Why do palm trees dry out? The 4 most common causes

Palm trees can dry out for a variety of reasons

Image – Flickr/Lon&Queta

Why do palm trees dry out? These plants, which are apparently very resilient and can withstand even the strongest gusts of wind if they are well rooted in the ground, can also have other problems throughout their lives.

And that is why it is so important to learn about the species that we would like to grow, because only in this way will we avoid wasting money and time in vain. Now well, even the most adapted plant can dry up if its needs are not met.

There are several reasons why a palm tree may dry out. Afterwards, We will explain each of them to you in detail. to make it easier for you to identify the problem with your installation:


He burns

Kentia can have various problems

Image – Flickr/Scot Nelson

Either because it is directly exposed to the sun or because it reflects the sun at home, for example. Symptoms will show up soon, after a few hours or the next day, but only leaves that have been exposed will display them; the rest will remain intact. These symptoms are:

  • Spots that appear quickly on some leavesand may be yellow or brown depending on its severity.
  • On some palms, the leaves may appear “droopy”.

To correct this problem, it will be enough to change the factory of the siteto a more protected location.


While there are many palms that can withstand sub-zero temperatures, there are many others that cannot. And it is that the vast majority of species are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Therefore, if you want to grow them in the garden, you will first need to find out about their hardiness. And yet, you have to keep in mind that if they are young, they might need some protection.

But, How do you know that a palm tree is cold? The symptoms can be confused with those of overwatering, but the main difference is how long it takes for them to appear and how quickly the plant can get worse. Let’s see what they are:

  • Yellow, brown or black spots -everything will depend on how much the palm tree has suffered- that appear on the leaves and stem shortly after being exposed to low temperatures.
  • The plant stops growing. This is easily seen in plants that are truly healthy and green. Temperatures drop and their growth first slows and then stops.

Solution? protect her, Of course. You can do this with an antifreeze cloth or by putting it inside the house.

The thirst

view of bamboo palm tree

Image – Wikimedia/Forest & Kim Starr

Water is life as they say, but only in its proper measure. Palms typical of arid or semi-arid regions, such as Washingtonia, many Phoenixes (such as P. dactylifera), or Nannorhops, are well adapted to these conditions, but not Dypsis, Chamaedorea, Chambeyronia, and many, many others. .

To know if the palm tree is thirsty, you will have to look at the leaves and also the earth:

  • Leaves: at first they can bend, and if the situation continues, they will begin to dry from the ends to the back. Those who pass the worst are the new ones, because being the farthest from the roots, they are the last to receive the water that these send to them through the conductive vessels.
  • To land: the soil of a palm tree that is dying of thirst is very dry. It may be of poor quality and therefore have difficulty absorbing water, and/or it may simply not be watered often enough.

In some cases, it could also be affected by scale insects or other pests. For example, if it is summer at this time and the palm tree is outside, it is likely to fall victim to one of these pathogenic insects.

The solution is to rehydrate the soil and increase the frequency of irrigation. It may also be necessary to change the substrate if it is of poor quality.

You drown (excess water)

excess water drowns the roots and ends the life of the palm tree. In my experience, it is very, very difficult to recover one that has received too much water, and even more so if the fungus has already appeared. For this reason, it is important not only to control the risks, by checking the humidity of the soil before watering, but also to identify the first symptoms of weakness in the palm tree.

To find out if you are having this issue, We will also look at the leaves and the earth:

  • Leaves: they will begin to dry out, first the “oldest”, then the next ones. This is so because the first to receive water are those closest to the root system, that is, the lower leaves. Additionally, they can also bend, but when this happens it is usually because the roots are badly damaged. Mushrooms appear soon.
  • To land: it’s very humid, and it’s quite heavy compared to when it’s dry. It can turn green.

Fungicide Zolfe...

To try to save the palm tree immediately stop watering and apply a fungicide. Likewise, if it is in a pot without holes or inside a pot that does not have one, we will have to remove it from there and plant it in a container that has several holes at its base.

We hope it has served you.

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