The Q&A Archives: Palm Tree care

Question: We just purchased a home in February and there are a number of small potted palm trees (I believe phoenix and perhaps one other species) near the swimming pool. The ends of the fronds are getting brown and dried out. Please advise.

Answer: Containerized plants can become stressed and need watering more frequently than the same plants in the ground. The brown tips indicate either over-fertilization with salt build up in the soil, or underwatering. If soil is allowed to become too dry, it can be difficult to rewet. I'd try leaching the soil of excess salts by flooding the soil, allowing to drain, flooding again, allowing to drain, then flooding a third time. This method will flush salts from the soil and will also rehydrate the soil, removing any air pockets that may have formed around the roots. If you leach the soil every 2-3 months, the fronds should remain green with the absence of brown tips.

Best wishes with your new landscape!

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