Why Is My Poinsettia Turning Brown?

Poinsettias are a favorite holiday plant. They bring cheer to everyone who sees them, and they make an excellent gift for the people you love. But what do you do when your poinsettia starts turning brown?

There are many reasons why this might happen, so we’ve created this blog post to help answer any questions that you may have.

Why Is My Poinsettia Turning Brown?

The most common reasons for a poinsettia to be turning brown is overwatering and leaf burning. The brown leaves from overwatering are moist, whereas burnt leaves are dry and crispy.

It’s critical to figure out what caused the leaves to turn brown. I’ll go through these two factors in detail, as well as what you can do to avoid it from happening again.

Browning Poinsettia Leaves from Too Much Water

Poinsettias need lots of light and water to grow, so they require a bit more than the average houseplant. However, if you’re overwatering your poinsettia it can lead to brown leaves and root rot.

It’s recommended to only water when the top inch of soil is dry. You can find this out by sticking your finger in the soil. If you have a hard time telling if it’s dry or not, use a moisture meter instead.

Plants that sit in too much water usually get rotten roots, which can result in brown leaves and the death of your poinsettia. This is why I recommend checking the roots of your plant. If they look black, mushy, and even smell… then take action!

The first step is to prune all affected roots with a pair of sterilized shears. Next, wash the pot and re-pot your plant into clean soil that drains well. Hold off adding more water until the plant has had a chance to dry out.

The type of water is also important. In fact, using tap water can cause your poinsettia to become sick and display brown leaves. I recommend only using filtered water that is free from chlorine.

Browning Poinsettia Leaves from Leaf Burn

If your poinsettia leaves turn brown because of leaf burn, the leaves will be crisp and dry. Leaf burning is caused by too much sun exposure or unbalanced fertilizer levels.

Poinsettias need a lot of light to grow indoors, but not direct sunlight. If you place your plant in a sunny window that receives direct sun, it will burn.

This is why I recommend using a sheer curtain or blinds so the leaves don’t get too much exposure to light and sun.

A good sign that leaf burn is the cause of browning is if only some of the leaf tips have turned brown. Also, this usually happens to leaves at the top of the plant that receives more light.

I also recommend frequently turning your plant so that all sides of the poinsettia receive sun. This ensures that more than a few leaves absorb the sun’s rays.

Browning Poinsettia Leaves FAQs

This beautiful plant isn’t the easiest to care for. As such, there are a lot of questions that you may have. I’ve included some of the most frequently asked ones below so that you can get more information from this blog post!

Will brown poinsettia leaves turn green again?

No, it is unlikely for the brown leaves to turn green again. The great news is that new foliage will be green if you manage to tackle the root cause of the issue.

Should I remove brown leaves from my poinsettia?

Yes, prune all affected roots with a pair of sterilized shears. This will allow your plant to heal and grow healthy new foliage.

Will too much water cause the poinsettia to turn brown?

Yes, it is possible for a poinsettia to turn brown from too much water. This is why I recommend only watering a poinsettia when the top inch of soil is dry.

Why are my poinsettia leaves wet and brown?

This is likely due to guttation, which is when water droplets form on leaf tips. It happens when the plant receives too much water to handle.

Will direct sun cause poinsettia leaves to turn brown?

Yes, the leaves will turn brown if the plant is exposed to direct sunlight for too long. This can be prevented by using sheer curtains or blinds in windows and turning your poinsettia frequently.

Will tap water cause my poinsettia leaves to turn brown?

Yes, tap water contains chlorine that can cause leaf burn. If you already have brown leaves, it is best to switch over to filtered water so that the plant can heal and grow new foliage.


In conclusion, brown poinsettia leaves can be concerning to see, especially as they normally have wonderful red and green leaves. But don’t worry, you aren’t alone! I hope that this blog post has helped answer your questions and provided more insight into the causes of browning foliage. If your poinsettia is turning yellow too, then you may want to read that article to find out why.

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