String of Hearts Brown Leaves (Causes and Solutions)

If things aren’t quite right you might find that your String of Hearts starts to develop brown, dry and crispy leaves.

Adored for their speckled heart-shaped leaves, the String of Hearts can be a little high maintenance at times to keep their foliage looking fresh. If things aren’t quite right you might find that your String of Hearts starts to develop brown, dry and crispy leaves. This is definitely a sign that something isn’t quite right and something in the care or environment needs to change. But don’t fret, there is a good chance you can revive your String of Hearts if it hasn’t fully taken over. Below we will be going through the two main reasons why String of Hearts plants develop brown leaves so you can make the right changes to help your plant recover. 

Too much sunlight can cause brown leaves

If your leaves are turning brown, there is a good chance that it’s because your String of Hearts is getting too much direct sunlight. This can cause the leaves to burn, from which they will not be able to recover. There is often a myth that there is no such thing as too much light, especially for succulent plants such as String of Hearts but this isn’t true. String of Hearts plants do like areas with bright light, but it needs to be indirect. You need to also watch out a little more in summer when the sun is a lot stronger for more of the day and the risk of leaf burn and brown leaves is higher. It is best to move your String of Hearts a metre or so further away from the window in warmer months to avoid any leaf burn/brown leaves. To figure out how much light your String of Hearts is getting throughout the day, you can use a light meter.

Underwatering can also lead to brown String of Hearts leaves

The brown leaves on your String of Hearts might also be a consequence of underwatering. Check the moisture levels in the soil to be sure and if it feels dry and powdery then your plant probably needs more water.

Your first instinct to fix an underwatered String of Hearts and prevent more brown leaves is probably to drown it in water. However, this can actually cause further damage as your String of Hearts may get shocked by the sudden change in soil moisture. The best thing to do in this case is to slowly reintroduce watering by giving your plant a little water each day for a few days. To solve the issue of the brown leaves in the long term, adjust your watering routine and put a reminder in your phone so you remember to water your String of Hearts a little more than before. This should prevent any more brown leaves from occurring in future. 

Investing in a moisture meter is also a great idea to help with moisture levels in the potting mix and prevent brown leaves, these handy little devices take all of the guesswork away from watering.

Now that you’ve hopefully diagnosed the issue with your String of Hearts you might be wondering what to do about the brown leaves that are already there. Unfortunately, once a leaf has turned brown, there is no reversing that. This is why we often recommend removing the leaves that have turned a solid brown colour. 

If only the edges of the leaves have turned brown, then it can be a good idea to leave these as they aren’t all dead and can still be valuable to your String of Hearts plant. However, any leaves that are fully brown and have crisped up should be removed. This will stop your plant from wasting energy trying to revive them. Instead, it allows your String of Hearts to focus all of its energy on new healthy growth. 

When removing the leaves, make sure to trim them off using sharp tools. Never rip or pull the leaves off by hand as this can damage the stems and other parts of the plant that might be otherwise healthy. 

More often than not, brown leaves on your String of Hearts are a sign that your plant is starting to die. This can be caused by a whole range of issues that this article discusses. It’s important to act as quickly as possible to find out what is causing your String of Hearts to develop brown leaves as the sooner you start fixing the issue, the more chance you have at bringing your plant back to full health.

The key to preventing your String of Hearts from developing brown leaves is to make sure that it is growing in the ideal environment. You need to make sure that environmental factors such as sunlight, warmth and humidity are right for your plant, as well as balancing watering so that your String of Hearts is getting what it needs. 

Care requirements will be different for each plant so we recommend looking at our care guide for a more comprehensive overview.

These are the two most common issues that can cause brown leaves on String of Hearts plants. Both sunlight issues and underwatering are quite easy problems to fix so you shouldn’t have any issues bringing your String of Hearts back to full health. Keep a close eye on your String of Hearts over the next few weeks to make sure that any changes you make to your plant’s care or environment are having a positive effect, and not causing any more brown leaves. 

To learn more about caring for your plant, as well as how to spot other issues, check out our String of Hearts care guide. 

Written by Joanna Turner


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