How to recover a kentia | Gardening enabled

Kentia can have various problems

Image – Flickr/Scot Nelson

Kentia is a widely grown indoor palm. It is often found in the decoration of hotels, shops and of course homes. Its long pinnate leaves and slender trunk make it a popular plant to have in these locations. However, what you may not know is that it tolerates cold very well, and even light frosts, which is why, in regions with mild winters, it is also a splendid plant for garden, although a bit tricky.

Although it can be considered an easy plant to maintain, whether indoors or outdoors, it is not one of the easiest, as you have to be aware of the watering and keep it in a suitable place. And it is that it would not be uncommon for problems to arise, some of which may be, for example, the browning of the leaves or the rotting of the roots. What to do in these cases? The first thing is to be calm Next I will tell you how to recover a kentia.

What problems can our kentia palm have? Before doing anything, it is important to identify the problem with the plant. And it is that, as they say, you cannot start the house from the roof. For all this we are going to see what are the causes for which it can appear bad or sick, and what measures to take to recover it.

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Kentia Care


bad location

The Kentia is a palm that lives well indoors.

If you have ever searched the internet for pictures of the kentia, the scientific name of which is Howea forsteriana, you may have been surprised to see adult specimens growing in full sun. Does that mean we have to put it in a sunny place? The reality is that it will depend on the climate of the area and the palm tree itself.

Kentia leaves burn very easily, so it is important that they get used to exposure to the sun very gradually, over several years.. How to make him do it? If the idea is to always have it outside, it can be planted in a place where it is shaded by other plants when young, but as it grows it becomes more and more more exposed to direct sunlight.

Now well, If we are more interested in having it indoors, the ideal is to place it in a room where there is a lot of light., but never in front of the window. Also, if we have air conditioning or fans in this room, it is better not to bring the kentia there, because the drafts will damage the leaves, causing them to turn brown.

Excess water in the roots

Kentia can’t stand drought, but if there’s anything it fears more than lack of water, it’s excess moisture in its roots. Whether you water it too much or grow it in compact soil that retains a lot of moisture, its root system is going to have a hard time. Indeed, if we do nothing, microorganisms such as pathogenic fungi and oomycetes, such as Phytophthora, will damage them. In doing so, we can see some of these symptoms:

  • Brown spots on leaf edges
  • New leaf brown or kept closed
  • The trunk may “thin” and look brown
  • Mold may appear on the floor

How to recover a kentia which suffers from an excess of water in its roots? To be honest, it’s complicated, but it’s not impossible if the problem is detected in time. For it, The first thing you need to do is treat it with a systemic fungicide such as East; this is how fungi and oomycetes are fought. But you also need to temporarily suspend watering, until the soil dries out.

In case you have your palm tree in a pot without holes, it is very, very important that you plant it in a pot that has holes.. If you place a plate under it or put it in a pot, you should empty it after each watering.

Now the best thing to do is prevent, something that is done by planting it in light spongy soil like this, and if it is going to be in a pot, in a pot that has drainage holes.

Lack of water

Watering plants must be an important task for the gardener

Drought is a serious problem, but not as much as excess water. And I say “not so much” because it is easily detected and corrected. Indeed, to know if you are thirsty, you just have to it will be necessary to see if the leaves “close”, if they turn brown, and if the soil is also very dry. If it is in a pot, we will also notice that when picked up it weighs very little. In more serious cases, pests such as scale insects or red spider mites could appear.

To correct the problem, you have only one thing to do: water your palm tree more often. But be careful, it is not enough to pour a little water, but you have to soak the soil well so that all the roots are hydrated. Do not hesitate to pour water until it comes out of the holes of the pot, or if it is on the ground, until you see that it is very wet.

The pot has become small

Although the Kentia is a slow-growing palm, that doesn’t mean it should be left in the same pot for years. And it is that the plant can exceed 10 meters in height once it reaches adulthood, so it is a mistake not to plant it in a larger container every time it needs it. Because? Because lack of space can kill palm trees. Yes, as it sounds.

To live, they must grow, but they can only do this if they have enough space. when this is not the case, its growth stops, the leaves begin to come out smaller and smaller, and in the end the plant is so weak that it attracts pathogenic microorganisms and insects.

For it, it is essential to plant the kentia in a pot about 10 centimeters larger if the roots come out of the drainage holes, or if roots grow very close to said holes. In addition, it should also be done if the terrain is very worn.

The transplant will be done in the spring, as this will give you plenty of time to recover. We will put land for green plants, or if you want one for universal cultivation.

Accurate subscriber

It not only needs water, but also nutrients. Their absence slows down its growth, so that in order for it to be healthy and beautiful, it will have to be fertilized with a fertilizer for palm trees or with one for green plants from the beginning of spring to the end of summer. For example, this is fine:

We will follow the recommendations for use so as not to cause a major problem, and thus we will return the kentia to normal.

We hope that with these tips you can recover your kentia.

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