The #1 way most people kill their indoor palms is by watering them improperly- this probably includes you! Do your indoor palms or plants get brown tips? Or spots on the leaves? Have you ever kept one alive for more than a year? The Problem Most people simply pour a cup of tap water into the soil every week or so… This is the biggest mistake you can make when growing indoor plants! Here’s what happens: the plant’s roots absorb all of the H20 (pure water) and leave all of the salts and minerals in the soil. These salts and minerals are sort of like waste deposits- once they build up enough in the soil, the pH becomes drastically changed and the plant will begin to suffer. The first sign of this damage is browning of the leaf tips. This browning will eventually spread until the entire leaf is dead and the entire plant will soon follow. The Solution You can avoid salt and mineral build-ups in your plant’s soil, extending its life at least 2-5 times. In order to keep soil as healthy as possible, it must be allowed to dry out almost completely and then leeched every time you water it. If the plant is in a container that will fit easily in your kitchen sink or bathtub- that is the best place to water it. Place the container in the sink and run tap water (at room temperature or warmer) through the soil, being sure to spin the container while the water is running. Allow the water to run through the soil for about 1-2 minutes. If the soil drains quickly, run the water at a faster rate. If the plant is in a larger container that won’t fit in a sink or bathtub, you will need to take it outside and water it with your hose. It is best to water container plants without a hose nozzle because the strong stream of water can blow the soil out of the container. Run the water for a couple minutes, or flood the soil so that it reaches the brim of the container and allow to drain. Repeat 4-6 times. Allow 1-2 hours for excess water to drain from the soil, then move the plant to it’s original place. It is a good idea to keep a saucer or paper towel under the container to soak up any remaining excess water that may trickle out of the bottom of the container during the next 24 hours. Some Additional Tips 1) Brush the leaves with a clean, moist towel to remove dust and small insects. 2) Water your palms with distilled or de-ionized water (which is void of salts). 3) Fertilize your palms with a liquid fertilizer such as Miracle Grow every 3 months. 4) Spray your palms’ fronds with a solution of water and coffee grounds. This doesn’t affect the palm and creates a hostile, acidic environment for potential insects.