Why is my inner palm dying? (And How To Fix It) – ISPUZZLE

The friendly arching leaves of a palm tree can give our home the relaxed tropical feel of a permanent vacation. Indoors, however, these light-loving plants are often less lax in their needs and can regress despite our best intentions. In this article, we’ll look at why your palm tree dies indoors and how to recover it.

Why is your indoor palm tree dying? Palms need bright, indirect light and a stable environment with warm temperatures and moist, well-drained soil. Fertilization, humidity, transplanting and pests are important factors. Some palms are difficult to keep indoors, but adaptable varieties recover and thrive with proper care.


types of palm trees

Palm trees can be difficult to identify, but they generally require similar care. Some species adapt more easily to indoor life than others.

The easiest group to keep indoors can adapt to low light conditions. slow growth Kentia Palmhowea forsteriana) and the Neanthe Bella Palm RoomChamaedorea elegans) grow slowly and tolerate less than ideal conditions. The popular bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) is another sustainable option.

Other palms can make great houseplants if given enough light. These include the Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis), fusiform palm (hyophorb provides), lady finger palm (great rap), and the relatively fast-growing fishtail palm (Caryote mitis

Your Majesty and areca palms they are more difficult to maintain in good condition indoors. These widely available palms need high light, high humidity, and consistently moist soil to keep them looking their best. Don’t be put off if you’re more of a challenger.

Basic principles of treatment

Even if your palm tree is not suddenly affected, poor conditions can cause your indoor palm tree to slowly die, leaf by leaf. The best solution is to revisit the roots and reconsider how you care for them. The palms don’t like to be moved, so don’t rush to move them. Pick the best spot you have and leave it there.

Note: Palms grown outdoors in sunny climates may have difficulty adapting to indoor conditions. If possible, look at the bottom of a future plant before buying it.

Palm trees take time to recover, so be patient. Use a sterilized knife to cut off any dead or damaged leaves above the crown. If the leaf is still partially green, you can only cut off the dead parts. Leave a small brown margin instead of cutting out the green area.

clear light

reasons why indoor palm trees die

Indoor palm trees are very fond of bright, indirect light. Inadequate lighting is a major cause of stress, so stick with the most adaptable varieties if your space doesn’t have enough light. Note that even species that can survive low light conditions tend to appreciate more.

If your palm doesn’t get enough light, the leaves will slowly (or quickly) turn yellow and die. The plant can stretch towards the light source and is more likely to attract pests.

Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves, but mild morning or evening rays are welcome. Generally, a sunny east or west window or a few feet from a south location is ideal.

However, the intensity of sunlight decreases rapidly with distance. A skylight over a tall plant can be great, but it’s not suitable for low plants several feet away. Pay attention to seasonal changes and dimming conditions in winter… add a . Please grow the light If necessary.

The irrigation balance

Palm trees like their soil to be constantly moist, but never wet. Water when the top centimeter of soil dries out. Moisture meter readings can vary depending on soil type, so it’s best to check this manually. Read this article for more tips on how to properly water your plants.

soil is important

Good soil helps maintain the water balance that a palm tree needs. The medium should retain moisture, but should never become soggy. It should drain well and have adequate aeration to provide constant oxygen to the roots.

To provide these properties, the soil must contain stable materials such as: pearlite, coconut fiber or coarse sand. The organic components eventually decompose and compact the soil. Learn more about choosing the right potting soil in this article.

A potential problem is the buildup of salts and other root-toxic materials left over from irrigation and fertilizers. This is manifested by darkening of the leaf tips and stunted growth. Be sure to let a little excess water drain out of the drainage holes each time you water and give the soil a good rinse every month or so. Distilled or filtered water may reduce the problem.

give too much water

Palm trees love moist soil, but being in a soggy mix can kill. Soggy soil causes yellow or brown leaves, unfortunately the same symptoms as downwater. You must study it to prevent your inner palm from dying.

It literally means getting to the root of the problem by taking your palm out of the jar to inspect it. If the normally white roots are brown or black, mushy or smell rotten, the problem is that there is too much water and root rot is the unfortunate result.

Cut off the rotten roots and replace the soil with a fresh mix. Cut off some of the foliage to allow the plant to use its energy to heal. Let the soil dry out before watering again…and proceed with caution. Learn more about how to fix a plant that has been overwatered here.

Pro Tip: Some growers spray the soil with hydrogen peroxide to add oxygen and kill pathogens. However, it also destroys healthy bacteria.

areca palm


It is also important not to let the soil of the palm tree dry out. brown leaf tips they are often a warning and the whole leaf will turn yellow or brown and crusty if the situation does not improve.

Dry conditions also attract red spider


Palms like more humidity than most homes, but easier low-light varieties can adapt to less. The leaves of a plant stressed by low humidity will develop unsightly brown edges.

The ideal percentage is 50% humidity or more. If your air is dry, be extra careful to keep the soil consistently moist. A nearby bowl of water is also useful.

It can be difficult to provide humidity in a heated home during the winter. Some growers think misting helps hydrate foliage, but it does little for overall humidity and may even promote fungal diseases.

If you’re determined to keep one of your most sensitive palms healthy in dry air, a room humidifier is probably the best way to go. Check out other great ways to increase humidity for your indoor palms and other indoor plants.

other voltages

Once you’ve assessed your palm’s water and light conditions, check these factors:

Circulation and draft

Like most indoor plants, palms suffer from yellowing or drying out from hot or cold drafts… but they don’t like stagnant air either. If their air is not circulating, they are more prone to stress and pests. It’s a good idea to keep a gentle fan running.


Indoor palms don’t eat much. Burnt roots and brown leaf tips can be the result of too much fertilizer. During the warm months, feed a semi-diluted balanced formula only two or three times a year. Organic fertilizers are especially gentle and promote healthy soil. Learn more about fertilizing houseplants here.


Some commercial palms are grown in tight groups to fill the pot, but this is not ideal for a naturally solitary plant. Dividing these clumps carefully and replanting them in individual containers will help them grow better.


Palm trees like heat. Luckily, our indoor temperatures are within your ideal range of 60-85°F (15-29°C). They really can’t handle cooler temperatures.

Allow the soil to dry out a little longer than normal if your temperatures fall into the lower range. Cool, moist soil is a bad combination. Do not place your palm near a heat source either: it can dry out.

Why is your inner palm dying?


Palms can deteriorate after transplanting. They don’t like to be disturbed, so be wary of any advice to “replace the soil” or flush the roots if the plant isn’t looking well. Transplanting a diseased plant can lead to the death of the indoor palm tree.

Palms don’t mind getting a little root and can live in the same container for several years. A palm that needs to be transplanted will need regular watering as the roots have replaced most of the soil.

Leave the root ball intact when transplanting: try not to cut or tear the roots. Palms do well in large containers…but add soil to the sides or bottom, never to the top.

Plagues and diseases

Wilted yellow or spotted leaves may indicate a pest infestation. Indoor palms can shelter common indoor plant pestsbut they are particularly susceptible to whiteflies, scale insects and spider mites.

Check under the leaves and near the base of each stem. Look for tiny cobwebs and fuzzy patches of scale insects. A colony of whiteflies is easy to spot because they fly away when disturbed.

If you see a problem, the first step is to water the plant with a strong stream of water to reduce the number of infestations. The simplest treatment is to rub the invaders with isopropyl alcohol, but this topical solution will not resolve a full-scale attack.

To deal with a real infestation, use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. Be sure to cover under the leaves; it helps to rub the solution on the insects. Repeat every four to seven days until the parasites are gone.

Fungal infections are the most common diseases affecting indoor palm trees. Fungal lesions or leaf spots can be treated with a copper fungicide. Prune and safely dispose of the affected leaf. To avoid further problems, make sure there is adequate air circulation and the leaves are not wet for an extended period of time.

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