Why Spider Plant Turns Brown

Hi Judy!
I had a beautiful spider plant; unfortunately, the majority of the tips are turning brown. After reading your information on the spider plant, the brown tips could be caused by excess fertilizer or could it be caused by too much water. I’m assuming it could be both. The fertilizer mixture must of been too strong. Your information states the soil should be rinsed with distilled water. How do I rinse the soil?
Thank you, looking forward to your response.


Hi Cheryl,

Green and white long striped leaves on Spider Plant
Spider Plant

A Spider plant turns brown for various reasons. Too many chemicals in the water you are using: If your water has a lot of fluoride and chlorine in it, allow the water to sit out over night or longer before using it so the chemicals can dissipate. Never use water that has passed through a water softener. It is much too salty, will burn the plant roots, and cause brown leaf tips. Plant fertilizer has a great deal of salt in it also. Fertilize once a month with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Spider plants need food only when they are actively growing. When in doubt, do not feed!

If you think your plant has been over watered, remove the plant from the pot and shake off as much soil as you can. Allow your spider plant to sit out overnight bare root. Re-pot with fresh, dry soil. Be sure there are drip holes in the bottom of your container and that the pot is only a few inches larger than the root ball of the plant. Spider plants like to be very root-bound in small pots. Place your spider plant in bright indirect light. Water when the color in the leaves starts to fade and is no longer a vibrant green.

Rinsing the soil of a plant that has been overfed or has too many harmful chemicals in it is quite simple. When it is time to water, instead of just giving the plant water once, keep pouring distilled water through the soil 3 or 4 times, allowing it to drain out the bottom drip holes. This will cleanse the excess chemicals from the soil.

You can read all my care tips for a Spider plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.