Why Are My Anthurium Leaves Turning Brown? Causes & Fixes

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Anthurium plants are popular for their vibrant, heart-shaped flowers and glossy green leaves. However, seeing their leaves turn brown can be concerning for plant enthusiasts. There are several reasons why anthurium leaves might change color, and knowing these factors will help you take better care of your plant and maintain its fascinating appearance.

One primary cause of brown leaves on anthurium plants is intense sunlight exposure. These plants thrive in generous amounts of indirect sunlight, and too much direct sun can harm their leaves, as it may lead to a slower rate of photosynthesis and hinder the plant’s overall growth source. Another possible reason is leaf blight or leaf spot, which is a bacterial infection that affects the leaves, causing brown spots source. Furthermore, factors like low humidity and nutrient deficiency can also contribute to the browning of anthurium leaves source.

By understanding the various causes of brown leaves on anthurium plants, you can take the necessary steps to restore your plant’s health. Make sure to provide adequate indirect sunlight, maintain proper humidity levels, and supply essential nutrients to give your plant the care it needs to flourish.

Common Causes of Brown Leaves

Anthuriums, popular houseplants known for their beautiful and long-lasting flowers, can sometimes develop brown leaves. Understanding the primary reasons for this issue will help you address it and keep your plant healthy. In this section, we delve into some common causes: Underwatering, Overwatering, and Improper Light Conditions.


One reason your anthurium’s leaves may be turning brown is that they’re not getting enough water. When underwatered, these plants can experience stress, leading to dry, brown, and crispy leaves. To prevent underwatering, ensure the potting mix remains consistently moist but not soggy. Proper watering is essential for maintaining your anthurium’s health, so regularly check the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.


Conversely, overwatering can be another cause of brown leaves on your anthurium. Excessive moisture in the soil may lead to root rot, a condition that can cause the plant’s leaves to turn brown and wilt. To find the right balance for watering, allow the top inch of potting mix to dry before watering your plant again. Keep in mind that the watering frequency may vary depending on factors such as the growth stage, pot size, and environmental conditions.

Improper Light Conditions

Lastly, improper light conditions can result in the browning of anthurium leaves. Anthuriums prefer bright, indirect light, and excessive or prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause sunburn on the leaves. Sunburned leaves may turn yellow and brown simultaneously. To prevent this problem, ensure your anthurium is placed in an area that gets consistent, indirect sunlight but remains protected from harsh, direct rays.

In summary, monitoring and properly managing your anthurium’s water and light conditions will help keep your plant’s leaves green and healthy.

Nutrient Deficiencies and Imbalances

Lack of Essential Nutrients

One common reason for anthurium leaves turning brown is the lack of essential nutrients. These plants require adequate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for healthy growth. Depletion of nutrients from the potting soil can lead to brown spots on the leaves. To address this issue, consider using a controlled-release fertilizer, but only apply half of the recommended amount on the label. It’s best to fertilize during the plant’s active growth phase or in the spring and summer months.

Keep in mind that anthuriums also need:

  • Calcium: Essential for cell wall development and root tip growth
  • Magnesium: Important for chlorophyll production and overall photosynthesis

To help your anthurium maintain balanced nutrient levels, consider adding a well-rounded, slow-release fertilizer every couple of months.

Excess Fertilization

Over-fertilization can also cause brown spots on anthurium leaves. When too much fertilizer is used, the excess nutrients in the soil can lead to a build-up of salts, which can cause leaf browning and root burn. It’s essential to follow the recommended dosage for your specific anthurium plant to avoid this issue.

Here are some signs of excess fertilization:

  • Yellowing leaves: If the lower leaves are yellowing, it could signal an overabundance of nitrogen
  • Spindly growth: Excess nitrogen can also cause rapid, weak growth or elongated stems

To prevent over-fertilization, always follow the recommended guidelines and thoroughly water your anthurium after fertilizing. This can help to flush out excess salts and prevent nutrient imbalances.

In summary, maintaining a proper balance between essential nutrients and avoiding excess fertilization is crucial for keeping your anthurium’s leaves healthy and vigorous. Regularly monitor your plant’s health and adjust your fertilization practices accordingly to maintain beautiful, green leaves.

Disease and Pest Issues

Fungal Infections

Anthurium plants can develop brown leaves due to fungal infections. These infections may result from excessive moisture or humidity, poor air circulation, or unhealthy plant conditions. To combat fungal problems in your anthurium, follow these steps:

  1. Reduce the plant’s exposure to excessive water by watering less frequently and allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions.
  2. Improve air circulation in the area surrounding the plant.
  3. If necessary, use a fungicidal spray specifically designed for anthuriums and follow the label instructions.

Pest Infestations

Pests, such as aphids, brown scales, thrips, and white mealybugs, can cause the leaves of anthurium plants to turn brown. These pests feed on the plant tissue, leading to discoloration, deformities, and weakened growth.

To handle pest infestations, try the following:

  • Spray the pests off the leaves with a strong stream of water.
  • Use a gentle brush and horticultural soap to scrub the pests away from the leaves, taking care not to damage the plant.
  • Apply an appropriate insecticidal treatment to prevent further infestation.

By addressing fungal infections and pest infestations proactively, you can maintain a healthy and vibrant anthurium plant. Avoid letting the plant sit in water or overly wet conditions, as they can exacerbate problems with fungi and pests, leading to more brown leaves.

Preventive Measures and Solutions

Proper Watering Techniques

To keep anthurium leaves from turning brown, it’s crucial to use proper watering techniques. Over-watering can lead to root rot and other diseases, whereas under-watering can cause the leaves to dry out and turn brown. Ideally, anthurium plants should be watered when the top layer of soil becomes slightly dry to the touch. Using a technique such as placing six ice cubes on the soil and allowing them to melt once per week can also help by keeping the leaves from getting wet, according to this.

Effective Fertilization

Anthurium leaves can also turn brown due to nutrient deficiency when the plant isn’t getting enough nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Using a controlled-release fertilizer, at only half the recommended amount on the label, can help replenish the depleted nutrients in the potting soil. This should be done during the plant’s active growing phase or in the spring or summer, as advised here.

Ensuring Adequate Lighting

Anthurium plants require generous amounts of indirect sunlight to thrive. Excessive sunlight or direct sun exposure can cause their leaves to turn brown due to scorching. On the other hand, insufficient light may result in slow growth and fewer new leaves and blossoms. It’s crucial to find a balance and a suitable spot in your home to provide optimal lighting for your anthurium plants.

Maintaining a Disease and Pest-Free Environment

Diseases and pests can cause the leaves of anthurium plants to turn brown. It’s essential to maintain a clean environment and monitor your plant regularly for signs of pests or disease. Removing any affected leaves and treating the plant with appropriate treatments can help prevent the problem from spreading. Additionally, good air circulation and proper humidity levels can further contribute to a healthy environment that keeps anthurium leaves green and vibrant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Overwatering issues?

Overwatering your anthurium can lead to root rot and other problems that may cause its leaves to turn brown. To avoid this, make sure you’re not watering too frequently and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. A well-draining soil mix can also help prevent overwatering. Consider using a moisture meter to check the soil moisture before watering your plant.

Underwatering problems?

Underwatering may also cause anthurium leaves to turn brown, as the plant needs adequate moisture to thrive. If you’ve been letting the soil become too dry between waterings, try adjusting your watering schedule so that the plant gets consistent moisture. Keep in mind that anthuriums typically need more water in warmer months and may require more frequent watering.

Sun exposure concerns?

Anthuriums can experience leaf scorching and browning when exposed to excessive direct sunlight. To avoid this, place your anthurium in an area with bright, indirect light. If your plant is already in a spot with too much sun exposure, consider moving it to a more suitable location or using a shade cloth to protect it from harsh sunlight.

Lack of humidity?

Low humidity levels can cause anthurium leaves to turn brown. These plants thrive in high humidity environments, so consider using a humidifier, placing a tray of water near your plant, or regularly misting the leaves to increase the surrounding humidity.

Nutrient deficiencies?

Anthuriums can develop brown leaves when they are not receiving enough nutrients. Nutrient deficiency can be resolved by using a controlled-release fertilizer, but be sure to apply only half the recommended amount on the label.

Pest infestations?

Pests such as spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs can cause anthurium leaves to turn brown. If you notice any signs of pests on your plant, treat the infestation with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or other suitable pest control products. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests to keep your anthurium healthy and free from infestations.

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