Philodendron plants are known for their easy care, and one of the most common problems they experience is brown spots on the leaves.
These brown spots can be caused by several things, including too much sun, overwatering, or even pests.
The first step in treating brown spots on philodendron leaves is to identify the cause.
By doing this, you can tailor your treatment to the specific problem.
Here are the most common causes of brown spots on philodendron leaves and how to treat them.
What Causes Brown Spots on Philodendron Leaves and How To Treat Them
Philodendron plants are tropical plants that are native to South America.
Some of the most popular species are the Philodendron Birkin, Philodendron Brasil, and Philodendron hederaceum.
These plants are known for their beautiful, glossy green leaves.
However, sometimes Philodendron leaves can develop brown spots. There are a few different reasons why this may happen.
The most common causes are listed below.
Sunburn is a common problem for philodendron plants, as they are native to tropical regions and require bright indirect light.
When leaves are exposed to too much sunlight, they can develop brown spots.
This is referred to as sunburn, and it is a type of leaf damage that can occur when plants are not properly protected from the sun.
The symptoms of sunburn are typically seen on the plant leaves, but the stem and flowers can also be affected.
Sunburn usually appears as small, dark brown spots on the leaves of plants.
These spots are caused by the exposure of the leaves to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.
The UV rays cause the plant cells to break down, which leads to the formation of brown spots on the leaves.
A sunburned philodendron can be prevented by providing proper protection from the sun, such as shading them with a physical barrier or using a sunscreen specifically designed for plants.
How To Treat Sunburn
If your philodendron plant has developed brown spots due to sunburn, the best action is to move it to a location that receives less direct sunlight.
Philodendron plants need bright indirect light to thrive, so a spot that receives dappled sunlight or filtered light would be ideal.
You can also protect it from the sun by shading your plant with a physical barrier such as a curtain or umbrella.
If the spots are small and lightly colored, they will usually fade within a few weeks.
However, if the spots are large or dark, they may be permanent and will not fade.
In this case, you can try to remove the spots by carefully trimming off the affected leaves with a sharp knife or pair of scissors.
2. Watering Problems
Several watering problems can cause brown spots on philodendron leaves.
If the plant is watered too often, the leaves may turn brown and rot.
This is because the plant cannot get rid of the excess water quickly enough, and it begins to suffocate.
Overwatering can also lead to fungal growth, which can cause brown spots on the leaves.
Similarly, if the plant is not watered frequently enough, the leaves will turn brown and drop off.
This is because the plant cannot absorb enough moisture from the soil, and it begins to dehydrate.
The choice of water quality for watering houseplants can contribute to developing brown spots on their leaves.
If the water is too hard or has a high mineral content, it can leave deposits on the leaves that lead to brown spots.
How To Treat Watering Problems
If you think that your plant’s brown spots are due to a watering issue, the best course of action is to adjust your watering schedule.
Philodendron plants need to be watered every one to two weeks, depending on the size of the plant and the amount of light it is receiving.
The soil should be moist but not soggy, and you should allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.
If you are using hard water or water with high mineral content, you can try watering your plant with distilled water or rainwater.
3. Low Humidity
Several environmental factors can cause brown spots on philodendron leaves, but low humidity is one of the most common causes.
Philodendrons are native to tropical rainforests, where they are accustomed to high humidity levels.
When grown in drier environments, they often suffer from dehydration, which can cause their leaves to turn brown and crispy.
Low humidity can cause brown spots on philodendron leaves for several reasons:
- Dry air can cause the leaves to lose moisture, leading to dehydration and browning.
- Low humidity can increase the chance of fungal growth, which can also lead to brown spots.
- Dry air can damage the cell walls of the leaves, causing them to become brittle and susceptible to browning.
Ultimately, these factors can result in unsightly philodendron leaves turning brown.
How To Treat Low Humidity
If you think that your plant’s brown spots are due to low humidity, the best course of action is to increase the humidity around your plant.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as using a humidifier, grouping plants together, or placing the pot on a pebble tray.
You can also try misting your plant with water, but be sure to do this in the morning so that the leaves have time to dry before nightfall.
4. Fertilization Issues
Fertilization burn is a type of leaf damage that can occur when plants are over-fertilized.
The symptoms of fertilization burn are typically seen on the leaves of plants, but the stem and flowers can also be affected.
Fertilization burn usually appear as small, dark brown spots on the leaves of plants. These spots are caused by the exposure of the leaves to too much fertilizer.
The fertilizer causes the plant cells to break down, leading to brown spots on the leaves.
On the other hand, if the plant is not fertilized frequently enough, the leaves will turn yellow and eventually brown.
This is because the plant cannot get the nutrients it needs from the soil, and it begins to starve.
The type of fertilizer that is used can also cause brown spots on the leaves.
If the fertilizer is too high in nitrogen, it can burn the leaves, causing brown spots.
Likewise, an excessive phosphorus content in the fertilizer can lead to leaf discoloration, turning them yellow and brown.
How To Treat Fertilization Issues
If you think that your plant’s brown spots are due to a fertilizer issue, adjusting your fertilization schedule is the best course of action.
Philodendron plants need to be fertilized every one to two weeks during the growing season.
Use a balanced fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and phosphorus.
If you are unsure about how much fertilizer to use, always err on the side of using less rather than more.
It is also essential to make sure that you apply the fertilizer to moist soil.
This will help prevent the fertilizer from burning the plant’s roots.
5. Nutrient Deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies can also cause brown spots on philodendron leaves.
Philodendrons are native to tropical rainforests, where they grow in nutrient-rich soils.
When grown in nutrient-poor soils, they often suffer from deficiencies that can cause their leaves to turn brown and crispy.
The most common nutrient deficiencies that can cause brown spots on philodendron leaves are calcium, magnesium, and boron.
These deficiencies can be caused by several factors, including poor soil quality, improper fertilization, and insufficient watering.
If the plant is not getting enough of these nutrients from the soil, it will begin to show signs of stress, including brown spots on the leaves.
How To Treat Nutrient Deficiencies
If you think that your plant’s brown spots are due to a nutrient deficiency, the best action is to fertilize your plant with a balanced fertilizer.
You can also add some compost or organic matter to the soil to improve its quality.
Ensure that you water your plant regularly and thoroughly, as this will help the plant absorb the nutrients it needs from the soil.
If you suspect that your plant is suffering from a calcium deficiency, you can try spraying the leaves with a calcium-rich solution.
You can make this solution by dissolving one tablespoon of lime in one gallon of water.
Spray the leaves with this solution once a week until the brown spots disappear.
Epsom salt is often recommended as a treatment when it comes to magnesium deficiencies.
You can make a magnesium sulfate solution by dissolving one tablespoon of Epsom salt in one gallon of water.
Spray the leaves with this solution once a week until the deficiency is corrected.
For boron deficiencies, you can try spraying the leaves with a solution of 1/2 tablespoon of boric acid in one gallon of water.
Spray the leaves with this solution once every two weeks until the deficiency is corrected.
6. Pest Infestation
Pest infestation is another common cause of brown spots on philodendron leaves.
Philodendrons are often targeted by a variety of pests, including aphids, spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs.
These pests can cause damage to the leaves of the plant, which can lead to browning.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants.
They are commonly found on the undersides of leaves, and they can cause damage by sucking the sap out of the leaves.
This can lead to brown and yellow leaves.
Spider mites are tiny spider-like creatures that feed on the sap of plants.
They are commonly found on the undersides of leaves, and they can cause damage by sucking the sap out of the leaves.
This can lead to yellow and brown leaves.
They are easy to spot because they often leave behind a fine webbing on the plant’s leaves.
Scale insects are another type of pest that can cause brown spots on philodendron leaves.
These pests attach themselves to the plant’s leaves and feed on the sap.
This feeding can damage the leaves and cause them to turn brown.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on the sap of plants.
They are often found in clusters on the stems and leaves of plants.
Mealybugs can cause damage to the plant by sucking the sap out of the leaves, which can lead to browning.
How To Treat Pest Infestations
If you think that a pest infestation causes your plant’s brown spots, the best course of action is to treat the infestation as soon as possible.
Various products can be used to treat pest infestations, including insecticidal soap, neem oil, and horticultural oil.
These products will kill the pests causing the problem without harming the plant.
To treat an infestation, start by spraying the infected plant with water to remove any dust or debris that may be on the leaves.
This will help the treatment to penetrate the leaves and reach the pests.
Next, apply the insecticide, oil, or soap according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Be sure to cover all of the affected areas of the plant and reapply the treatment every 7-10 days until the pests are gone.
There are a number of diseases that can cause brown spots on philodendron leaves.
The most common that affect philodendrons are Bacterial Leaf Spot, Fungal Leaf Spot, and Anthracnose.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
Bacterial Leaf Spot is a type of disease that can be caused by several different bacteria.
These bacteria enter the plant through wounds in the leaves and cause damage. The Bacterial Leaf Spot disease symptoms e include small, dark brown spots on the leaves.
A yellow halo often surrounds the spots.
This disease is most commonly seen in philodendrons grown in wet, humid conditions.
Fungal Leaf Spot
Fungal Leaf Spot is another type of disease that can affect philodendrons.
Several different fungi cause this disease, and it often affects plants grown in wet, humid conditions.
The disease symptoms include small brown spots on the leaves, which can eventually turn into large, dark patches.
A yellow halo often surrounds the spots, and they may eventually cause the leaves to drop off the plant.
Anthracnose is a common fungal disease that affects many different types of plants, including philodendrons.
This condition exhibits brown or black leaf spots, potentially resulting in the yellowing and shedding of philodendron leaves.
The fungus that causes anthracnose thrives in wet, humid conditions, so it is essential to keep your philodendron dry if you live in an area with high humidity.
How To Treat Diseases That Cause Brown Spots on Philodendron Leaves
If you believe that your philodendron has any of the diseases mentioned above, it is essential to take action immediately.
These diseases can spread quickly and kill your plant if they are left untreated.
The first step in treating these diseases is to remove any affected leaves from the plant.
This will help to stop the disease from spreading.
Once you have removed the affected leaves, you should dispose of them in a garbage bag so that they cannot spread the disease to other plants.
After removing the affected leaves, you should treat the plant with a fungicide or bactericide.
There are several different products available, and you should select one that is specifically designed to treat the type of disease that your plant has.
It is essential to carefully follow the instructions on the product label, as using too much of the treatment can damage your plant.
Once you have treated your plant, you should monitor it closely to make sure that the disease does not return.
Preventing Brown Spots on Philodendron Leaves
Prevent brown spots on philodendron leaves by keeping the plant healthy and free from stress.
To keep your plant healthy, here are a few tips:
- Choose a spot for your philodendron that has bright indirect sunlight. Philodendrons can tolerate low light, but if the leaves start to turn brown, it’s a sign that the plant is not getting enough light.
- Water your philodendron when the top inch of soil is dry. Overwatering can cause brown spots on the leaves, so be sure to let the soil dry out in between waterings.
- Use a well-draining potting mix. Philodendrons like their roots to stay moist but not wet. A potting mix that drains well will help prevent root rot on your philodendron, which can cause brown spots on the leaves.
- Feed your philodendron once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.
- Philodendrons are tropical plants, so they prefer warm temperatures. Keep your plant away from drafts and cold windows in winter.
- Humidity is vital for philodendrons, so mist the leaves regularly or set the plant on a pebble tray.
- Pruning philodendron plants can help to prevent brown spots on the leaves. Prune off any dead or dying leaves and any leaves that are starting to turn brown.
You can prevent brown spots on philodendron leaves and keep your plant healthy and happy by following these tips.
Philodendron plants are relatively easy to take care of.
However, like all plants, they can be susceptible to problems from time to time.
Brown spots on the leaves are usually caused by too much sunlight or watering issues.
By following the tips in this article, you can prevent brown spots on philodendron leaves and keep your plant healthy and happy.