Why do the tips of leaves dry in indoor plants?
Even with the most careful care, problems in the development of indoor plants cannot be avoided. Hardy, persistent and undemanding crops can unpleasantly surprise as well as indoor exotics. Some problems signal the need for a minor correction of the care program, others indicate imperceptible changes in the conditions of detention, and still others require serious measures. Most often, when growing pet pets, there is a slight, at first glance, deviation in the decorativeness of foliage - the appearance of dry tips. Let’s try to figure out why the tips of the leaves dry out and how to prevent a small problem from turning into big chores.
Drying of the tips of the leaves does not always lead to their falling or wilting, more often it does not affect 1% of the leaf surface. But it invariably affects the attractiveness of the plant, spoils its appearance. And you should not ignore this phenomenon, even if it seems to be purely seasonal (most often winter). Perhaps the fight will require only a slight correction of the conditions, but if you are inattentive and miss the real reason, the plant will suffer much more, and the struggle with the problem will be long.
Step One - Comprehensive Diagnostics
When dry, dark ends of leaves appear on a plant, they usually immediately think of too dry air. Insufficient humidity is indeed the most common cause of this phenomenon, but far from the only one. And incorrect diagnostics, the exclusion from assumptions of a whole range of other possible factors can turn into a big disaster. After all, if you try to increase the air humidity during the waterlogging of the earth coma, which led to stem rot, you can achieve the opposite results.
In addition to insufficiently high humidity, the tips of the leaves can dry out:
- watering with poor-quality water, especially hard and not settled (dried ends in this case - burns from salts);
- violation of the comfortable humidity of the substrate in the tank - too intense waterlogging or prolonged drought;
- the spread of pests, the oppressed state of the infected plant;
- improper feeding - lack or excess of fertilizers;
- direct midday rays on the plant or too bright lighting for crops that prefer shading;
- too hot conditions, elevated air temperatures (especially during wintering);
- complete filling of free soil with rhizome, which has become a cramped container.
And in order to accurately diagnose the cause, it is necessary to responsibly approach the process of assessing the state of the plant, in which it is better to move from the opposite, by the method of exclusion:
- Carefully inspect the plant, especially the shoots and the underside of the leaves for traces of pests and other signs of inhibited growth.
- Check if the container is too tight or if roots appear from the drain hole.
- Determine the moisture of the substrate, the degree of drying between the procedures. If you find it difficult to make an assessment just “to the touch”, buy special indicators in a flower shop that will show how dry the soil is.
- Analyze the feeding schedule and compare it with the recommended for a particular plant. In citrus fruits, for example, the tips usually dry with a lack of iron. And in most non-flowering crops, too frequent top dressing can cause serious developmental disruptions, including those at the initial stage that appear in the drying tips.
- Analyze water quality. If you use running tap water, this is the most likely reason for the leaves to dry: it contains fluorine and chlorine impurities, salts and other unpleasant heavy substances that lead to a violation of the soil's characteristics and change its balance.
- Determine the air humidity, its dryness and comfort for hygrophilous species.
Deviation on one point will reveal the main reason for the drying of the ends of the leaves, 2 or more - will indicate the need for comprehensive measures.
How to solve the problem with dry leaf tips?
General hygiene measures
Regardless of the results of the cause assessment, first of all, take general hygiene measures:
- Start by removing the risk of soil contamination, removing salt deposits: remove white deposits from the surface of the substrate, replace the surface soil layer with a fresh, clean substrate.
- Be sure to clean the leaves of the plant from dust, arrange for it to stifle and follow the “behavior” of your pet.
- Try changing the humidity by placing a container of water or humidifiers near it.
These measures must be taken regardless of whether the cause was found and what it was. Indeed, even if the plant is infected with pests, increasing humidity will serve as a preventive measure.
But the 2nd and 3rd steps have their exceptions:
- obvious waterlogging of the substrate, leading to rotting of the shoots, during which leaves can be cleaned, but it is better not to increase the air humidity until the soil dries;
- if the problem manifests itself in plants with pubescent leaves that cannot be cleaned of dust by classical methods, then it is better to refuse cleaning and storing.
The second important step is also a general one - individual care. Indoor plants are all different, and they also need care not the same. You can not add orchids, chlorophytum and cacti with the same frequency. Each plant should receive exactly that leaving (and those conditions) which are necessary for it. Check your care strategy and make sure you adhere to this principle. If not, rebuild the care program by examining the information about each plant.
Further measures depend directly on the cause of the drying of the ends of the leaves.
If the tips of the leaves dry due to dry air
The problem with dry air can be solved by standard methods:
- spraying (not suitable for flowering plants and pubescent leaves);
- installation of special humidifier devices;
- installation of pallets or trays with wet pebbles, moss, expanded clay, on which they put a pot with a plant so that the bottom does not touch the water;
- placing plants in flower showcases.
If the tips of the leaves dry due to water quality
If the drying of the tips of the leaves of your plant caused a water quality, immediately make changes to the usual watering scheme:
- check what water is recommended to water your plant (perhaps it needs acidified or especially soft water);
- refuse to use running water, let it settle for at least 24 hours (and preferably a few days) in containers, and then carefully strain it;
- replace tap water with rain, melt, boiled.
If the tips of the leaves dry due to improper watering
If the cause of the problem lies in the wrong watering mode and the violation of the comfortable humidity of the substrate, the actions should be different:
- Learn about the basic preferences of the plant (today, for most types of recommendations, “poor or plentiful watering” has long been replaced by more precise instructions).
- If waterlogging, which has already led to the process of decay and violation of the air permeability of the soil, evaluate the quality of drainage and drain hole. If everything is okay with them, let the substrate dry almost completely before the next procedure and postpone watering. If the problem is a small drain hole, lack of drainage, proceed to an emergency transplant of plants.
- In case of excessive drought, make watering more frequent and plentiful. But do not let the water stagnate in pallets, still carry out each subsequent watering after several top centimeters of soil for moisture-loving plants dry out and the middle layer is partially dried for ordinary crops and succulents.
- Think about the possibility of purchasing pots with automatic irrigation, which will save you forever from the hassle with an individual selection of the frequency of procedures.
If the tips of the leaves dry due to pests
If the plant is infected with pests, start a comprehensive fight:
- isolate the plant from other indoor crops to prevent the spread of pests;
- wash the leaves with soap and water;
- increase air humidity;
- start using special insecticides (you can evaluate the range of drugs of both biological type and purely chemical composition in the nearest flower shop or garden center);
- when transplanting a plant, thoroughly treat and disinfect the container;
- step up preventative measures for the rest of the plants in the collection.
If the tips of the leaves dry due to violation of the conditions of detention
If the cause of the drying of the ends of the leaves was a violation of lighting, temperature, feeding, then the conditions need to be returned to comfortable for a particular type and variety of plants.
If there are clear signs that the plant is cramped in its capacity, carry out an emergency transplant. It is carried out, if the excess of nutrients cannot be corrected by a simple reduction in nutrition.