Arrowhead Plant Leaves Turning Brown: What Is The Reason?

The Arrowhead plant is a plant whose scientific name is Syngonium podophyllum. This plant is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Common names include arrowhead vine, arrowhead vine, arrowhead philodendron, African evergreen, American evergreen, etc.

The Arrowhead plant grows very fast and is lush with arrow-shaped leaves. Leaves are dark green, milky white, or pink. The beauty of this plant is its lush green leaves and unique shape. So many people love to grow arrowhead plants in homes and offices.

However, a common problem you will encounter in the care of this plant is leaf discoloration. Arrowhead plant leaves turning brown is an early warning sign of some serious tree problems. Let’s learn about the causes and remedies for brown leaves in arrowhead plants.

Arrowhead Plant Leaves Turning Brown: Top 7 Common Causes

The leaves of arrowhead plants turning brown or yellow are associated with many problems such as improper watering, lack of moisture, over-fertilizing, excessive light, leaf spots, pests, and fungi. To find out how to fix brown leaves, you need to learn about the specific causes below.

Lack Of Moisture

Lack of moisture is one of the most common reasons why the leaves of an arrowhead plant turn brown or yellow. The reason is that this plant prefers a warm and humid environment in tropical climates. The ideal humidity will help the arrowhead plant grow quickly and stay lush.

Therefore, low humidity will cause the tops and leaf edges of plants to turn brown. Without moisture for a long time, the leaves will wilt and droop.

To prevent leaves from turning brown, you need to maintain humidity in the room by misting or using a humidifier. Misting the leaves can provide a short-term increase in humidity. However, it’s not the best way to maintain moisture so you need to mist it several times per day to ease the stress on the leaves from lack of moisture.

arrowhead plant leaves turning brown

Excessive Fertilizing

Fertilizer is an indispensable nutrient for plant growth. Arrowhead plants will thrive with organic fertilizer. Therefore, fertilizers with high nutrient content are not suitable for this plant species.

Over-fertilizing will cause the leaf edges to turn brown due to great stress. Salt that accumulates in large amounts around the roots will attack the root system. Excess and unremoved fertilizer will inhibit the activities of the root system. As a result, the leaves will turn brown due to the loss of water and nutrients.

So, if you over-fertilize the arrowhead plant, you need to remove the excess fertilizer by flushing plenty of water into the potting soil. Water will help remove excess minerals in the soil. However, you need to adjust the drainage to avoid waterlogging and causing root rot.

In addition, you should use organic fertilizers rather than artificial fertilizers. Fertilize arrowhead plant in summer and spring. You should avoid fertilizing in the winter because plants will hibernate and not use fertilizer.

Read more: 11 Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage

Soil Lacks Moisture

Soil moisture is one of the most important factors for the growth of lush leaves. Arrowhead plants prefer moist soil to stimulate leaf and root system growth. If you notice leaves turning brown and leaf edges curling or brittle, the soil may be too dry. If this condition persists for several days, the plants will wilt and droop.

Watering too little and infrequently is the reason why the soil is dry and lacks moisture. So you just need to give the plants water and they can respawn after a few days.

During the growing season, you should maintain watering and check the moisture in the soil with your finger or a hygrometer. Always keep the soil moist and porous so that the arrowhead plant can grow and develop best. However, in winter, you should limit watering to avoid excessive moisture that can lead to root rot.

Excessive Sun Exposure

The Arrowhead plant is native to the tropical forests of Latin America. Therefore, they live under foliage and prefer indirect sunlight from the sun. Arrowhead plants are very sensitive to direct sunlight. Leaves turning brown can be caused by exposure to direct sunlight for many hours.

They get sunburned due to extreme heat from direct sunlight. Leaves that have turned brown due to sunburn are difficult to recover from. Therefore, you should remove them and stimulate the growth of new leaves. For the best and healthy growth of the arrowhead plant, you should place the potted plant in a place with indirect sunlight for 3-6 hours a day.

Watering Too Much

Overwatering will also cause the leaves of the arrowhead plant to turn brown. The cause is due to waterlogging, water does not drain out and remains on the ground. Waterlogging causes the roots to rot because the roots are soaked in water for too long. The roots will be soft, mushy, and have a rotten smell. When the root system is rotted, it will inhibit the absorption of water and nutrients, so the leaves and stems will also turn brown.

If you feel the soil is too wet and sticky, in addition to excess water on the surface of the soil, you need to drain the pot. Stimulates water drainage from drainage holes and soil surface. Place the pot in a sunny spot to dry the soil.

However, if the root rot has become severe, you will not be able to revive the arrowhead plant. Therefore, you need to check the plants regularly and avoid wet soil for many days.

The Temperature Is Too High

Arrowhead plants do not tolerate extreme heat, so the leaves are the part that will be affected most quickly. Leaves will have brown spots appear or the edges will be brown. The heat will burn the leaves and disrupt the cell structure of the leaves, causing dehydration and withering.

The ideal temperature for this plant to grow and develop best is between 65 and 85 degrees F. Nighttime temperatures should also be around 60 degrees F to enhance foliage growth.

Leaf Spot Disease

Arrowhead plants are susceptible to leaf spot diseases. This disease produces brown patches and spots on the leaves. Bacteria and fungi thrive in wet conditions. Therefore, they often attack plants when waterlogged or the humidity in the air is too high.

To get rid of fungi and bacteria, you need to keep the environment dry, ventilated, and exposed to the sun. In addition, you also need to regularly clean the leaves both front and back to remove white or brown patches. Because they can be fungal or bacterial spores that are harmful to plants. Use neem oil or a fungicide to apply it to the leaves and kill the fungus and insects.

Insect Attack

Arrowhead plants are susceptible to insect attacks. Some common insects that attack this plant include spiders, scale beetles, and mealybugs. Spray bugs are also insects that attack leaves and cause serious consequences. They suck the sap directly from the leaves, from which the leaves will dry out, turn brown, and wilt.

These insects will quickly attack and spread to the leaves of plants. To prevent this, you need to kill these insects manually or use insecticides to protect the leaves of the arrowhead plant.


The leaves of the arrowhead plant can turn brown for a variety of reasons. Some of the causes are over-watering, lack of moisture, dry soil, over-fertilizing, and fungal and insect attack.

They all cause the leaves of plants to have brown or yellow spots. The brown patches then invade the entire leaf and cause the leaves to wilt and droop. To limit this situation, you need to determine the exact reason to use the medicine or move the pot to another location.

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