Tips of leaves turn brown

kimo1820February 24, 2010

Does anyone have a solution for leaf tip browning. So far my research has indicated it is a water problem. Apparently the tap water here in CA has too many of the wrong minerals/salts in it. Has anyone solved this problem?


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Browning occurs for a couple reasons. It would help to know which plants are getting brown tips. How is the humidity in your growing area?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:40AM
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Hi everyone,

Kimo1820, I am told it can also be caused by excessive fertilizer accumulation which shows up as leaf tip burning. Can anyone add further to this theory?

However I also have a plant with a similar problem which I feel is not from this cause but I can't nail the reason. It is a plant of Vr. Kiwi Cream and as soon as the inflorescence had finished, the majority of the leaves started to brown from the tips to about 2" down the leaf and eventually finished up looking like brown paper.

The plant is growing beside Kiwi Dusk and Kiwi Sunset along with all of my other Vrieseas under the same conditions and receiving the same modest amount of fertilizer with none of the others being affected.

All the best, Nev.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 2:50PM
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all of the Kiwi are subject to browning if the humidity and air flow don't match what they like...I lost ten plants until I got that issue resolved

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 5:36PM
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Yep , well thats the price you pay for combining Vr.platynema variegata with Vr .gigantea seideliana (Nova)in the mix that makes the Kiwi series ,but they are prone to Ph fluctuations wich will cause it as well , and as 'Seideliana ' can be a tad specific about certain climatic conditions ,it does'nt help ,fertilizer is not much of a problem with foliage Vrieseas ,dry roots are a problem to them, and as all plants (specially hybrids ) are individuals you get the odd plants out of a given cross that does every thing wrong ,I got one out of the " Milky Way " cross that had all the potential of a lovely soft pink with green and white tips ,BUT it wont grow to any size and makes heaps of deformed pups and a few good ones ,Why ? there is nothing in the cross to do so ,but it occurs in plants and all animals ,nature is not perfect ,

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:29AM
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Hey Kimo, our water is salty. That will definitely add to leaf tip browning. Especially if it is a Guzmania or Vriesea. Also, if the roots of those plants dry out it will tend to add to browning. Then again, some plants just will brown when they want to. If you can post pictures that might help a little.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 1:53AM
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Thanks to all for your replies.

hotdiggetydam - I grow Neo's, Billbergia's, Vriesea, Hohenbergia, Aechmea's, Guzmania's and others and I seem to get leaf tip browning accross the species. It is not unique to any one type of brom. I live in So CA so the air is a bit arid. I grow some of the broms outside under shade and some in a misted greenhouse.

Nev - I very seldom fertilize the broms (maybe once a year if then) and when I do I use a teaspoon of Miracle Grow to about 35 gallons of water so it is extremely diluted.

Andy - I know about some of the problems with our water and I was hoping someone had found a way to address the problems it causes.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Haha, well you can use distilled, R/O, bottled water, etc. But that can get costly. For my more sensitive plants I use some R/O water that I get from work, but most of my plants I just deal with the salt build up and brown tips. I started harvesting rain water and am going to use that on plants that I'm hoping to show, so that's another option. Its just hard to gather enough rain (or have enough space to store it) for the rest of the year. But it should last me a little while at least. I guess in summary, better water is the only answer that I know of...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 9:42PM
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