Spider Plant Turning Yellow

I’m having some issues with proper care of a houseplant that came in a mixed plant container from a home improvement store. The issue is that the leaf tips are yellowing (too much water?) Can you help me identify? Thank you.

Hi Colleen,

Your plant is a Spider Plant. The tips of the leaves on a spider plant turn yellow, brown, or black for several reasons.

Your water has too much chlorine or fluoride in it, or the water has passed through a softener and is too salty. Try allowing your tap water to sit out overnight before using it. Do not use water that has passed through a softener.

 Too much fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. can also cause yellow/brown tips on spider plant leaves. Feed monthly with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended  strength. Spider plants need food only when they are actively growing.

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