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Signs of damage
- Leaves turn white. Large bright areas of the leaf will appear as if bleached, especially if the exposure is intense. They might get to a paler shade of yellow in less intense sunlight before turning completely white.
- Brown crispy leaves. If the exposure is long and very aggressive, the leaves will turn brown instead of white and will become slightly crispy and brittle.
- Only the top leaves are damaged. As the sun won't be able to penetrate through the foliage, the leaves that sit closer to the ground will not suffer any damage. This is a clear way to tell that your plant is sunburnt and doesn't experience symptoms from other diseases.
- Fast process. The signs usually appear after just a few hours.
How to prevent
The most important thing is to know your plant's specific needs.
Also, when moving the plants to a different spot, first acclimate them to the new intensity of sunlight. If you're moving into summer or temperatures are rising, move the plant to a shadier spot or filter the sunlight with curtains. If you tend to have your plants outside during the day, moving them inside during the brightest time of the day can prevent scorching.
After your plant gets damaged, there isn't a way back. The best solution is to cut off either the entire leaf or the spots where the damage is by trimming each leaf individually. This will promote growth, as those areas will not recover or heal back to green, so it's better to discard them.
Afterward, move the plant to a less exposed area and switch to filtered, indirect light.
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