The Q&A Archives: indoor palms and jasmine

Question: I have jasmine and queen palm in my office. The jasmine was allowed to get over dry, which caused a lot of leaves to drop. It seems to be coming back now, but I am wondering in there is anything I can do to help it along. Also, the palm tree leaves are very droopy and have developed some brown tips and yellow spots. The underside of the leaves are shiny, which makes me wonder if we don't have aphids. Any suggestions on how I can nurse it back to health (lady bugs in the office would probably not work out) and/or general care and feeding?

Answer: If your jasmine is beginning to look better and is showing new growth, you can prune it back. If it has only perked up but is not growing new stems or leaves, give it a little more time to recover. When leaf buds begin to swell and new shoots begin to develop, you can prune it back to encourage lots of healthy new growth.

Brown tips on palm fronds can indicate over- or under-watering, or over-fertilization. Try using distilled water (in case your water has a high salt content) and watering thoroughly, but then allowing the top inch to dry out before thoroughly watering again. A sticky substance on the fronds could indicate insect pests so you'll have to inspect it carefully. Look for webbing on the leaves (hot, dry conditions are great for spider mite infestations). Once you determine which pest is attacking your palm you can use a registered insecticide (one that's effective against the pest yet safe to use on your palm), or you can try simply washing them off with plain water.

Hope your office plants regain their health!

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