WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
There are a number of different reasons why your plant may show the symptom of brown leaf tips. Determining the right cause can help you figure out how to treat the problem.
Variegated leaves Firstly, some leaves are simply more sensitive to browning than others, and so might not always be a cause for alarm. For instance, variegated leaves (those which have more than one color) are much more sensitive to damage, typically along lighter-colored zones, and so it is quite common for light parts of leaves to become brown every now and then. However, if the problem continues for a prolonged time or spreads to all the leaves, you may want to check on your plant to make sure there isn’t a larger problem at hand.
Sensitivity to lime Another sensitivity issue that can potentially result in brown leaf tips is when a plant is sensitive to lime. Lime is found in hard water. Hard water also typically contains high levels of other minerals and salts, too much of which could be damaging to your plant. Tap water is often hard, but the level of hardness varies depending on your location/ municipality – you should be able to research this online if you are curious about what type of tap water you have. Another tell-tale sign of hard water is if you see water stains build up on your plant’s leaves, for example, after misting. If you’re concerned that your water may be too hard for your plants, it could be worthwhile to invest in a water purifier to help filter salts and minerals out before watering your plants. However, this likely won’t be a problem for you unless you own many especially delicate plant varieties, as most plants do just fine being watered with hard water. Note that some plants even prefer hard water!
Dry air / cold draft Dry air and/or exposure to a cold draft are other potential causes of leaf tips starting to go brown. Once again, this is more likely to affect more sensitive plant types and is usually not too much of a concern for most common houseplants. However, if you have ruled out other potential causes and you know your plant likes warmth and humidity, then it can be worth bearing this in mind and, if necessary, moving your plant to a more suitable location.
Incorrect light conditions Somewhat confusingly, brown leaf tips can actually be caused by both too much and too little light. Both, in turn, can also lead to other symptoms in your plant, so if you suspect that this may be the cause then it's important to try and remedy this as soon as possible. You can use the Planta Light Meter to check if your plant's current location is suitable for its needs and, if necessary, move it to a darker or lighter location.
Overwatering Even if brown leaf tips often appear dry and sometimes shriveled, as you might associate with an underwatered plant, they can in fact be a sign of overwatering. In particular, if your plant lacks proper drainage, this may affect the soil's ability to take up water properly. Too much water can lead to your plant drowning. As a result, your plant's overall health diminishes - including the health of its leaves - and your plant may even die as a result. It's really important to make sure you don't overwater your plant. Ensure your plant pots have drainage holes in them so that excess water can escape, and if you're unsure, it's safer to err on the side of underwatering than overwatering.
Underwatering On the other hand, brown leaf tips can also be a consequence of underwatering. Look out for additional symptoms of underwatering, such as drooping of the plant, and try to make sure to follow Planta's care schedule.
Too Much Fertilizer Finally, overfertilizing your plant may lead to brown tips appearing on the leaves. Some plants are more sensitive to fertilizer than others, so make sure to check that you're diluting your liquid fertilizer enough while also ensuring that the type of fertilizer you're using is suitable for the specific plant - not all plants can tolerate the same fertilizer types.