Which Indoor Plants Are Sensitive to Fluoride in Tap Water? – Deep Green Permaculture


yellow brown leaf tip indoor plant lucky bamboo Dracaena sanderiana

yellow brown leaf tip indoor plant lucky bamboo Dracaena sanderiana

Some houseplants are delicate to the fluoride that’s added to municipal faucet water for the aim of stopping tooth decay in people.

The symptom of fluoride toxicity in crops is leaf necrosis (yellowing, then browning, main to useless, scorched areas on the leaf), which seems primarily on the ideas of the leaves and alongside the margins (edges), spreading inwards. This is usually described as ‘tip burn’.

Fluoride is a cumulative poison in plant leaves, and should accumulate steadily over time. It strongly inhibits photosynthesis and different processes, and strikes in the transpiration stream from roots or by stomata (leaf pores) and accumulates in leaf margins (edges).

Once the leaf ideas or edges flip brown, the harm is irreversible. Either trim off the affected leaf ideas or complete leaves after the harm seems.

yellow brown leaf tip indoor plant lucky bamboo Dracaena sanderiana
Fluoride in ingesting water could cause Lucky Bamboo plant (Dracaena sanderiana) leaf ideas to firt yellow after which flip brown

Indoor crops which might be extra vulnerable to fluoride toxicity are monocots, together with these from the Agave (Agavaceae) household, equivalent to dracaenas, cordylines and yuccas; and the Lily (Liliaceae) household, equivalent to spider plant, and lilies. A extra detailed record is supplied under.

List of Fluoride Sensitive House Plants

  • Calatheas, equivalent to Zebra plant (Calathea zebrina)  and others (Calathea spp.), from the Marantaceae household
  • Cordylines or Good Luck Plant (Cordyline terminalis) from the Agavaceae household
  • Dracaena species, equivalent to Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana), Madagascar Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata), Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ (Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’), Dracaena ‘Warneckii’ (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’), Happy Plant or Corn Plant (Dracaena Massangeana) from the Agavaceae household
  • Lilies (Lilium spp.), from the Liliaceae household
  • Never-Never Plant (Ctenanthe oppenheimiana), from the Marantaceae household
  • Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans), from the Palmae household
  • Peace Lily and others (Spathiphyllum spp.), from the Araceae household
  • Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura), from the Marantaceae household
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum), from the Liliaceae household
  • Tahitian Bridal Veil (Gibasis pellucida), from the Commelinaceae household
  • Yuccas (Yucca spp.), from the Agavaceae household
Chlorophytum comosum Spider Plant brown leaf tips
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) exhibiting brown leaf ideas
Chlorophytum comosum Spider Plant brown leaf tips
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) leaves with seen tip burn

Other Factors That Can Cause Indoor Plant Leaf Tip Burn

The presence of leaf tip burn doesn’t all the time point out a fluoride toxicity drawback. It is vital to observe that different elements may trigger tip burn in indoor crops, and these embody:

  • Improper watering – too little, an excessive amount of or inconsistent watering
  • low humidity ranges
  • publicity to scorching dry air – from heating ducts
  • inappropriate mild – inadequate mild or leaf scorch from extreme daylight although a window
  • inappropriate temperature – too chilly or too scorching
  • buildup of salts or fertiliser in the rising medium

How to Prevent House Plant Fluoride Toxicity

There is not any simple method to take away fluoride from faucet water. Instead we will use the next choices to cut back the issue of fluoride damage and toxicity in fluorine-sensitive indoor crops:

  • Water crops with straight rain water, or faucet water diluted with rain water. It’s additionally potential to use distilled water, however it’s not simple to supply it cheaply sufficient for indoor plant use.
  • Avoid potting mixes which have a excessive share of perlite, as this heat-expanded pure mineral, which is used to enhance drainage and porosity, does include some fluoride.
  • Do not use fertilisers which comprises superphosphate, because it typically has excessive ranges of fluoride, sufficient to trigger foliar burn on delicate crops.
  • Keep the pH of the potting combine at roughly 6.5-6.8 and/or enhance calcium ranges to precipitate the fluoride out of answer, this may chemically bind it up to make it unavailable for plant uptake.
    (Note – a very good potting combine may have a pH shut to impartial (7.0), and an honest balanced fertiliser may have adequate portions of the secondary macronutrient calcium, so there’s no want to mess with both of those when utilizing high quality rising media and fertilisers!)

Generally, fluoride in the soil or rising medium shouldn’t be out there to crops to take up. Roots take up small quantities of soil fluoride by diffusion, which ends up in a low focus in the plant leaves. Inorganic fluorides normally solely stay in answer (as fluoride F- ions) which might be out there to crops beneath circumstances of comparatively low soil pH (acidic circumstances) and low hardness (low calcium ranges).


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