Help....what am I doing wrong??

Eastern Nevada, United States

I have had this plant (not sure of the name) for over 6 years now and after I repotted it into this large planter my leaves started having issues. I have tried watering more & less and get nothing different.

Thanks so much

Thumbnail by SandyLJ Thumbnail by SandyLJ Thumbnail by SandyLJ
Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Many plants have leaves that turn brown like yours (as they age) but in this case I'll guess you need more humidity.

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

If your plant has never wilted severely, there is little doubt the problem rests with a high level of soluble salts having accumulated in the soil or over-watering, with the later being highly probable and likely exacerbated by an overly water-retentive soil.

If It was my plant, I'd do a complete repot into an appropriate soil and a rejuvenation pruning shortly after - as soon as the plant gets its feet back under it. I wouldn't delay, though. Mid summer is the best time to work on houseplants, so you should be done with the work by mid-late Jul, if you're up for it. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make.


Eastern Nevada, United States

The air is very dry here so could be part of that problem too.

Al, the soil I used was a new bag of Nature Select from Miracle Grow. Should I try something different? Maybe their regular dirt or the blue bag that is moisture control?

Thanks so much for the info :)

Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

In most cases, I think that low humidity is probably better considered as contributory to the necrotic leaf tips & margins your plant exhibits, with inhibition of normal root function being the primary cause. I think it would make good sense to try to raise humidity in the room the plant is in (misting isn't the answer), but I think you would get the greatest improvement for your efforts by concentrating on root health so the plant can efficiently move water to distal parts. Yours is a very common problem among those that use soils based on fine particles (like peat/compost/composted forest products/coir/sand/topsoil .....) or ingredients that break down quickly.

Not everyone is willing to trade the convenience of a soil from a bag for a soil that requires ingredients you need to shop for before you make the soil. Those who ARE willing, usually see a profound difference in their ability to bring along healthy plants, immediately, and a much greater margin for grower error - the forgiveness factor.

I'll provide you with a couple of links that cover some things that should be a basic part of our store of knowledge, but for some reason are rarely if ever discussed in any plant books or publications. If you decide you don't want to be bothered with building your own soils, I'll provide a link that will help you deal with soils that retain more water than is root-healthy.

Basic overview:

More in depth about soils:

Dealing with water-retentive soils:

I'll keep an eye on the thread - in case you decide you'd like more help.


Eastern Nevada, United States

Thank you Al,
I will certainly take the time to read these posts because I truly do want a healthy plant. I love gardening and am still learning, sadly most of the learning is coming from lots of errors on my part, but I am determined to get it down :)

I will let you know should I have anymore questions.


Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)

I hope you do. There is little doubt that with a few adjustments you can take some sizable steps forward. I think the 'more in depth about soils' thread will be the most valuable to you.

Best luck!


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