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Why Are My Spider Plant Tips Brown?

Spider plant brown tips can be caused by improper watering, wrong lighting conditions, over-fertilization, a lack of humidity, and pest infestations. In order to solve the problem plaguing your spider plant leaves, you first need to determine what’s causing it.

What Causes Brown Tips On A Spider Plant?


There are a few clear indications that your spider plant is not getting enough water. The spider plant leaves can develop crispy brown leaf tips, pinprick brown spots, and the leaves can curl or flip under at the edges.


Stick with a consistent watering schedule. Start with watering once a week and see how that works. If your plant’s soil is dry in between, increase to every five days. The first inch of a spider plant’s soil should be dry before watering again.

Spider plants enjoy a slightly humid environment, so it may help simply to move the plant into a bathroom or kitchen.

It is also worth noting that plants should not be watered with tap water because of the fluoride it contains. Tap water needs to sit out for at least 24 hours before using it on houseplants. You can also use distilled water, filtered water or rainwater.

Brown leaves could be a sign of under- or over-watering.


A spider plant that gets too much water can also turn brown and wilt. The spider plant leaves may fade and turn yellow with excess water. You may see mushy spots on the plant and notice a musty smell. These are usually signs that root rot has set in, which will eventually kill the plant if not remedied.


Spider plants can experience water stress if watered too much. Overwatering can kill your houseplant just like underwatering can. Reduce the watering frequency and let the plant dry out completely. If you suspect root rot, repotting is the only solution to potentially save the plant.

When you repot a spider plant (or any indoor plant), choose a potting mix appropriate for that plant type. Your spider should be planted in well-draining potting soil in a pot with drainage holes.

You may have better luck bottom watering your spider plant, which allows the plant to slowly absorb water through its roots at its own pace. However, if you’re also fertilizing your spider plant during the growing season, it may experience salt build-up in the soil. You’ll need to flush the plant with distilled water from the top every couple months.

Not Enough Sun

Signs of inadequate light include droopy leaves, leaves turning brown, and yellowing of the plant as it struggles to produce nutrients through photosynthesis.


Your spider plant should be kept in bright to moderate indirect sunlight. While spider plants are resilient and can handle some shade, if they’re kept in low-light conditions for too long, they will fail to thrive and eventually die.

Too Much Sun

Spider plants can quickly scorch if they get too much direct sun exposure, which will present as brown, crispy leaf tips and wilting leaves.


Move your plant to an area that receives filtered, indirect light. Damaged tips of the leaves will not recover. Prune brown leaves off of your spider plant with a simple snip done with clean, sharp scissors or gardening shears.


When in a room with too low humidity levels a spider plant can develop brown edges, drooping leaves, and crispy foliage. They thrive in a room with moderate to high humidity, between 40-80%.


One can raise the humidity level in the room by adding a humidifier. Misting the plant with water from a spray bottle is another tactic to ensure the humidity level is raised. Another possible fix is to use a humidity tray. Plants can sit in a tray filled with rocks or pebbles and water, but ensure if the plant has drainage holes that the water cannot get inside of the holes. This keeps the humidity level higher.


Spider plants that receive too much fertilizer will fail to thrive. Baby spider plants can burn with too much fertilizer, and event an adult plant’s roots can be damaged from over-fertilizing. Signs over over-fertilizing include brown leaf tips, yellowing lower leaves, slow growth, or a visible crust of fertilizer on the soil’s surface.


Most experts recommend fertilizing spider plants every 2-4 weeks during the growing season. If the plant is repotted each year, the natural nutrients in the fresh soil will take care of feeding the plant.

If you repot your spider plant every year, it generally doesn't need additional fertilizer.


Pests that can bother the spider plant are whiteflies, spider mites, scales, and aphids. These pests feed on the plant’s sap and damage the leaves, which can wreak havoc on the spider plant’s already-delicate leaf structure.


As part of regular houseplant care, regularly inspect your spider plant for signs of pests. Insecticidal soap, neem oil, and alcohol are all solutions to remove pests from the leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you cut off the brown tips on a spider plant?

Yes. You should cut the affected leaves off of your spider plant. Remember to use clean, sharp scissors to remove the brown leaves, and cut the leaves away as close to the base of the plant as possible.

What is the best type of soil for spider plants?

The spider plant, or chlorophytum comosum, prefers loose and nutrient-rich potting soil. You want to choose soil that can retain moisture but also facilitates draining.

Can a dying spider plant be saved?

Your spider plant turning brown indicates your plant is unhappy, but not necessarily that it’s dying. Try using the recommendations above to adjust your watering schedule, sun, and fertilizer to see if your plant perks up.

How to propagate spider plants?

When your healthy plant produces spiderettes (offshoots, which are baby spider plants), remove them and plant them to start growing new plants. Propagation of spider plants is very straightforward, making this one of the easiest plants for beginners to keep alive—and share with friends!

Keep in mind that spider plants like to be slightly root bound, and they will produce more spiderettes when their healthy roots are snug in a pot. When you start to see roots coming through the drainage holes or above the soil’s surface, it’s time to repot.

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