Not putting in much thought I moved my plants closer to a light source over the weekend and as you can see in the pictures some tips turned black. Did it get burned? Is it dying? What am I supposed to do? Can I cut the tips off? enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

UPDATE: I have cut the dead parts and in doing so I realized that there are two plants in this pot and only one has this issue. Can it be that this might have happened when I inserted the prong to test the water level one day?? Will this get cured or should I cut of the affected one? I have added a Picture that I took last night.

  • What kind of "light source" are you talking about?
    – Stephie
    Jan 13, 2015 at 13:59
  • I placed it near my apple seedling that's under a 200wts lamp. Didn't realize it was that close. If that's what caused this.
    – Joseph Wit
    Jan 13, 2015 at 14:48
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    I agree with Bamboo, this looks like heat damage. Deionized water will not cause this right away. It can take years before the soil less mix cannot buffer the chlorine and it depends on what is in the water
    – kevinskio
    Jan 13, 2015 at 18:45
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    @JosephWitriol Your plant has many common names one of which is the Mass Cane. See here wikiwand.com/en/Dracaena_fragrans
    – kevinskio
    Jan 13, 2015 at 20:33
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    Using a moisture meter will not cause the damage you see. Plants move to a slower rhythm than we do. New growth takes time. Continue to monitor, do not keep too wet and follow @Bamboo 's excellent answer
    – kevinskio
    Jan 19, 2015 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


This one is a plant that prefers low light situations, so reasonable indirect daylight is good. It won't have done it any favours leaving it near your grow light, but I'd be surprised if the brown tips occurred so rapidly as a result, so I'm assuming they'd started before you moved the plant.

Keep it away from any heat source (your grow light may also be producing heat) such as radiators, water when the surface of the compost feels a little dry to the touch, and when you water, do it thoroughly, tipping away any excess left in any outer pot after thirty minutes. Brown, crispy tips are usually caused by dry air and dry at the roots - soft, soggy brown tips is usually overwatering and/or leaving the plant standing in water.

Note; I watered mine with London tapwater for the 8 years I had it, without a problem, but you can switch to deionized if you like. You can trim any dry, brown tips with a sharp pair of scissors if you don't like the look of them, but wait till they dry out if they're a bit soggy.

As for whether its dying, I think I see the tip of a perfectly healthy leaf in the centre, and the appearance of the plant overall does not suggest its about to expire.

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