indoor palm - Knowledgebase Question

Maple valley, Wa
Question by marshastu69
September 26, 2009
I have had my palm for over 6 month's and and it is growing beautifully and I have repotted into a larger pot. I water it twice a week, I have noticed in the last two weeks, the tips are turning brown and I am finding sticky spots on the leaves. I'm not sure what I need to do.
P.S. I am also an employee of home depot

Answer from NGA
September 26, 2009


Browning leaf tips can indicate over watering or dry indoor air, or even fertilizer burn. It's sometimes hard to pinpoint the exact cause. Chlorine or fluoride in water can cause the same symptoms. Try watering with distilled or bottled water, watering throughly but then allowing the top of the soil to dry out between waterings. Don't water on a schedule, but as your palm requires the water. The best approach is to stick your finger down into the soil. If it is still moist an inch below the surface, it won't need watering for a few more days; if it feels dry an inch below the surface, it's time to water. Give it enough water to freely flow out of the drainage holes. This ensures the entire rootmass gets wet and will also help leach out any excess salts in the soil. Sticky stuff usually means an insect infestation. The stuff is called honeydew and is the result of sucking insects such as mealybugs and scales. When they feed the exude a sticky substance. So, carefully check all the nooks and crannies within the palm to find the pests. Either can be controlled by dabbing with a Q-Tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. In a few days you can peel them off with a fingernail or toothpick. You may have to make repeat applications if you miss some of the tiny pests or their eggs. Best wishes with your palm!

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