Autograph Trees have such sturdy stems that you can actually carve things into them (which is where the name comes from). They can be fairly easy to care for once you’ve nailed down the right care routine, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t come with their own set of issues. Brown leaves can often develop on Autograph Trees if their environment isn’t quite right. But don’t fret, we will go through each of the common causes of brown leaves on Autograph Tree so you can diagnose and fix the problem right away.
Overwatering often causes brown leaves
If you notice that your Autograph Tree’s leaves are turning brown and mushy, it is most likely due to overwatering. Too much water can very quickly lead to root rot which is very harmful to your Autograph Tree. Not only does it cause the leaves to turn brown, but it will also mean that the plant is unable to take up water or nutrients meaning your plant may also begin to die pretty quickly. If you think that you may have overwatered your Autograph Tree it is best to replace the soil straight away rather than just sit and wait for it to dry up over time as this risks more damage to your plant.
There are two really easy ways to make sure that your Autograph Tree definitely needs water. First, check the moisture at the top of the soil and you can also lift up your Autograph Tree plant to check the weight of the plant before and after watering. You will then start to be able to gauge how heavy the soil is when it is in need of water and hopefully avoid any more brown leaves in future.
You also need to make sure you are adjusting your watering schedule depending on the seasons. Autograph Trees really don’t need much water at all during autumn and winter, once every month should be plenty!
Underwatering can also cause brown leaves on an Autograph Tree
If the leaves are turning quite brown dry and crispy then it may also be due to consistent underwatering. Autograph Trees like to have moist soil and although they can deal will a little bit of drought, a constant lack of water for weeks on end during the growth period can often result in brown dry leaves.
If you think your Autograph Tree has been underwatered then check the soil before you change anything about your watering routine. You want to be 100% sure that the soil is dry before watering your plant again as you don’t want to cause any more serious issues. If you have confirmed that the problem is a lack of water then slowly reintroduce water to your Autograph Tree. Like humans, plants can get shocked by a sudden and extreme change of environment so don’t drown your plant as it can cause more problems than just brown leaves.
Water your Autograph Tree a little once a day for a week. Then you can go back to a more normal care routine, making sure to check the moisture in the soil frequently to avoid any more brown leaves developing.
Brown leaves can suggest temperature issues
Hotspots or cold drafts can also cause your Autograph Tree to develop brown leaves. Hotspots can occur when your plant is too close to the window which is being hit by a lot of direct light. It can also happen if your Autograph Tree is near a radiator or heating vent. It can be difficult to notice hotspots because the heat disperses around the room and it’ll probably feel like a comfortable temperature to you. Make sure you are ventilating the room well and avoid putting your Autograph Tree within 1 metre of any radiators.
Cold drafts are also your Autograph Tree’s worst enemy. A consistent stream of cold air coming in from outside through cracks in doors and windows can be quite harmful to your plant over time. They won’t drop dead after being exposed to a little bit of cold air but if the problem persists for weeks and months, then your Autograph Tree may develop brown leaves. This is especially dangerous during winter when temperatures can really drop. Make sure you draft proof any doors or windows that your Autograph Tree (and other houseplants) are close to.
Low humidity can also lead to brown leaves
Autograph Trees can deal with an average level of humidity but will struggle in really dry air and the leaves can start to turn brown from the tips and edges inwards.
There are a few really simple techniques to keep the humidity higher than normal for your Autograph Tree; you can spray down the leaves with a mist bottle every few days, sit your plant in a tray with water and some pebbles, put your Autograph Tree in the bathroom as the humidity level is higher due to showering. But the quickest and the easiest solution you could invest in is a humidifier to keep the levels perfect year-round.
You can also pick up a good humidity monitor to keep track of everything if you’re more concerned.
Those are the most common reasons why Autograph Trees develop brown leaves or brown leaf tips. After changing anything about your care routine, or your plant’s environment, make sure to keep a close eye on your plant for the weeks after to make sure that it’s solving the brown leaves issue and not causing any more problems for your plant.
To find out more about caring for your plant, as well as propagation tips and advice to spot and solve any other common problems, check out our Autograph Tree care guide.