Anthuriums are lovely plants with broad, glossy green leaves and bright blossoms. Due to their fascinating appearance, these plants are commonly used as houseplants to bring a refreshing vibe to homes.
Though generally low-maintenance, an Anthurium requires appropriate plant care. Unsuitable growing conditions can cause them to develop brown leaves.
Why Anthurium Leaves Turn Brown?
There are a series of reasons why your Anthurium plant may have brown leaves. Some of the reasons include prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight and excessive use of fertilizers. Other causes include pathogenic infections and attacks from pests, like spider mites. Although brown leaves are not a highly concerning issue if addressed at an early stage, you can save your plant from shedding all leaves and dying. These include measures like placing your plant in a shaded area and maintaining proper plant hygiene.
6 Factors That Lead to Brown Leaves on Anthurium
1.Intense Sunlight Exposure
Anthurium plants thrive in generous amounts of indirect sunlight. Too little sunlight can hinder the plant’s healthy growth, lead to a slower rate of photosynthesis, and consequently cause very few new leaves and blossoms to sprout.
At the same time, since these plants are ideally grown in the shade, placing them under the open sky beneath the glaring sun or directly in front of a south-facing window is even more harmful.
Intense sunlight exposure scorches the leaves, and over time the tips and edges turn brown.
If the plant is persistently exposed to direct sunlight, brown leaves shrivel up and die.
2.Overuse of Fertilizer or Saline Soil
Anthuriums are beautiful plants with bright blossoms and large leaves. Outdoor and Indoor Gardeners are often tempted to increase the fertilizer dosage to promote faster growth and grow bigger plants.
However, this can prove to be detrimental to your plant’s health.
Fertilizers contain high concentrations of chemical compounds, which can severely disrupt the soil mixture’s pH, making it too acidic or alkaline.
As a result, the enzyme activity in plant cells takes a toll and leaves begin to brown.
Similarly, a highly saline soil mixture with a significant accumulation of salts prevents adequate water uptake by roots. Roots begin to weaken, and leaves turn pale and wilt.
A saline soil does not support plant growth, and unless the mixture is rinsed of excess salts and nitrogenous compounds, your Anthurium plant will not sustain for long.
Warm, moist conditions promote the growth of the Xanthomonas pathogen, which causes bacterial blight. The infection is characterized by small water blisters that gradually turn yellow.
At first, these lesions appear on the mid-rib of leaves and slowly aggregate across the entire plate. The blisters enlarge into lesions that also develop on the underside of leaves.
These lesions become brown later on and form recessed grooves.
Growing your Anthurium plant beside an infected one can cause your plant to contract the disease. If not treated immediately, bacterial blight may lead your plant to its demise.
Ralstonia solanacearum is a bacterium that ideally thrives in temperatures greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and requires humid conditions.
It causes a bacterial wilt disease, which impairs regular plant cells activity and hampers flowering and growth.
Initial symptoms include yellow leaves, which slowly turn brown with time. Despite consistent watering, once the plant has been infected, the leaves will begin to droop and wilt.
Unless appropriate measures are taken to save the plant, the infection will grow more severe, and the stem starts to leak brown slime.
The infection also spreads through excessive moisture and contact with gardening tools.
Hence, take heed in putting pruning tools away and sterilizing them before using them again for other plants.
Aphelenchoides fragariae, commonly known as strawberry foliar nematode, is a small roundworm that typically infects young Anthurium plants.
Infection results in thin stripes splayed across the leaf surface, and brown areas along the leaf veins undergo necrosis and die.
A severe form of infection will rapidly spread through the whole plant, initially causing stunted growth and brown leaves. Over time, the plant sheds leaves and surrenders to death.
Pest attacks are one of the primary causes of browning in leaves in plants. Pests like spider mites commonly attack Anthurium plants and hinder their growth and development.
Poor plant hygiene and dusty leaves attract attacks from spider mites.
Upon feeding on leaves, they rid the plant cells of essential nutrients, without which the leaves begin to yellow.
Brown stripes indicate the webbing action of spider mites. If the symptoms are identified early-on and apt action taken, the plant can very well be saved.
How to Save An Anthurium Plant with Brown Leaves?
Don’t worry; your Anthurium plant is not a lost cause yet. If you can recognize the browning of leaves at an early stage, you might still be able to save your plant.
Let’s have a look at various ways to deal with an Anthurium plant with brown leaves.
1.Cut Off Infected Leaves
If your Anthurium plant has been infected with bacterial blight, you need to take immediate steps to secure any chances of saving your plant.
In case the infection is foliar and only limited to a few leaves, the best course of action is to cut off the infected leaves.
You can either sever them or burn them together to prevent any further spread of the infection to the plant’s remaining parts.
It is essential not to use any pruners or shears while chopping the leaves as it increases the likelihood of the spread of infection, and you should instead tear off the leaf stem with your hands.
In addition to this, you can also try using mixtures containing copper compounds as they help prevent re-infection.
2.Keep Your Anthurium in Indirect Light
If you feel that your plant does not have any bacterial infection, even if you have been watering it well, the likely cause of brown leaves is exposure to strong sunlight.
It is true that Anthurium plants love sun and require sufficient sunlight for healthy growth. However, direct sunlight can do more harm than good.
It is recommended to place your plant in a spot inside the house, where an adequate amount of indirect sunlight can reach the plant.
A good idea is to place your plant in a west-facing window where it gets 2-3 hours of direct sunlight in the morning and indirect sunlight throughout the rest of the day.
3. Fertilize your Anthurium
Many plants suffer from nutrient deficiency, and as a result, exhibit pale brown leaves.
Suppose your plant is free of infections, and you are maintaining proper plant hygiene, and regardless of everything, the leaves remain brown.
In that case, the soil mixture probably lacks the necessary nutrients.
When the plant does not receive essential nutrients like magnesium, nitrates, and phosphates, it cannot manufacture chlorophyll and accessory pigments vital for carrying out photosynthesis.
To remedy this issue, you can use a high-phosphorous fertilizer once a month.
Ensure that you do not increase the dosage, as over-fertilization can harm your plant’s growth and inhibit flowering.
4.Maintain Plant Hygiene
On most occasions, pest attacks from mites occur because the plant is grown in an unhygienic condition, and the gardening tools used are full of grime.
It is imperative that you avoid such practices, and properly clean your plants. Make sure they are free of dust and sterilize the gardening equipment before using them on your plants.
Frequently Asked Questions about Why Anthurium Leaves Turn Brown
How often should I water my Anthurium plant to avoid brown leaves?
Anthurium plants do not require much water for healthy growth. Overwatering them can encourage pathogen attack leading to brown leaves and shedding.
Hence, it is crucial to water them only when the soil appears dry, and the leaves are not wet. Avoid sticking to a fixed routine and water only when necessary.
What is the best fertilizer for Anthurium plants to avoid brown leaves?
Fertilizing an Anthurium plant is essential, as a lack of essential nutrients may cause your plant to have brown leaves. To encourage healthy leaf growth and flowering, you can use a high-phosphorous fertilizer.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.