How to Water Office Palm Plants


Potted palm plants improve the ambiance of most office environments, but a study published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture reports that office greenery also increases productivity and reduces stress. In a busy office, plants are often neglected but there are watering techniques that will allow office palms to thrive with minimal attention.


Step 1

Obtain a water globe. Made of glass or plastic, water globes are filled with water then inverted into the potting soil. Water is released slowly, keeping the plant evenly moist.

Step 2

Make a wicking waterer. Place a container of water next to the plant. A bucket, vase or large soda bottle can be used, depending upon availability and aesthetic requirements. Measure from the bucket to the pot and add 12 to 18 inches to your measurement. Cut a piece of 2-inch-wide cotton wick (available in hardware and camping stores) and insert one end into the water bucket. Bury the opposite end in the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. The wick will draw water from the bucket into the potting soil.

Step 3

Make watering easy. Keep a decorative watering can near the palm. When shopping for a watering can, make sure it will fit under your restroom sink taps.

When to Water

Step 1

Keep to a schedule. To avoid memory lapses, water palms on the same days each week. Depending upon the plant's location, growing conditions and pot size, office palms may need once- or twice-weekly waterings.

Step 2

Water as needed. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends that caretakers "keep palms relatively moist. In spring and summer, or when temperatures are warm and days are longer, water them as soon as their soil feels dry a little below the surface. Allow the soil to get slightly drier in winter."

Step 3

Water until fluid comes out through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Do not allow the plant to sit in the accumulated water. Always drain the water out of the saucer. If the pot is large and draining is not possible, place the pot on a layer of gravel. This will prevent soggy soil and root rot.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dust or mist palms regularly to keep the leaves dust-free. Accumulated dust can lead to insect infestations.

Things You'll Need

  • Water collection saucer and gravel
  • Water globes
  • Vase, bucket or soda bottle
  • 2-inch-wide cotton wick
  • Watering can


  • Washington State University: Indoor Plants and Productivity
  • University of MN: Palms
Keywords: potted palm plants, water palms, office plants

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on, and