Why Is My Palm Tree Dying? The Reasons You Need to Know

Palm trees are a great houseplant many grow thanks to its beauty, as it can bring tropical vibes to any home! When planted indoors, they are quite easy to care for and maintain, another reason why they are well-loved by many gardeners.

However, you may have noticed that your palm tree has shown signs of dying, prompting you to dispose of it properly to prevent other plants from doing the same. It can be quite frustrating witnessing your palm trees die despite doing your best to care for it well, having you wonder, ‘why is my palm tree dying?’

To help you out, I’ll be showing you the different reasons why your palm tree may be dying so you can hopefully remedy it and prevent it from happening to future plants.

why is my palm tree dying

Why Is My Palm Tree Dying?

Your palm tree may show different signs of dying, from drooping stems, down to yellowing and falling leaves. But you watered it well and checked it every day, how can it be dying?

Here are a couple of reasons why:

1. Soil Matters

Good soil quality will help keep the moisture balanced, which is what your palm tree requires. It should hold moisture well without being waterlogged. Meaning, your soil has to be well-draining with adequate aeration, providing consistent oxygen to your roots.

If not, then it is most likely that your palm tree won’t thrive well, resulting in its death. That is why you should have the right potting mix, containing stable materials like coarse sand, coconut noir, or perlite.

2. Overwatering and Underwatering

Palm trees require moist soil, but it can die when trying to thrive in soggy soil. Sodden soil will cause brown or yellow leaves, similar to if you underwater your palm tree. Overwatering can cause the white roots to turn brown or black, or start feeling mushy, smelling like decay.

If ever the palm tree is dying from overwatering, cut the decaying roots then replace the soil with a fresh mix. It’s best to trim some of the foliage, allowing the plant to use more energy to heal. Then, this is the time to fix its frequency of watering, making sure you only water until the top half-inch of its soil dries out.

Underwatering can cause your palm tree to die as well, so you need to prevent the soil from drying out. One distinct warning of underwatering is brown leaf tips, with the frond turning yellow, brown, and crispy if you don’t water it properly.

3. Humidity Levels

Palm trees like more humidity than most households have, but lower-light varieties can adapt to lower humidity levels. With low air moisture, the fronds may end up developing brown edges, causing a slow death.

To prevent this from happening, maintain 50% humidity in its location. For very dry air, keep the soil moist with proper watering, and to keep a water tray and/or humidifier near the plant.

4. Air Circulation and Temperature Requirements

Just like most houseplants, palm trees can turn yellow or dry out due to hot or drafts, yet they don’t like stagnant air. If the air around them doesn’t circulate, they will be prone to pest infestation and stress. They require a balance of air circulation without strong drafts coming in, nor do they like being near heat sources like fires, heaters, and radiators.

As for temperatures, palm trees prefer the heat, around 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact. They don’t do well when in colder temperatures, particularly when they grow in cold and wet soil.

5. Repotting and Fertilization Requirements

Palm trees may end up dying after they have been repotted, since they dislike the disturbance. Be careful when replacing the soil or when washing the roots bare, especially when you see that the plant doesn’t look as healthy as it should be. Repotting ailing plants may result in its death!

Palm trees are okay with being rootbound, living a few years in the same pot. If it requires repotting, it will need frequent watering since the roots replaced most of its soil. If you do need to repot your palm tree, do so in tall containers with soil under or on its sides, and leave its rootball undisturbed, not cutting or tearing any roots.

6. Pests and Diseases

If you see that your palm tree leaves have yellow, mottled, or withering fronds, this may indicate a pest infestation. Palm trees are susceptible to houseplant pests, along with mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies.

If ever there’s a pest problem, spray the plant with water to reduce the number of pests, then treat it appropriately, using insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

As for diseases, fungal infections are common diseases affecting indoor palm trees, which can be treated using fungicide. However, some diseases may be incurable, so you will need to dispose of them immediately and to avoid regrowing plants on the same soil and container.

7. Overcrowding

There are retail palm trees that are grown in tightly packed groups so it can fill a pot. This is not ideal for naturally solitary plants, as too many plants together end up having to compete for nutrients, resulting in one or more plants dying. Because of this, you need to divide the clumps and replant multiple palm trees in individual plants so they can grow more successfully.

Wrapping It Up

Palm trees grown indoors require the right care to thrive, producing tis amazing leaves, depending on the species you invest in. If you notice symptoms that indicate your plants are dying, this may most likely be due to receiving little to no nutrition. Fortunately, there are ways to revive a dying plant, and it all begins with identifying the problem and remedying it right away.

I hope that this article answers your question, ‘why is my palm tree dying?’ Now that you know the reasons behind the death of palm trees, take action now and revive any dying plants you have.

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