The most common reason of a dying indoor palm tree is root rot brought on by over watering and inadequate drainage, which turns the leaves yellow and gives them a drooping, dead appearance. The palm tree’s leaf tips become brown and droop, giving it a dying appearance. This is due to low humidity and dry soil surrounding the root ball.
Indoor palms require strong, indirect light to develop since too much direct sunshine might cause the leaves to burn yellow and brown.
Indoor palms require equally moist soil that drains well. Both dry soil caused by underwatering and boggy soil caused by overwatering can cause the leaves to become yellow and brown.
A dying indoor palm tree needs to be placed in bright, indirect sunshine rather than direct sunlight, regularly misted to increase humidity, fully watered once every seven days, and kept at a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 23 degrees Celsius).
Since they are all native to wet tropical climates, indoor palm tree species like Parlor palms, Areca palms, Kentia palms, Majesty palms, and Pony tail palms all require similar conditions to thrive.
Even if the plant is healthy, the lower leaves of indoor palm trees can eventually turn yellow or brown.
Find out how to save your dying indoor palm tree by reading on.
Table of Contents
Indoor Palm Tree Leaf Tips Turning Brown
- Symptoms. browning, drying out, and becoming crunchy leaf tips.
- Causes. Underwatering, hot temperatures, low humidity, and an excess of fertilizer.
Low humidity and underwatering are the causes of browning leaf tips in indoor palm trees. Indoor palm palms prefer high humidity and need the soil to be continually moist and distributed evenly. Low humidity causes the leaf tips to oxidize because it robs moisture from the leaves faster than the roots can absorb it.
The majority of indoor palm tree species are indigenous to tropical regions with high humidity levels.
Indoor air is typically much dryer, and this loss of moisture causes the leaf tips to become brown, dried out, and crispy.
Brown leaf tips are a result of a large drop in humidity brought on by forced air or air conditioning draughts and indoor heating.
To maintain a healthy appearance with green leaves, palm plants need potting soil that is evenly moist but also well-draining.
Brown, dried-out leaf tips may also be due to the drying out of the soil around the root ball.
Every seven days in the spring and summer, when the plants are actively growing, and every ten to fourteen days in the winter, when the plants are dormant, indoor palm plants often need to be thoroughly watered.
To make sure that the water is penetrating the soil and reaching the roots where it is needed, it is crucial to water generously until surplus water trickles out of the drainage holes in the base of the pot.
Your indoor palm’s leaves going brown may be due to watering less frequently than recommended or too gently.
Although indoor palm plants are native to tropical climes, if they are too close to an indoor heating source, the potting soil will dry up too soon and the palm’s roots won’t be able to absorb enough moisture, which will result in the leaf tips becoming brown.
Sometimes the potting soil can bake hard and become hydrophobic (rejects water) due to underwatering, high temperatures, and low humidity. This causes water to trickle off the surface of the soil, down the side of the pot, and out through the drainage holes without properly absorbing, which prevents the roots from accessing the moisture they need.
Naturally, this leads to drought stress, which is frequently the cause of indoor palm leaves becoming brown from the tips down.
Too much fertilizer can make the leaf tips brown in indoor palms, which are relatively sensitive to the substance.
While it is recommended to fertilize indoor palm trees, it is crucial to use a fertilizer designed specifically for palm trees rather than a general fertilizer because this type of fertilizer has all the nutrients an indoor palm tree requires at the proper concentration to keep the tree healthy and prevent the browning of the leaf tips.
How to Revive an Indoor Palm With Brown Leaf Tips
Increase the humidity around the plant by spraying it frequently to rejuvenate a palm tree with brown, withering leaves. Keep the temperature between 65°F and 75°F (18°C and 23°C) and thoroughly water the soil to encourage the growth of new, healthy, green leaves.
- Make sure the root ball is completely submerged and submerge the pot of the palm for around 10 minutes. The optimum water to hydrate the soil so that the roots can obtain the water they require is when water is running off the soil’s surface and your indoor palm is continuously submerged. If you are consistent with your watering, the soil should be able to absorb water once it has been well hydrated.
- Always give indoor palms a generous bath once every seven days. In order to ensure that the soil is evenly moist, never water until you see extra water trickling from the base of the pot. Watering too lightly just moistens the top inch or so of the soil, however the roots are much deeper in the soil and cannot reach the moisture. Watering the palm every seven days guarantees the proper soil moisture balance to keep it hydrated and healthy without running the risk of root rot (water every 10-14 days in Winter).
- To raise the humidity, mist the leaves every other day. It is possible to mimic the humid conditions of the palm’s natural environment by misting the leaves of the palm. This lessens water loss from the foliage and stops the bronzing of the leaves.
- Keep palm trees inside at a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 23 degrees Celsius), dropping by about 10 degrees at night. This is usually the temperature range that indoor palms love, and the steady temperature makes sure that the soil moisture is constant. Keep indoor palms away from air currents (from forced air and air conditioning) and any indoor heating sources that can cause the temperature to vary negatively at night.
- Give the soil a good bath if you have been applying fertilizer too frequently or in excessive amounts. To assist dissolve any extra salts that may accumulate in the soil as a result of too much fertilizer, properly water the area. Don’t fertilize again until the following spring. Always use a fertilizer designed specifically for indoor palm trees as they have all the nutrients needed at the proper concentration to maintain healthy indoor palm leaves and prevent brown leaf tips.
Should I Cut Away Brown Palm Leaves?
Any brown palm leaves should be pruned back to healthy, green growth. By cutting the brown leaves back, you can encourage the growth of fresh, wholesome, green leaves because the brown leaves don’t recover their appearance and turn green again.
Indoor Palm Tree Leaves Turning Brown
- Symptoms. Whole leaves become brown and start to die. Sometimes only the bottom leaves can turn brown and appear to be dying. Leaf colorations include brown and yellow.
- Causes. As the plant ages, the palm leaves become brown and appear to be dying due to inadequate or excessive light, dry circumstances, and palm leaves. soil that is too wet and overwatered
Tropical kinds of palm trees, which thrive indoors and are shielded from direct sunlight by the understory of a tree canopy, are most frequently used.
Therefore, while growing palm plants indoors, a lot of bright, indirect light is optimal.
The leaves may begin to turn brown if there is not enough light. Depending on the particular variety of palm, the color of the leaves might change from green to yellow to brown when exposed to excessive direct sunshine.
If only the bottom leaves of the indoor palm are becoming brown, this is typically due to the plant’s natural maturation process.
The palm tree devotes its resources and energy toward expanding the leaves at the top of the tree as it grows.
This is due to the palm trees’ tendency to elongate their leaves toward the light source in order to outcompete other plants in their natural habitat.
The dead leaves turn brown as the palm tree ages because it expends less energy on maintaining the leaves at the bottom, which are often in areas with less light.
If only the bottom leaves turn dark, this does not mean the entire plant is dying; rather, it is a normal stage of the palm’s growth cycle.
High temperatures, underwatering, and low humidity all generate dry circumstances that can cause the leaf tips to turn brown, but all of these factors can also cause the leaves of the palm to turn brown and die.
The circumstances for a fungal disease are favored by too-wet soil, which can also make indoor palm leaves dark and give them a drooping, dying aspect.
Overwatering, inadequate drainage, pots lacking drainage holes in the base, and saucers, trays, or decorative pots that allow water to collect at the base of the pot can all result in soggy soil.
How to Revive an Indoor Palm with Brown Leaves
If your indoor palm tree’s leaves have been turning brown because of inadequate lighting or dry conditions, they should stop once the conditions have been restored to more closely resemble those in the palm tree’s natural habitat (high humidity, evenly moist soil, etc.).
Brown leaves do not turn green again, so remove any browning palm tree leaves to enhance the plant’s appearance and encourage new growth.
However, if the indoor palm tree is becoming brown owing to moist soil, this is caused by a fungus, and saving your indoor palm at this point may not be possible:
- Restrict the irrigation. Instead of wet soil, indoor palms require evenly moist soil. Water when plants are actively growing every 7 days in the spring and summer and every 10–14 days in the fall and winter.
- Plant indoor palms in potting soil that has been improved with perlite or grit to increase drainage. This reduces the possibility of root rot and helps reproduce the well-draining soil conditions of the palm trees’ original environment.
- Plant indoor palms in pots with drainage holes in the base, and be sure to frequently clear saucers, trays, or decorative outer pots to keep water from collecting at the pot’s base.
White, strong roots indicate healthy roots. It can be too difficult to salvage the palm tree if the majority of the roots are brown, mushy, and have a rotten appearance and awful smell; this is especially true if all of the leaves have turned brown.
With a sharp pair of pruners, cut any roots that appear sick back to healthy growth if the harm to the roots is minimal.
To stop the spread of germs from diseased roots to otherwise healthy roots, clean the pruner blades with a towel dipped in disinfectant between each cut.
Repot the palm tree in fresh soil that is 2/3 potting soil to 1/3 grit or perlite, thoroughly water it, and often spritz the leaves. Depending on the severity of the root damage, the palm may recover.
Indoor Palm Tree Leaves Turning Yellow
- Symptoms. becoming yellow and fading back leaves
- Causes. Due to aging, the bottom leaves may yellow. Yellowing leaves can be brought on by excessive watering, underwatering, inadequate drainage, too much direct sunlight, or a lack of nutrients.
Overwatering and inadequate drainage are the most frequent causes of indoor palms turning yellow. Indoor palm plants require soil that drains effectively since they cannot tolerate mucky soil around the roots. Root rot is encouraged by moist soil, which causes the palm tree’s leaves to turn yellow and look to be dying.
Indoor palm palms require soil that is continually moist, well-draining, porous, and aerated.
Too much moisture in the potting soil causes oxygen to escape the soil and restricts root respiration, which hinders the plant’s capacity to absorb water and nutrients. The palm’s leaves become yellow as an indication of stress if it is unable to absorb water and nutrients.
Remember that the soil may not actually be too wet because of overwatering (and therefore turning the leaves yellow). The following reasons the soil could be overly wet
- Boggy conditions result from the substantially slower drainage of compacted soil.
- Water collects around the roots of the palm in pots without drainage holes in the base.
- Underneath the palm tree pot, trays, saucers, and decorative outside pots may cause water to pool and keep the soil too moist.
However, if the soil surrounding the roots entirely dries out due to underwatering during active growth, the roots will not be able to absorb enough moisture to support the leaves, which will also cause the leaves to become yellow (and brown depending on the severity of drought stress and the species of palm).
The types of palm trees that are frequently cultivated indoors are tropical plants that develop in the forest’s understory, shielded from direct sunlight by an above tree canopy (indoor palms prefer bright, indirect light).
Because of this, its leaves can easily turn yellow or brown when exposed to direct sunshine.
Lack of nutrients in the soil can also cause indoor palm leaves to yellow. Larger palms that have grown in the same pot for a long period are more likely to experience this since their roots may have depleted the soil of nutrients during active growth.
To avoid the leaves turning yellow from a lack of nutrients, it is best to fertilize palm trees twice a year with a fertilizer designed specifically for palm trees.
The lower leaves of several indoor palm species may age and turn yellow. This suggests that the palm tree is shifting its energy away from maintaining the larger lower leaves and toward producing new, lighter leaves at the top of the plant to have access to stronger light.
This is a normal development as the palm tree ages and does not mean the plant is going to die.
How to Revive Indoor Palm Trees with Yellow Leaves
The most frequent causes of indoor palm palms turning yellow are overwatering and underwatering. Feel the dirt at the top of the pot to a finger’s depth, and then feel the soil at the base of the container through the drainage holes to see if your palm tree has a hydration issue.
The ground should feel consistently damp. When the soil feels dry, drought stress is the reason of the yellowing leaves; nevertheless, when the soil feels wet or mucky, overwatering is the culprit.
If your palm tree is becoming yellow due to dry soil, then:
- Make sure the root ball of the palm tree is buried in the water and submerge the pot for 10 minutes. This makes sure that water soaks into the soil and gets to the roots where it is needed to ease the stress caused by the drought.
- Every other day, mist the leaves of the palm tree. A humid microclimate is produced by misting the leaves, simulating the tropical humidity of the palm tree’s natural habitat. This aids in fending off the dry air that can rob the leaves of moisture.
- To prevent the leaves and potting soil from drying out too rapidly, keep the palm out of the direct direction of air currents from air conditioners and away from sources of indoor heating. The ideal temperature range for palms is 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 23°C), with the nighttime temperature being 10°F colder. Too much lowering of humidity by air currents might cause the leaves to become yellow.
- Every seven days when it is actively growing and every ten to fourteen days in the fall and winter, give your palm tree a generous bath. Always water deeply, allowing extra water to drip from the pot’s base to make sure the water has permeated the soil and reached the roots where it is needed. This contributes to achieving the ideal soil moisture balance that indoor palms require to remain healthy (evenly moist, but not soggy).
In the weeks that follow, once the drought conditions have been improved enough that your indoor palm can thrive, you should start to notice some signs of recovery. With a sharp pair of pruners, remove any individual leaves that have turned from yellow to brown and crispy to promote healthy growth.
If the yellowing of your indoor palm leaves is being caused by soggy soil, then:
- Reduce irrigation to once per week. The leaves on your indoor palms may be turning yellow if you water them more frequently than once per week. When there is active development, water every 7 days, and in the winter, every 10–14 days.
- Replace the potting soil if the soil is compacted and draining slowly. Take the palm out of the pot and add around 30% horticultural grit or perlite to the soil to help replicate the well-draining soil conditions that palm trees like in their natural setting. Indoor palms need porous, aerated potting soil rather than compacted dirt.
- Examine the roots of the palm after removing it from the pot for disease. White and sturdy palm roots indicate good health. If the roots are sick, they will typically be brown in color, look rotting, have a mushy texture, and a foul smell. The palm does not regenerate if all of the roots are infected.
- If only a portion of the roots are rotting, prune any diseased roots back to healthy growth using a sharp pair of pruners. To stop the spread of fungi from sick roots to otherwise healthy growth, wipe the pruner blades with a towel dipped in disinfectant. Repot the palm in fresh potting soil that has been improved with grit for drainage, and give it plenty of water.
- To prevent excess water from collecting around the pot’s bottom and leading to root rot, make sure the palm is planted in a pot with drainage holes in the base. You should also frequently empty any saucers, trays, or decorative outer pots of water.
An indoor palm that is overwatered is much more difficult to save than one that is underwater, especially if the root rot is severe.
However, as long as the roots are healthy and the drainage conditions are addressed, indoor palms can recover well from overwatering.
Due to excessive amounts of direct sunshine or because the roots have depleted the soil of nutrients (which is frequent during active growth in Spring and Summer), indoor palms can also turn yellow. In this case:
- Avoid any direct sunlight and place the indoor palm tree in an area that is bright yet indirect. The palm tree may flourish in well-lit spaces without its leaves being scorched by direct sunshine. Once every week, water the leaves and spray them. After a few weeks, new growth should start to turn green. At that point, you can clip back any yellow areas of the palm with a sharp set of pruners to encourage new growth and help the plant heal.
- Use a palm-specific fertilizer once in the spring and once in the summer to stop the leaves from turning yellow from nutrient deficiency. Low nutrients are probably the reason of the yellowing leaves if the palm is yellow and has been in the same pot for a long time. All the nutrients needed by palm trees are present in the proper concentration in a particular fertilizer for palm trees. After fertilizer applications, indoor palm palms with fading leaves frequently make a full recovery.
Indoor Palm Tree Drooping
- Symptoms. Indoor palm leaves that are fading or drooping. Additionally, leaves have the potential to turn yellow or brown.
- Causes. low light, extremes of heat or cold, underwatering or overwatering, and low humidity.
Drought stress from underwatering and low humidity are the most frequent causes of indoor palm drooping. The first sign that the soil surrounding the roots is too dry or that the humidity is causing the leaves to lose too much moisture, resulting in a drooping, wilted appearance, is the presence of drooping leaves.
Low humidity causes the leaves to lose too much moisture at a faster pace than the roots can take it in, which is indicative of low humidity if the leaf tips are also becoming brown and the leaves appear to be drooping overall.
Additionally, the soil must be consistently moist for indoor palm trees. The first sign of stress is drooping leaves if the soil surrounding the roots starts to dry out. The leaves begin to wilt and turn brown if the soil entirely dries out.
The ideal temperature range for indoor palms is 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 23°C), with the nighttime temperature dropping by about 10°F. The soil dries out too quickly when the temperature rises beyond 75oF, and the roots are unable to take up the water needed to keep the leaves from drooping.
All of the common indoor palm tree species are indigenous to tropical climes. An indoor palm may become stressed by extreme cold and develop a drooping appearance.
if the earth is overly compacted or wet. then this may hinder root respiration and exclude oxygen from the soil, interfering with the roots’ ability to absorb moisture and nutrients and causing drooping leaves that may become yellow or brown.
Additionally, soggy soil fosters the growth of fungi that cause diseases like root rot, which also makes leaves droop.
Indoor palms need direct, strong light. The indoor palm tree will appear droopy if the lighting is too dim since it will lack the energy to maintain the leaves and stems.
How to Revive a Drooping Indoor Palm Tree
- To make the air more humid, mist the leaves every other day. Since indoor palm trees are all indigenous to wet tropical climates, periodically soaking the leaves can help to recreate the palm’s natural environment. This lessens the drought stress that has caused the leaves to droop and slows down the loss of water from the leaves.
- Place the indoor palm in a bowl of water for 10 minutes if the soil feels dry, making sure the root ball is submerged. It is important to soak the root ball for a while to make sure the water has been thoroughly absorbed because potting soil can frequently bake hard and become hydrophobic (rejects water) if it has dried out. To maintain continuously moist soil and avoid drooping from drought stress, water indoor palms every seven days in the spring and summer and every ten to fourteen days in the winter.
- The ideal temperature range for indoor palms is 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 23°C), with the nighttime temperature being 10°F cooler to prevent drooping. To prevent moisture loss from the leaves and undesirable temperature changes, keep your indoor palm tree away from sources of indoor heat and any direct air currents from air conditioning, forced air, or draught areas.
- Place indoor palms in an indirect, bright area (rather then low light). The typical light levels of a forested understory are replicated in a brighter space, which is shaded from harsh direct sunlight while still being bright enough to provide the palm tree enough energy to grow and stay healthy. When the lighting is more favorable, a sagging indoor palm should stand up.
As long as the conditions are changed to the indoor palm tree’s preferences, the drooping leaves should recover within a few days. Indoor palm trees often recover well from drought stress.
- The explanation for the drooping leaves is if the earth feels saturated. To determine whether the soil feels soggy rather than just evenly damp, feel the dirt in the palm to a depth of a finger and the soil at the bottom of the pot via the drainage holes in the base. Take the palm out of the pot and amend the soil with around 1/3 horticultural grit or perlite to promote drainage if the soil is draining slowly as a result of compaction.
- Restrict the irrigation. Only give indoor palms a good soak every seven days in the spring and summer and every ten to fourteen days in the fall and winter. So that the roots may work effectively and relieve the stress that led to the leaves drooping, this provides the proper balance of hydration and drainage.
- Make sure the indoor palm is planted in a pot with drainage holes in the base, and remove any extra water from saucers, trays, and decorative pots so that water can drain freely and not collect at the pot’s base (which causes the soil to remain saturated).
The indoor palm should be able to bounce back from its drooping appearance once the drainage has been adjusted and watering has been done in a cycle that mimics the regular levels of moisture in the palm’s native environment.
However, if the indoor palm tree’s leaves are drooping, becoming yellow, or turning brown, the root rot or fungal disease may be serious, making it difficult to salvage the palm tree.
- Low humidity, poor soil, and high temperatures are frequently to blame for a dying indoor palm tree’s drooping, dead-looking leaves that become brown. Tropical indoor palm palms require soil that is consistently moist, high humidity, and temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit to survive.
- Too much direct sunlight, excessive watering, inadequate drainage, or nutrient-deficient soil are the causes of indoor palm tree leaves becoming yellow. Palm trees indoors require a soil that drains properly and bright indirect light. Root rot, which is brought on by wet soil, causes the leaves to become yellow and droop.
- Low humidity from air conditioning or indoor heating is the cause of indoor palm leaf tips turning brown. Native to humid tropical areas, indoor palm palms. Low indoor humidity robs the plants of moisture, causing the tips to dry out and turn brown.
- Overwatering and inadequate drainage lead indoor palm tree leaves to become brown and yellow and droop, giving them a dying aspect. Palm trees indoors require soil that drains well. The root rot that results from saturated soil causes the leaves to turn brown and yellow and droop.