Brown edges on Philodendron

Plant Parent

The leaves get brown around edges, then completely. What can I do?


Please tell me how long you’ve had this plant; what is your thought process on watering and exactly how do you water? Let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

Plant Parent

I’ve had it about 15 years. It is in about 1.25 cubic feet of potting soil (about 3 years old). I give it about 32 ounces of bottled or rain water about every 10 days – 2 weeks now (more during summer). About 1 per month I add fertilizer (12-4-8) to the water. It gets about 3 hours of morning sun in an East window & indirect sunlight with the red/blue artificial light the rest of the day.


If you say the plant has been in the same soil for three years and, considering how big this pot is, I’d say the older leaves (the lower ones) are starting to show signs of mineral salt damage, which occurs when fertilizer salts build up in old soil. With such a large pot, I imagine you don’t often pour in enough water to flush out the excess minerals.

I suggest you repot the plant with fresh soil, replacing at least half of the old soil.

For fertilizer, I wouldn’t apply it unless you’re seeing new leaves actively coming out.

For watering, you should occasionally pour through enough water so it drains through, thereby flushing out potential mineral build up – but don’t do this upon every watering because you’d also be flushing out nutrients. Do it maybe once every two months or so.

You’ve got a lovely plant! Hope this helps!

Plant Parent

Thank you!

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