house plant health

John M. Brown jbrown01 at COINS0.COIN.MISSOURI.EDU
Thu Jul 27 09:34:36 EST 1995

In reply to your question why house plant leaf tips turn brown.  One 
reason is irrigation with water high in salts (fertilizer, sodium from 
water softeners, Cl or F ions).  The water and salt move through the 
plant to the margins and tips of leaves.  The water evaporates leaving 
the salt behind.  These salts accumulate resulting in cellular damage.  
You should periodically flush your soil or container mix with water until 
the water runs clear from the container drain hole.  Sometimes you can 
see white crystals accumulating on the soil surface or side of the pot.  
This is an indication that you are fertilizing too much.  In this 
instance, you might consider repotting in fresh soil.

Other potential reasons might include soil or foliar pathogens, root 
damage, light intensity, or water.


John M. Brown
A I R    Agricultural Investigation & Research
2811 Lynnwood Dr., Columbia, MO  65203

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