Loved for their beautiful and colourful foliage, the Iron Cross Begonia is quite a rare plant but we are seeing them appear more and more across the world which we couldn’t be happier about. However, if you start to notice that the leaves are starting to develop brown patches or spots, then this is a sign that something might not be quite right.
Below we will go through each of the factors that cause brown leaves so you can figure out what is happening to your Iron Cross Begonia, as well as how to fix and prevent the issue.
Before you start worrying about what problems might be slowly killing your plant, it’s important to make sure that something is actually wrong. Some varieties of Iron Cross Begonia naturally have brown patterns on the leaves. This is totally normal and just double-check that you aren’t mistaking the natural brown pattern for a problem causing dry brown leaves.
A Lack of Humidity
Dry air is the most common cause of brown leaves on Iron Cross Begonia plants. This usually causes the leaves to turn brown from the tips and edges inwards. A lack of humidity in the air can cause the leaves to be a little limp, droop down, and turn dry, brown and crispy. It will happen slowly so you have the opportunity to spot the issue early and fix it before it gets too bad.
Although you can’t reverse the brown leaves, there are a few easy things you can do to boost the humidity levels and prevent your Iron Cross Begonia from developing more brown leaves.
Misting the plant
One of the simplest ways to increase the humidity for your Iron Cross Begonia is to mist them with a spray bottle a couple of times a week. Make sure the water is at room temperature as you don’t want to burn the leaves or shock the plant.
Place your Iron Cross Begonia over a tray of pebbles with fresh water over the top. Over the day water from the tray will evaporate around your plant, boosting the humidity.
Pop your Iron Cross Begonia in the shower
This is quite a quick fix, rather than a long-term solution but it’s a good idea to wash down your plant in the shower. It can also refresh the plant and remove dust so it’s a win-win. You do want to be quite careful when doing this with your Iron Cross Begonia so keep the water pressure low.
Buy a humidifier
If you tend to forget to mist your plant, then the best thing to do is buy a humidifier. They’re relatively affordable little devices that keep a consistent humidity level so it’s a great long-term solution. They are also believed to help us sleep better, so it won’t just be an investment for your houseplants.
Sunlight is another one of the most common factors that can end up in the leaves on your Iron Cross Begonia turning brown. If your plant is getting a high level of direct sunshine during summer, it can dry out and burn the leaves which turns them brown. You won’t need to worry about this so much during winter as the sun is a lot weaker, and the days are a lot shorter.
Trim away the brown leaves (so that your plant can begin to recover) and move your plant to a shadier spot in your home.
Once you have figured out what is causing the brown leaves on your Iron Cross Begonia, it’s important that you change things immediately if they need to be. The more brown leaves that are on your plant, the harder it will be to bring your Iron Cross Begonia back to full health.
You can learn more about how to best care for your plant in our detailed Iron Cross Begonia care guide!
Written by Joanna Turner