Healthy plants are attractive furnishings in the home and office. However, maintaining healthy plants indoors can sometimes be difficult.
Plants used indoors have widely differing requirements for light, soil, temperature and water. Find out the requirements for each of your plants from reference books which discuss individual plants in detail. Many such books are available in public libraries.
Some people enjoy caring for plants, while others do not want to fuss over them. If you do not enjoy plant care, it would be a good idea to simply discard declining plants and replace with fresh ones periodically. This is an especially good idea for many of the following plants that require special care to produce a second crop of flowers, (e.g. Cyclamen, Fuchsia, Browallia, Gloxinia, Poinsettia). If you enjoy the challenge of growing plants indoors, you will still need to use time and ingenuity to figure out what is causing problems when they occur. Following are eight common symptoms with possible causes and remedies.
Brown leaf tips, and/or leaf edges
Look for signs of salt accumulation in the soil, white or tan crusty material on soil surface, pot edges, and stems. Correct by re-potting in fresh soil or by watering thoroughly once each month.
Very dry air, common indoors in the winter months, will cause tip browning. Grow plants together with the pots sitting on a bed of moist pebbles or spray with a fine mist daily. Better still, install a humidifier.
Mechanical injury caused by brushing against the plants or chewing by insects or pets will cause browning in many plants. Ferns are especially sensitive to contact injury.
Some plants that are pot-bound also develop brown leaf tips or lose older leaves. Next: