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Why Does my Flamethrower Plant Have Brown Spots?

Updated: April 28, 2022

If you own a flamethrower plant and have noticed brown spots on its leaves, you may be wondering what is causing the issue. The flamethrower plant, also known as the red-hot cat’s tail or catopsis berteroniana, is a unique and intriguing plant that requires specific care to thrive. In this article, we will discuss the common reasons why flamethrower plants develop brown spots and how to prevent them from occurring.


One of the most common reasons why flamethrower plants develop brown spots is due to overwatering. These plants are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants and rely on their environment for moisture. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can cause the leaves to turn brown and even fall off.

To prevent overwatering, it is essential to ensure that your flamethrower plant is not sitting in standing water for extended periods. Consider using a well-draining potting mix and allowing the soil to dry out slightly between watering.


While overwatering can be an issue, underwatering can also cause brown spots on your flamethrower plant’s leaves. When these plants do not receive enough water, their leaves will start to dry out and turn brown.

To prevent underwatering, make sure you are watering your plant regularly. While it is crucial not to overwater, it is equally important not to let the soil become too dry. Consider misting your plant regularly or placing it in a humid location to ensure it receives enough moisture.

Fungal Infections

Flamethrower plants are also susceptible to fungal infections, which can cause brown spots on their leaves. These infections often occur in humid environments and can spread quickly if not addressed promptly.

To prevent fungal infections, make sure your plant is placed in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation. Avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can create a breeding ground for fungi. If you notice any signs of fungal infection, such as brown spots or white moldy patches, remove the affected leaves immediately and treat the plant with a fungicide.

Pest Infestations

Another common reason why flamethrower plants develop brown spots is due to pest infestations. These plants are susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, which can cause damage to the leaves and stems.

To prevent pest infestations, inspect your plant regularly for signs of these insects. Look for webbing, white cottony patches, or small bumps on the leaves and stems. If you notice any signs of infestation, remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with an insecticide.


1. Can I grow my flamethrower plant outdoors?

While flamethrower plants are often grown indoors as houseplants, they can be grown outdoors in tropical regions. These plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight and high humidity levels.

2. How often should I water my flamethrower plant?

Flamethrower plants should be watered regularly, but not too frequently. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering to prevent overwatering.

3. What kind of soil does my flamethrower plant need?

Flamethrower plants require well-draining potting soil that is rich in organic matter. Consider using a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark for optimal drainage.

4. How can I increase humidity levels for my flamethrower plant?

To increase humidity levels for your flamethrower plant, consider misting it regularly or placing it in a humid location such as a bathroom or kitchen.

In conclusion, brown spots on flamethrower plants can be caused by a variety of factors, including overwatering, underwatering, fungal infections, and pest infestations. By providing your plant with the proper care and attention, you can prevent these issues and ensure it thrives for years to come.