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House Plants


By Clairew

Warwickshire, United Kingdom Gb

My house palm leaves are turning brown in spots and curling at the edges - am I over / under watering it? What would be the correct frequency of watering such a plant during the winter and summer months?
Thank you!




I am assuming from the picture that this plant is a Dracaena. Am I right? If so, my book says that the cause of brown spots on the leaves is underwatering. The plant needs moist soil at all times - reduce watering in winter but do not let it dry out. Welcome to GOY, and good luck. (P.S. If it's not a Dracaena, please post another picture as I can't find 'House Palm') as a species.

1 May, 2008


Palms are native tropical plants, and grow best in a humid environment. A clean spray bottle works just fine, and helps keep fronds clean if you are the type to "dust your houseplants". That particular palm has a leaf that buffs to a high gloss with deeper color - just buff the leaves with a terry cloth. Sometimes air drafts are the real culprit - check vents near your plant

1 May, 2008


I agree with Spritzhenry, you have a Dracaena...sometimes also called Corn Plant... I think your problem may not have anything to do with how frequently/infrequently you water but with the content of the water. If it is urban tapwater it may contain more chlorine than your plant likes... or it may have certain mineral content that the plant cannot metabolize. there may be a build-up of mineral salts from your fertilizer. Firing of the tips of the leaves is usually symptomatic of water chemistry problems. Maybe you could try watering with rainwater...or let the water that you use for your plants sit in a pail for 24 hours to get rid of chlorine etc. Leaf curling usually is because of low humidity.

2 May, 2008


thanks Lori for the reminder to let tap water sit out in a pail .... had forgotten that....

3 May, 2008


Thanks everyone for your advice - I have now moved it away from a draft coming through the fire place, wiped the leaves down in the hope of restoring some moisture to the leaves, and have a stash of filtered water ready for watering time!

3 May, 2008


We want a picture after the leaves heal!

4 May, 2008


Sorry Barrier... they will never heal, per se. you can use sharp shears to cut away the dead spots. but personally I'd just leave them til the plant sheds the leaf itself.

5 May, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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