Why is my Tree Philodendron turning brown?

Last Updated: February 4, 2022

Sought after due to their large dramatic leaves, it can be pretty devastating if your Tree Philodendron starts to develop brown leaves. It can be quite a common problem for these Philodendron plants as there are a couple of common factors that lead to this problem. But don’t worry, if you have caught the problem before it has taken over your entire Tree Philodendron, then it should be totally fixable if properly diagnosed. 

Below we will be going through each of the causes of brown leaves on a Tree Philodendron, so you can figure out what is causing the brown foliage and put a stop to it before it’s too late.

Lack of water can turn the leaves brown on Tree Philodendrons

If your Tree Philodendron has developed dry brown leaves then it may be a consequence of consistent underwatering. The easiest way to check this is by inspecting the potting mix to see if it feels very dry and taking a look at the roots. If the roots are crispy and shrivelled then this suggests underwatering is causing the leaves on your Tree Philodendron to turn brown. 

Your first instinct to fix an underwatered Tree Philodendron might be to drown it in as much water as it’ll take. However, this can actually cause further damage as your plant may get shocked by the sudden change in its environment. Instead, you want to gradually reintroduce moisture into the pot by watering a little once a day for a week. 

To prevent the problem from happening again, we recommend Investing in a moisture meter as these will tell you when it’s time to water.

A lack of humidity could also be to blame

If the leaves on your Tree Philodendron are turning brown from the tips and edges inwards then it might be a lack of humidity that is behind it. Tree Philodendrons tend to be fine in average humidity levels but don’t like super dry air so be aware of this. 

Luckily there are several really easy ways you can increase the humidity for your Tree Philodendron:

  1. Mist the leaves regularly

    This is one of the easiest ways to increase the humidity for your Tree Philodendron and avoid further brown leaf tips. Mist the leaves several times per week with a spray bottle. (We love these amber glass ones from Amazon). Tree Philodendrons have quite large leaves so misting will also help remove some of this dust, win-win!.

  2. Give your plant a shower

    This is a short term solution but it can be a good idea to shower your plant to boost the humidity and avoid brown leaf tips. Tree Philodendrons are quite sturdy so you don’t have to worry so much about damaging the stems or leaves whilst washing them down. Just make sure to keep the water temperate as you don’t want to shock or burn your plant.

  3. Buy a humidifier

    If you want to take all the worries away from keeping a steady humidity level, then buying a humidifier is the best option. We always recommend this humidifier from Amazon as a great place to start for your houseplants.

Cold temperatures can also cause brown leaves

Make sure that you draft proof any windows/ doors that are close to your Tree Philodendron as they will struggle if exposed to cold air during winter. This can also happen during summer though as AC vents are every houseplant’s worst enemy. To avoid further browning of the leaves, make sure that your Tree Philodendron is at least 1meter away from AC vents or radiators to avoid temperature extremes. 

Using a digital thermometer is an easy way to monitor the temperature in your home and allow you to check for any cold drafts or hotspots that might damage the leaves.

So those are the most common reasons why Tree Philodendron plants develop brown leaves. Each of the issues is easily treatable so there is no reason why without a little bit of TLC you can’t get your Tree Philodendron back to better shape. After changing any element in your plant’s care or environment, make sure that you keep a very close eye on it to make sure not only that no more brown patches appear, but that your plant isn’t showing any other signs of unhappiness. 

To find out more about how to care for your plant, as well as diagnose and treat other common problems, check out our Tree Philodendron care guide.

Fiddle and Thorn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

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