Houseplants – Dripping Water

Q: My corn plant is crying! Every few days I notice a drop of water clinging to several of the leaf tips. Why is it doing this?

A: The phenomenon is called “guttation”. It happens when a tropical plant has more water around its roots than it knows how to get rid of. The roots try to push it up through the plant.The water “weeps” from the plant cells onto the leaf surface and then accumulates as a drop on the tip.

Not all tropical plants have this ability. Only grassy ones, like your dolorous dracena, are able to guttate. You might also find droplets on the floor underneath. If you touch the liquid with your finger, you’ll find that it is not sticky.

If you do find sticky droplets on the floor, that is a sign that aphids are feeding on your plant and secreting a sugary honeydew. They should be controlled with an insecticidal soap.

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