University of Florida

Salt Build-up in Houseplants

Too much salt can be a problem for some people, and the same holds true for your houseplants.

Salts are naturally found in fertilizers, potting mixes, and even tap water. Over time, they can build up and leave crusty white deposits on the soil surface or on the pots. But more importantly, excess salts can create toxic conditions in the soil, damaging roots, causing the leaf tips to turn brown, or even causing the plant to die.

Prevent salt build-up by drenching your plants periodically. Take the plants to the sink or bathtub and add water to the potting mix until it comes out the bottom of the pot. This will help leach some of the salts from the potting mix. Or you can repot your plants in fresh potting mix.

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