Fluoride Action Network

Houseplants sensitive to fluoride

Source: The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) | Gardening column: What to do about brown leaf tips, pests on houseplants | October 30th, 2009 | By Jane Ford


Houseplants are more and more becoming our focus — so today I’m going to talk about some common problems we deal with and possible solutions.

Following are some reasons why plants have brown tips. After that, we’ll discuss houseplant pests and then how to keep your tropical hibiscus happy:

• There are several things that can cause brown leaf tips on houseplants, including low humidity, poor root health and excessive salts in the soil. In addition, some plants are sensitive to fluoride in water, which can cause brown leaf tips. Spider plant is one that is sensitive to fluoridated water. Flushing the soil occasionally with rainwater or bottled water helps reduce fluoride salt buildup.

Other examples of plants that are sensitive to fluoride are: Easter lilies, Dracena, Spathiphyllum (peace lily), cast iron plants, parlor palms, prayer plants and Freesia.

Perlite, the white spongy chunks in some potting soils, and some fertilizers may release enough fluoride to harm sensitive plants…