Why Are My Coffee Plant Leaves Turning Brown?

If you’ve noticed the leaves on your coffee plant turning brown, don’t panic Browning leaves are common on coffee plants and can have several different causes. The good news is that brown leaves are often a sign of just minor cultural issues that can be easily corrected. With a few adjustments to your care regimen, you can get your coffee plant’s leaves back to their beautiful green glory

Common Causes of Brown Leaves on Coffee Plants

Here are some of the most common reasons why your coffee plant may be developing brown leaves:


One of the most frequent culprits of brown leaves is overwatering. Coffee plants like moist soil, but not soggy soil If water isn’t allowed to drain or dry out enough between waterings, the roots of your coffee plant are at risk of rotting from excess moisture. This root rot impairs the roots’ ability to take up water and nutrients effectively, causing the leaves to brown and dry out

To prevent overwatering, always make sure excess water can drain out the bottom of the pot after watering Allow the top 25% of the soil to dry out before watering again You can check this by sticking your finger into the soil to feel the moisture level.


While overwatering is more common, underwatering can also cause browning leaves. If the soil dries out too much between waterings, the plant won’t be able to take up enough moisture through the roots. Make sure to water your coffee plant whenever the top few inches of soil feel dry to the touch.

Low Humidity

Coffee plants prefer relatively high humidity around 60-70%. When humidity is too low, the leaves lose moisture faster than the roots can take it up, causing the tips and edges to turn brown.

You can increase humidity for your coffee plant by misting the leaves, using a pebble tray, or getting a humidifier. Group plants together to create a little microclimate with higher humidity as well.


Direct hot sunlight can scorch and burn coffee plant leaves, turning them brown around the edges and tips. Avoid placing your coffee plant in a sunny window or outdoor spot that gets more than 2-3 hours of direct sunlight per day.

If you suspect sunburn, move your plant to a shadier spot. Pruning off any severely damaged leaves can encourage new healthy growth.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Lack of important nutrients like nitrogen, magnesium, iron, manganese, and zinc can also cause browning leaves. Coffee plants need to be fertilized regularly in the growing season to maintain access to nutrients.

Every 2-4 weeks, use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Slow-release pellet fertilizers are another good option for providing nutrients over time.

Cold Damage

If exposed to temperatures below 45°F, coffee plant leaves can sustain chill damage and turn brown. Make sure to move your coffee plant indoors or to a warm location before temperatures drop too low outside.

Root Bound

As coffee plants grow, they can become root bound, meaning the roots fill up all the available space in the pot. This restricts airflow to the roots and prevents proper drainage. Both of these issues stress the plant and cause browning leaves.

Re-pot your plant into a container one size larger if you notice root growing out of the drainage holes or if the plant seems to need frequent watering.

Old Leaves Dropping

In some cases, older leaves may turn entirely brown and drop from the plant. This is natural as the plant ages and does not necessarily indicate a problem if it’s only a few old leaves. But if many leaves rapidly turn brown and fall off, it’s a sign your plant is stressed by one of the issues above.

How to Fix and Prevent Brown Leaves

Now that you know what causes brown leaves, fixing the problem is often simple:

  • Check that your watering schedule provides moisture without saturating the soil. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings and always dump excess water from the saucer.

  • Give your plant bright, indirect light rather than direct sun to prevent scorching.

  • Maintain warm temperatures around 70°F and increase humidity through misting, pebble trays, or humidifiers.

  • Fertilize regularly in the growing season using a balanced liquid or slow-release fertilizer.

  • Watch for root bound symptoms and re-pot your plant in a larger container if needed.

  • Prune off any severely damaged leaves to improve the look of your plant while it recovers.

With some adjustments to your care routine, your coffee plant’s brown leaves should start to green up again soon! Consistent proper care will prevent future issues and keep your coffee plant’s foliage lush and beautiful for years to come.

If the brown leaves persist despite your best efforts, it’s possible an underlying pest infestation or disease is impacting your plant’s health. Inspect closely for signs of common coffee plant pests like mealybugs and scale. Fungal diseases may also cause leaf spotting or wilting. Treating any infections present will help get your coffee plant back to normal.

Common Questions About Brown Leaves on Coffee Plants

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about dealing with browning leaves on coffee plants:

Why are the tips of my coffee plant leaves turning brown?

Brown leaf tips are usually caused by low humidity. Increase humidity around your coffee plant by misting, using pebble trays, placing plants together, or getting a humidifier.

Why do the edges of coffee plant leaves turn brown?

Brown leaf edges can be caused by too much sun exposure. Move your coffee plant to a spot with bright, indirect light to prevent further sunscalding damage.

What does it mean if the veins in my coffee plant leaves are turning brown?

Brown leaf veins often indicate a nutrient deficiency. Fertilize your coffee plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks in the growing season.

Should I remove coffee plant leaves that are completely brown?

Yes, prune off any leaves that are entirely brown to improve the overall appearance of your plant. The plant will grow new healthy leaves to replace them.

How long does it take for a coffee plant’s brown leaves to turn green again?

Once underlying issues are corrected, it can take 1-2 weeks for brown leaves to turn green again. Severely damaged leaves may need to be replaced with new growth.

Should I move my coffee plant with brown leaves to a shadier location?

If brown leaves are caused by sunburn, yes move to a spot with bright indirect light. But if they’re turning brown due to under-watering or low humidity, more shade may make the problem worse.

With proper troubleshooting and adjustments to care, you can get your coffee plant’s leaves back to green and growing happily again. Don’t hesitate to take action if you notice browning leaves, and your coffee plant will thrive under your attentive care.

️ Addressing Environmental Stress

Temperature and humidity are like the yin and yang for your Arabian Coffee Plant. Keep them balanced to avoid stress-induced brown spots. If your plants leaves could talk, theyd ask for a humidifier in dry conditions. Keep them away from drafty windows and radiators; theyre not fans of the surprise sauna or arctic blast.

Identifying Brown Spots on Arabian Coffee Plant Leaves

Brown spots on Arabian Coffee Plant leaves can be a real downer for any plant enthusiast. These spots range from light brown to almost black and could be surrounded by a yellowish halo. The size and shape of these spots can be as varied as the causes behind them. If you water your plants too much, the leaves may get soggy and brown spots, and if you water them too little, the leaves may dry out and get brown spots.

Fungal infections often start as small, dark spots that can quickly become a full-blown leaf takeover. On the other hand, pests like spider mites and scale insects leave behind tiny webs or sticky residue that are unique to them. Distinguishing between these causes is crucial, as each requires a different battle strategy.

COFFEE PLANT CARE INDOORS | why you have brown leaves! | coffea arabica

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