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Should I Cut The Brown Tips Off My Plant?

Should I cut the brown tips of my plants? The answer to is yes, you should always cut off brown leaf tips from your indoor plants. If your indoor plants begin to exhibit dry and brown patches on more than 50 per cent of their leaves, then you need to remove them immediately. If you do not do this, then you could risk harming or even killing your plants. 

But why should you do this? Well, there are three primary reasons why you should remove dry tips from your plants, and these reasons have been outlined down below. 

Reasons Why You Should Remove Brown Tips Off Plants

House plant
Light modern living room with brown leather couch and numerous green houseplants creating an urban jungle

Health & Appearance

It is no secret that indoor plants with dry and brown tips can look very unattractive and poorly.

Beyond this, the brown tips are also capable of damaging your plant’s health and can make it deteriorate when left untreated. 

By removing the brown tips, you will be able to improve the overall health and appearance of your plant – allowing it to grow into a stronger and more vibrant specimen. 

Nutrients & New Growth

Leaves with brown tips are known to damage your plant’s health by stealing all the nutrients that your plant needs to survive. Because the brown patches are dead, they do not need these nutrients, and they should instead be used to keep your plant healthy. 

By removing the brown tips from your plant, you are allowing it to absorb the nutrients it needs, which will help the plant to grow and thrive. 

Disease & Pest Control

Sometimes brown tips are the result of pests or disease, and this means it can spread if the plant is left untreated. You should always examine your plant if it begins to look poorly, to ensure if it is the victim of these ailments. 

If your plant is suffering due to pests or sickness, then you need to remove the infected leaves immediately to ensure your plant’s overall well-being. 

Why Do My Indoor Plants Have Brown Tips?

If you have noticed that your indoor plants are suffering from brown tips, then you may be wondering why this has happened.

Brown tips can be a symptom of many things, from overwatering to underwatering. To help you distinguish why your plant is turning brown, I have outlined some common causes down below. 

Too Much Water

Watering your indoor plants is an essential part of their care, but this does not mean you need to water them every single day.

In most cases, the deterioration of a plant’s health is due to excessive watering on the part of the owner.

If you are unsure if your indoor plants need to be watered, then you can test the soil in their pots for moisture. If your plant is sitting in damp earth, then you should refrain from watering them until the soil has turned dry. 

Not Enough Water

I understand that this may look like a contradiction, but sometimes a plant will begin to brown due to a lack of water as well.

When plants do not receive enough water, they are unable to nourish themselves, which can lead to their leaves becoming brown and dry. 

You can check if your plant needs water by again checking the soil in its pot, as this is a good indicator of when it was last watered. If the soil beneath the surface is dry, then chances are your plant needs a drink. 

Too Much Light

Many houseplants are tropical in origin, and this means they need a lot of sunlight to grow and thrive. However, even tropical plants can suffer when they are exposed to direct sunlight for periods of time. 

If you believe your plant is turning brown due to overexposure to the sun, then you should place it in a part of your home that receives indirect sunlight instead. If the plant begins to improve, then you will know it was the sun that was causing the issues. 

Pest Exposure

Unfortunately, indoor plants can also fall victim to a variety of different pests – such as bugs, mites and aphids.

If your indoor plant has begun to exhibit brown patches on its leaves, then this could mean it is suffering from an infestation. 

However, these pests are often easy to detect and can be removed using a solution of soap and water.

If you think your plant is infested beyond the point of saving, then you need to remove it from your home. Or you could risk spreading the same infestation to your other plants. 

How Should I Remove Brown Tips From My Plants?

How Should I Remove Brown Tips From My Plants

Removing the brown tips from your plants is the best way to ensure their survival, and you can do this by simply cutting away the dry and brown patches. 

Take a pair of clean gardening scissors and follow the natural shape of the leaf until you have removed any damaged or dry areas.

Do not cut through the leaf entirely, as this will leave your plant looking unnatural and patchy. 

How Should I Remove Brown Tips From My Plants? cut off brown tips leaves

Yes you should cut off brown tips leaves from your plants is a simple task that does not require any special tools or methods. 

For the best results, you will need to remove the whole leaf from the plant, as the brown patches indicate that it cannot be saved. You can do this by simply pulling on the leaf, which should help it to detach from the stem. 

If the leaf does not come away easily, then you can try again at a later time or remove it using a pair of clean gardening scissors. If you try removing the leaf by hand and it doesn’t detach, you should never try tearing it off. 

Tearing the leaf away from the plant can actually damage the overall specimen. If you are unsure if the leaf will come away easily, then you need to use shears to remove it safely. 


Brown tips can be the result of various elements, such as overwatering, underwatering, overexposure to the sun, pest infestations and old age. 

If your plant begins to exhibit brown tips or dry leaves, then you can and should remove them to ensure the overall well-being of your indoor plants. 

Do not be scared to remove brown tips and dry leaves, as these are the cause of your plant’s distress and will only help to further deteriorate your plant’s condition.