Originally from South and Central America, Pilea Moon Valley Friendship Plant (aka Pilea Mollis, Pilea involucrata) is a fascinating looking plant that is starting to make its way into households more often as they become more and more popular. With this popularity comes problems that people have with their Pilea Moon Valley plants. One of these problems that often comes up is when people start to see their Pilea Moon Valley leaves turn brown.
Please see our Care Guide for Pilea Moon Valley Friendship Plants for more info on how to take care of your Moon Valley plant.
Causes of Pilea Moon Valley Leaves Turning Brown
Like with many plant problems, brown leaves on a Moon Valley plant can be caused by some different issues. I know that is not what you want to hear when searching to see what exactly is wrong with your plant. But as with anything when it comes to plants you have to look at your individual plant and assess the situation and environment it is in to narrow down what can be causing the Pilea to turn brown.
Sometimes people will notice that the tips of the leaves will start to turn brown before the whole leaf starts to turn brown. If you notice the tips turning brown try to be proactive so your leaves don’t get fully damaged on your plant.
Pilea Moon Valley Brown Leaves Due to Lack of Water
The most common culprit of brown leaves showing up on a Moon Valley Friendship plant is not enough water. Pilea Moon Valleys do not like getting completely dried out between waterings.
If you are noticing that the leaves are drooping between watering (Why Is My Pilea Moon Valley Drooping?) and then starting to turn brown you probably aren’t watering your plant often enough. Moon Valley plants should only have the top surface layer of soil completely dry out between watering. These plants prefer soil that is evenly moist and not soil that stays completely wet all the time.
If you live in an area that is dry your Pilea will need more water than someone who lives in a humid environment. Also as the seasons change and the humidity levels change, the water needs of the plant will change too. For example, I have to water mine more frequently in the winter due to the dramatic drop in humidity levels, even though the plant isn’t in the growing season. If I go too long without water I will notice some of the newer leaves starting to droop, then turn brown, and then wither away because they just can’t get enough water to survive.
You can also help with the moisture levels of the plant by keeping it in a room such as a brightly lit kitchen where the humidity levels usually stay higher than in other parts of the house. Some people like to use pebble trays with water under the plant to help with humidity too. Humidifiers are also an option to increase the humidity of the area your plants are in.
Watering the Pilea Moon Valley With Tap Water
Another cause of the leaves starting to turn brown is due to using tap water to water your plant, especially if you live in an area that is on municipal water where it is treated with chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine.
Many recommend to only water your plants with distilled water, but sometimes this isn’t always an option. At the very least if you must use your tap water run it through a filtering system. This can help remove some of the minerals and chemicals, but it won’t get rid of it all.
There is also the option of capturing rainwater to use for watering your plants. But again this might not be an option for everyone.
Getting Burned By The Sun
Pilea Moon Valley plants do not like direct sunlight. Having your plant sit where the sun is shining on it can cause the leaves to burn, resulting in dry brown leaves in places. These plants like to have bright indirect sun.
Many times you might notice drooping before the burn spots start to appear on the plant. If you don’t have anywhere else to put your plant then it is a good idea to get something such as a sheer curtain to filter the sunlight and prevent the leaves from getting burned.
Prune Damaged Leaves
Once you have corrected the issue causing the brown leaves on your Moon Valley plant, make sure to prune the damaged leaves from the plant. Leaving them on the plant can continue to cause stress to the plant.