Gardening houseplants has been my passion since I was young. Anthurium plant aka flamingo flower was one of my favorite houseplants to cultivate.
Anthurium houseplant is quite popular due to the ease to grow and maintenance. Anthurium leaf problems are minimal when compared to other indoor plants.
But these tropical plants do experience leaves turning brown or yellow on some occasion. It can be a cause of concern but there is no need to freak out.
So, why does my anthurium have brown leaves? The possible causes of anthurium leave turning brown is direct exposure to sunlight, salt accumulation, bacterial blight, mites, low humidity, and overwatering. Identifying the cause will help to fix the problem.
There are so many causes of these anthurium leaf problems. But these causes can be fixed without losing your stunning houseplant. The first step is to identify the cause and fix it.
This article is going to help you identify the possible causes of anthurium leaves turning yellow and steps on how to get your houseplant back to perfect health.
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Why Are My Anthurium Leaves Turning Brown?
Below are the possible causes of brown leaves on anthurium houseplants:
Excess Exposure to Direct Sunlight
The native habitat of the anthurium plant is the tropical forest. The area receives filtered sunlight due to the tropical forest canopy. The indirect sunlight allows the tropical plant to flourish.
Direct sunlight exposure happens to be the main cause of anthurium leaves turning brown. The strong heat from the sun damages the plant leaves and results in brown spots or patches.
The most affected part of the leaves is the upper region due to prolonged exposure. The leaf browning starts as a small spot on the tip and edges before spreading out.
Check the positioning of your houseplant at home. If it is directly placed in sunlight, try to change the position to rescue the plant health.
Anthurium plants thrive in bright sunshine. But the light should be filtered to avoid leave damages due to heat scorching. Consider growing this tropical plant under bright indirect sunlight.
Fixing the lighting problem resulting in brown leaves on anthurium plants is super easy. We recommend growing the plant near the window where it receives bright indirect sunlight.
Tropical plants like anthuriums prefer moderate moisture levels to thrive. Too much moisture would automatically ruin their health in the long run.
Overwatering is yet another common stress that causes anthurium leaves to start turning brown. It is the main mistake both novice and professional gardeners make when growing houseplants.
The anthurium leaves will turn yellow and later brown. These successive leaf problems can make your anthurium plant die if not correct at the right time.
Overwatering happens when the gardener grows the houseplant in poor quality potting mix. The potting with poor aeration causes a water pool and sogginess in the pot.
The rule of thumb is to check the moisture content in the soil by inserting your index figure to about two to three inches. If the soil is dry, consider watering the plant up to the standards.
Overwatering causes root rot and the issue inhibits the plant from getting essential nutrients. The damaged roots make the plant wilt and leave it to turn brown.
The best option is to repot the plant early. Always inspect the root system and use sterile scissors to cut the damaged parts of the roots.
Use a clean pot and fresh mix for growing the anthurium plant. Place the plant in a region it receives bright indirect light and follows a strict watering schedule.
Most houseplants need less fertilizer for perfect growth and health. These tropical plants receive moderate nutrients from their natural habitat due to stiff competition from higher plants.
Always provide the anthuriums with everything they need to grow and stay healthy. It is the best way to avoid anthurium leaf problems like browning or yellowing.
Too much fertilizer results in excess salt accumulation around the root system. Remember too much salt is toxic to both leaves and roots of your plant.
Some of the common signs of overfertilization are brown leaf tips and brown leaf spots. The excessive salt buildup also causes stunted growth and damaged root systems.
If you have been fertilizing your anthurium every week and result in brown leaves, consider stopping with immediate effect.
We recommend either flushing the soil or repotting the plant. These are two proven strategies that can rescue your houseplant in the long run.
Low Humidity Level
Anthuriums are tropical plants and thrive under high humidity. Such growing conditions make the foliage glow and appear beautiful.
Low humidity causes a lot of changes in the anthurium foliage. Some varieties of anthuriums will lose a glossy and shiny appearance.
Brown leaf tips and edges are the main sign of low humidity. The indoor condition is susceptible to fluctuation during winter than summer.
The Winter season is the period where everyone wants to keep warm. Turning on heat appliances to increase the temperature in the house might ruin the health of your plant.
I recommend you keep monitoring the humidity of your house throughout the year. It is the best option for safeguarding your indoor plants from low humidity.
Ensure the indoor humidity level throughout the year is around 40%. But most anthurium species thrive at 60% humidity. Use an electric humidifier to maintain such humidity levels in the house.
You can also consider moving your houseplant to the bathroom where the humidity level is low. The strategy will help avoid brown leave issues.
Many gardeners have day jobs and other errands to consider. These two issues end up keeping them so busy throughout the day and become so tired to handle other things.
Inadequate water supply to anthuriums will result in brown leaves. Old leaves are the most affected in such circumstances and end up falling off the plant.
Keep in mind that underwatering stress can also pose threats to young leaves. These young leaves will develop brown tips and edges.
Anthurium andreanum is one species that is highly affected by underwatering. The upper leaf surface of this species usually curls to save water.
Inspect the soil by pressing your index finger inside it. Dry soil is an indicator of too much light and underwatering stress.
Develop the routine of checking the moisture content of your houseplant. We recommend inspecting the soil every two weeks to avoid anthurium leaves from turning brown.
Water the plant properly and inspection. Avoid growing the houseplant in soggy soil since it could result in other problems like root rot.
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Cold Weather Condition Stress
Anthurium plants prefer a temperature range of 59-86°F (15-30°C). Any temperature below or high will make the anthurium leaves turn brown and experience other damages.
Cold conditions usually make the anthurium leaves turn yellow and later brown. The problem is prevalent during winter and placing the plant near the air conditioning vent.
The best solution is to monitor the indoor temperature. The Winter season makes the temperature keep fluctuation most of the time.
Do not prune the damaged foliage when the weather condition is cold. Wait until the new and healthy leaves have developed. Remember this will take time for the anthurium plant to recover.
Anthuriums need moderate nutrients to stay healthy and develop stunning foliage. But insufficient nutrients make the houseplant develop brown leaves.
Minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are essential for anthuriums. We recommend using a quarter of the fertilizer to spray on your plant.
Remember to apply fertilizer once per month to avoid overfertilization issues. It will take your plant a few weeks to recover from brown leaves.
Anthurium foliage is highly susceptible to pest infestation. These tiny insects usually pierce the leaf and suck cell-sap.
Cell-sap is the main source of nutrients to the leaves. The loss of nutrients and piercing make the plant leaves turn brown.
Inspect the plant leaves for brown spots and holes to conclude it is pest infestations. The most common pests attacking anthuriums are aphids and thrips.
Isolate the houseplant from others to avoid the spread of pests. Spray the plant with either alcohol, neem oil, or horticulture oil to eliminate the insects.
Bacterial blight and wilt are the common causes of anthurium leaves turning brown. The pathogen causing bacterial blight moves through water to cause yellowing and browning of the leaves.
The rule of thumb is to keep the foliage dry and sterilize the cutting tools before pruning infected leaves from the plant. Also, disinfect the growing pots before planting the houseplant to avoid bacterial wilt.
The lower anthurium foliage is prone to browning due to aging issues. There is no need to worry since this is normal. But it will be a concern if the subsequent foliage follows immediately.
Double-check the growing condition to be sure it is the old foliage browning. It will relieve you from the hustle of trying to restore the plant.
Novice gardeners do experience a lot of heartbreaks when growing houseplants. Browning and yellowing of leaves is the most common problem they struggle with.
But this is normal since the new plant is experiencing acclimation. The anthurium brown leaves are less serious in such situations.
Ensure the prevailing growing condition is perfect and your anthurium will adjust with time. But the lower leaves will turn yellow to brown and fall off.
Remember to buy anthurium plants from reputable sellers to minimize issues after bringing them at home. It will take minimal time for the houseplant to adjust.
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How to Save Anthurium Plant with Brown Leaves
Anthurium houseplant is super to maintain. If you can detect the brown leaves at the early stages, it will easy to save the houseplant.
Below are some quick tips on how to save anthurium houseplant with brown leaves:
- Cut-off Infected Leaves
- Keep Anthurium in Indirect Sunlight
- Fertilize the Anthurium Plant
- Follow a Strict Watering Schedule
- Treat Your Anthurium with isopropyl alcohol
The anthurium plant is super easy to grow and maintain. It is the best houseplant for beginners to consider growing at home due to the fewer requirements.
Proper growing conditions make this stunning houseplant stand out from others. It the perfect choice for growing in the living lounge and office space.
Anthurium leaves turning brown is the most common problem experienced by many growers. The above causes can help you fix the problem regardless of your experience.
More Sources and References
- D. Norman. Anthurium Diseases. The University of Florida.
- Marcel Seli. Anthurium Problems. Plantophiles.
- Contributor. Anthurium Problems. Home Guides