during the winter months when indoor heating is on or in dry climates with arid conditions. Dry air not only affects the moisture content in the soil, but it also leads to excessive transpiration from the plant’s leaves.

When the air lacks moisture, the spider plant’s leaves may become crisp, brown at the tips, and exhibit signs of dehydration. Additionally, the plant may struggle to take up water efficiently, further contributing to browning leaves.

To address the issue of low humidity, there are several steps you can take to create a more favorable environment for your spider plant:

  1. Group your spider plant with other houseplants. By clustering plants together, they can create a microclimate with higher humidity levels.
  2. Place a tray filled with water near your spider plant. As the water evaporates, it increases humidity around the plant.
  3. Use a room humidifier to add moisture to the air. This is especially beneficial in dry climates or during the winter months.
  4. Mist the leaves of your spider plant regularly using a spray bottle filled with water. This helps to increase humidity directly around the plant.
  5. Avoid placing your spider plant near heat sources or in drafty areas. Both factors can exacerbate low humidity and further dry out the leaves.

By implementing these measures, you can help to increase the humidity levels around your spider plant, preventing browning leaves and maintaining a healthier environment for its growth.

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to browning leaves in spider plants. These plants require a balanced supply of essential nutrients to thrive, and when they don’t receive adequate nourishment, it can manifest in the form of brown and discolored foliage.

The most common nutrient deficiencies that affect spider plants include nitrogen, potassium, and iron. These nutrients play vital roles in the plant’s growth, photosynthesis, and overall health.

A lack of nitrogen can cause the leaves to turn yellow, followed by browning and wilting. Lack of potassium may result in necrosis or brown spots on the leaf edges and tips. Iron deficiency can cause the leaves to turn yellow or develop interveinal chlorosis, with green veins and yellow areas between them.

To address nutrient deficiencies and prevent browning leaves, it’s important to provide your spider plant with a balanced fertilizer. Choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for houseplants or one that is high in nitrogen, potassium, and iron.

Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the recommended dosage and application frequency. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to nutrient imbalances and potential leaf burn.

When applying the fertilizer, make sure to evenly distribute it around the plant’s root zone, taking care not to let it directly touch the leaves or stems. Water the plant thoroughly after fertilizing to ensure proper nutrient absorption.

Regularly monitor your spider plant for signs of nutrient deficiencies. If you notice browning leaves or other symptoms, it may indicate the need for a nutrient boost. Adjust your fertilization routine accordingly to address the specific nutrient deficiencies.

In addition to fertilization, ensure that your spider plant receives proper care in terms of watering, light, and overall environmental conditions. A balanced approach to plant care, including proper nutrition, will help prevent nutrient deficiencies and promote healthy, vibrant foliage.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases can also contribute to browning leaves in spider plants. Common pests that can infest spider plants include spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests feed on the plant’s foliage and sap, leading to discoloration, leaf damage, and eventual browning.

If you notice small webs, tiny insects, or sticky residue on your spider plant’s leaves, it may indicate a pest infestation. It’s important to take immediate action to control and eliminate the pests.

To address pest infestations, you can try the following methods:

  1. Inspect the plant regularly and remove any visible pests by wiping the leaves with a damp cloth or using a gentle spray of water to dislodge them.
  2. Use organic insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils to treat infested plants. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully and apply the treatment as directed.
  3. If the infestation is severe, consider using chemical insecticides as a last resort. Make sure to choose a product labeled for spider plants and follow the instructions to ensure safe and effective use.

In addition to pests, spider plants are susceptible to various diseases that can cause browning leaves. Fungal diseases such as root rot or leaf spot can develop in overly moist conditions or as a result of poor air circulation. Bacterial infections can also affect the plant’s health, leading to leaf discoloration and browning.

To prevent and address diseases in your spider plant, keep the following practices in mind:

  1. Avoid overwatering and ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogged soil.
  2. Provide good air circulation around the plant by placing it in a well-ventilated area.
  3. If you notice signs of disease, such as discolored or browning leaves, remove and discard affected foliage to prevent the spread of infection.
  4. Use fungicides or bactericides if necessary, following the instructions on the product label for application and dosage.

Regularly monitoring your spider plant for pests and diseases, implementing preventive measures, and taking prompt action when necessary can help prevent browning leaves and maintain the overall health of your plant.

Aging of the Plant

As spider plants age, it’s natural for their older leaves to turn brown and die off. Aging is a normal part of a plant’s lifecycle, and as the plant grows, it puts more energy into producing new leaves rather than maintaining older ones.

As the older leaves age, they may turn yellow or brown, becoming dry and brittle. This process is known as senescence and is a natural occurrence in plants.

While some browning of leaves due to aging is expected, excessive browning and leaf decline may indicate other underlying issues, such as improper care or environmental stressors.

To differentiate between browning caused by aging and other factors, observe the pattern and extent of leaf browning. If only a few older leaves are browning and the rest of the plant appears healthy, it’s likely a result of normal aging.

To manage the aging process and promote overall plant health, it’s important to implement proper care practices:

  1. Regularly remove yellowed or browned leaves by gently pulling them off the plant using a twisting motion. This helps maintain the plant’s appearance and prevents potential disease or pest issues.
  2. Ensure your spider plant receives adequate light, water, and nutrients to support healthy leaf growth. Providing optimal growing conditions helps the plant develop new leaves to replace the older ones.
  3. Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even exposure to light and minimize the impact of aging on specific areas of the plant.

Keep in mind that spider plants are hardy and have the ability to produce new plantlets or “spiderettes” as they mature. These plantlets can be propagated and grown into new plants, ensuring the continued vitality and longevity of your spider plant.

By understanding and accepting the natural aging process, providing proper care, and taking necessary steps to maintain the plant’s health, you can manage browning leaves associated with the aging of your spider plant.