Why do the tips of the leaves dry in indoor plants?
Hardy, persistent and undemanding cultures can be unpleasantly surprising as well as indoor exotics. Some problems signal the need for a minor correction of the care program, others indicate imperceptible changes in conditions of detention, and still others require serious measures. Most often when growing room pets there is a slight, at first glance, deviation in the decorative foliage - the appearance of dry tips. Let's try to figure out why the tips of the leaves dry up and how not to let a small problem turn into big trouble.
Drying of the tips of the leaves does not always lead to their falling off or withering, and often does not affect 1% of the leaf surface. But it invariably affects the attractiveness of the plant, spoils its appearance. And to ignore this phenomenon is not worth it, even if it seems to be purely seasonal (most often winter). It is possible that only a slight correction of the conditions is required for the struggle, but if you are inattentive and miss the real reason, the plant will suffer much moreand the struggle with the problem will be long.
Step One - Comprehensive Diagnosis
When dry, dark tips of leaves appear on a plant, they usually immediately think of too dry air. Insufficient humidity and truth is the most common cause of this phenomenon, but far from the only one. And incorrect diagnosis, exclusion from the assumptions of a whole range of other possible factors can turn into a great disaster. After all, if you try to increase the humidity of the air during over-wetting of the earthy coma that led to stem rot, you can achieve the opposite results.
Drying of the tips of the leaves, other than insufficiently high humidity, can result in:
- watering with poor-quality water, especially hard and unstable (dry tips, in this case - burns from salts);
- violation of the moisture content of the substrate in the tank - too intense waterlogging or prolonged drought;
- the spread of pests, the depressed state of an infected plant;
- improper fertilizing - lack or excess of fertilizers;
- hit on a plant of direct midday rays 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 close capacity.
And in order to accurately diagnose the cause, it is necessary to take a responsible approach to the process of assessing the state of the plant, in which it is better to move from the opposite, by the method of elimination:
- Carefully inspect the plant, especially the shoots and the underside of the leaves for signs of pests and other signs of oppressed growth.
- Check whether the container is too cramped and if the roots have not appeared from the drain hole.
- Determine the moisture content of the substrate, the degree of drying between treatments. If you find it difficult to assess just “by touch”, buy special indicators at a flower shop that will show how dry the soil is.
- Analyze the fertilizer chart and compare it with the recommended one for a particular plant. Citrus fruits, for example, dry their tips usually with a lack of iron. And for most non-flowering crops, too frequent top-dressings can cause serious developmental disorders, including those at the initial stage, which manifest themselves in drying tips.
- Analyze water quality.If you use running water from the tap, then this is the most likely reason for the leaves to dry out: it contains impurities of fluorine and chlorine, salts and other unpleasant heavy substances that disrupt the characteristics of the soil and change its balance.
Determine the humidity of the air, its dryness and comfort for moisture-loving species.
The deviation of one item will allow you to identify the main cause of drying of the tips of the leaves, 2 or more - will indicate the need for comprehensive measures.
How to solve the problem with dry tips of the leaves?
General hygiene measures
Regardless of the results of the evaluation of the causes, first take general hygiene measures:
- Start by removing the risk of contamination of the soil, eliminate salt deposits: remove the white deposit from the surface of the substrate, replace the surface layer of the soil with a fresh clean substrate.
- Be sure to clean the leaves of the plant from dust, arrange his soulfulness and follow the "behavior" of your pet.
- Try to change the air humidity by placing a water tank or humidifiers next to it.
These measures need to be taken regardless of whether it was possible to find the cause and what it was.After all, even if the plant is infected with pests, an increase in humidity will serve as a preventive measure.
But the 2nd and 3rd steps have their exceptions:
- Obvious waterlogging of the substrate, which led to the decay of the shoots, during which the cleaning of the leaves can be done, but the air humidity is better not to increase until the soil dries out;
- 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 to clean and douche.
The second important step is also a common one - individual care. Houseplants are all different, and they also need far-reaching care. You can not add with the same frequency orchids, chlorophytum and cacti. Each plant should receive exactly the care (and those conditions) that are necessary for him. Check your care strategy and make sure you adhere to this principle. If not, rebuild the care program by reviewing the information about each plant.
Further measures depend directly on the cause of the drying of the tips of the leaves.
If the tips of the leaves dry out due to dry air
The problem with dry air can be solved by standard methods:
- spraying (not suitable for flowering plants and hairy leaves);
- installation of special devices, humidifiers;
- installation of pallets or trays with wet pebbles, moss, expanded clay, which put the pot with the plant so that the bottom does not touch the water;
- placement of plants in flower windows.
If the tips of the leaves dry due to water quality
If the drying of the tips of the leaves of your plant caused the quality of the water, immediately make changes to your usual watering pattern:
- check what water is recommended to water your plant (perhaps it needs acidified or very soft water);
- refuse to use running water, let it stand for at least 24 hours (and preferably several days) in tanks, then gently drain;
- Replace tap water with rain, melted, boiled water.
If the tips of the leaves dry out due to improper watering
If the cause of the problem lies in the wrong mode of irrigation and the violation of the moisture content of the substrate, the actions should be different:
- Learn about the basic preferences of the plant (today, for most types of recommendation, “scant or abundant watering” has long been replaced by more precise instructions).
- in the case of waterlogging, which has already led to a process of decay and disturbance of the air permeability of the soil, evaluate the quality of drainage and drainage. If everything is fine with them, let the substrate dry out almost completely before the next procedure and set aside watering. If the problem is a small drain hole, no drainage, proceed to an emergency plant transplant.
- If excessive drought, make watering more frequent and abundant. But do not let the water stagnate in the pallets, still spend every next watering after several top centimeters of soil have dried out for moisture-loving plants and the middle layer has partially dried for ordinary crops and succulents.
- Think about the possibility of acquiring pots with automatic watering, which will save you forever from the hassle of individual selection of the frequency of procedures.
If the tips of the leaves dry out due to pests
If the plant is infected with pests, start a comprehensive struggle:
- Isolate the plant from other indoor crops to prevent the spread of pests;
- wash the leaves with soapy water;
- increase the humidity of the air;
- start using special insecticides (you can evaluate the range of products of both biological type and purely chemical composition in the nearest flower shop or garden center);
- when transplanting a plant, carefully treat and disinfect the container;
- Strengthen preventive measures for the remaining plants in the collection.
If the tips of the leaves dry out due to a violation of the conditions
If the cause of drying of the tips of the leaves was caused by violations of lighting, temperatures, the mode of fertilizing, then the conditions should be returned to comfortable for a particular type and variety of plants. When there are clear signs that the plant is closely in its capacity, make an emergency transplant. It is carried out, if the excess nutrients cannot be repaired by a simple reduction of fertilizing.
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