How To Save a Dying Indoor Palm Tree (11 Causes & Solutions)

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Palm trees are one of the most popular indoor plants, but they can be tricky to care for.

Palm trees are known for their resilience, but even these tough plants can succumb to problems.

If your indoor palm tree is dying, don’t despair-there may be a solution.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common problems that affect indoor palm trees and how to solve them.

Why Is My Indoor Palm Tree Dying?

Palm trees are attractive tropical plants that can bring a touch of the outdoors inside your home.

However, they can be challenging to care for, and even experienced gardeners can have problems with them.

There are several reasons why your indoor palm tree may be dying.

Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Overwatering

One of the most common reasons for indoor palm tree death is overwatering.

Palm trees are native to tropical climates and grow in moist, well-drained soil.

However, they can’t tolerate sitting in water for extended periods.

Overwatering usually occurs when people don’t allow the soil to dry out completely between watering or the indoor palm plant is potted in a container that doesn’t have adequate drainage.

How To Tell If You’re Overwatering Your Palm Tree

There are a few telltale signs that you’re overwatering your palm tree.

These include:

  • Yellow or brown leaves
  • Wilting leaves
  • Soft, mushy stems
  • Mold or mildew on the leaves or stem
  • The soil is always soggy or wet
  • Brown or black spots on the leaves

How To Save An Overwatered Palm Tree

If you think you may have overwatered your palm tree, there are a few things you can do to save it.

First, check the pot to see if there is adequate drainage.

If not, repot the plant in a pot with drainage holes.

Then, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

You may also need to adjust your watering schedule; indoor palm trees generally only need to be watered once a week or less.

If the leaves are wilted or yellow, you can try removing them.

This will help your houseplant to focus its energy on new growth.

2. Underwatering

Underwatering is another common reason for indoor palm tree death.

Palm trees need a lot of water to stay healthy and can’t tolerate prolonged periods of drought.

Underwatering usually occurs when people forget to water their indoor plant or when the potted palm tree is in a container that doesn’t hold enough water.

How To Tell If You’re Underwatering Your Palm Tree

There are a few signs that you may be underwatering your palm tree.

These include:

  • Dry, brown leaves
  • Wilting leaves
  • Drooping leaves
  • Curled leaves
  • The soil is dry or dusty
  • Stunted growth

How To Save An Underwatered Palm Tree

If you think you may be underwatering your palm tree, the best thing to do is to water it thoroughly.

Allow the water to soak through the pot and into the roots.

Water the plant until the soil is evenly moist but not soggy.

After watering, check the soil again in a few hours to see if it has dried.

If it has, water the plant again.

You may need to water your palm tree more frequently during periods of hot weather or when it is growing rapidly.

3. Too Much Sunlight

Indoor palm trees need a lot of light to stay healthy, but they can’t tolerate direct sunlight for long periods.

Palm trees need at least six hours of indirect sunlight every day, but they can also tolerate some shade.

They thrive in bright indirect light but will burn if they are exposed to direct sunlight for too long.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Is Getting Too Much Sunlight

There are a few signs that your palm tree is getting too much sunlight.

These include:

  • Brown patches on the leaves
  • Wrinkled or crispy leaves
  • Fading or bleached leaves
  • Leaves drop off the plant
  • White or brown burns on the leaves

How To Save A Palm Tree That Is Getting Too Much Sunlight

If you think your palm tree is getting too much sunlight, the best thing to do is to move it to a shadier location.

You can also try covering the plant with a sheer curtain or blind to filter the light.

An east- or west-facing window is a good option for an indoor palm tree.

You need to be careful not to overcompensate, though.

If you move your palm tree to a shady location, it will not get enough light and will begin to suffer from the lack of light.

4. Lack Of Light

While too much sunlight can harm an indoor palm tree, so can too little light.

Palm trees need a lot of light to stay healthy, and they will begin to suffer if they don’t get enough.

They need at least six hours of indirect sunlight every day, but they can also tolerate some shade.

However, if they don’t get enough light, they won’t be able to photosynthesize correctly, and they will begin to die.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Isn’t Getting Enough Light

There are a few signs that your palm tree isn’t getting enough light.

These include:

  • Yellow or pale leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Leaves drop off the plant
  • The plant is leaning toward the light
  • Smaller than normal leaves

How To Save A Palm Tree That Isn’t Getting Enough Light

If you think your palm tree isn’t getting enough light, the best thing to do is to move it to a brighter location.

The best place for an indoor palm tree is an east- or west-facing window. This will give the plant the bright indirect light it needs to stay healthy.

A palm tree needs at least six hours of light every day, so you may need to supplement the natural light with artificial light if there is not enough.

5. Poor Drainage

Indoor palm trees need well-drained soil to stay healthy.

The roots of the plant will rot if the soil is too wet, and the plant will suffocate and die.

Poor drainage can occur for a few reasons.

The pot may not have drainage holes, or the holes may be blocked.

The soil may be too dense or compacted, preventing water from draining correctly.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Has Poor Drainage

There are a few signs that your palm tree has poor drainage.

These include:

  • The pot is always wet or damp
  • The soil is mushy or soupy
  • There is standing water in the pot
  • The plant is wilting or drooping
  • The leaves are yellow or brown

How To Save A Palm Tree With Poor Drainage

If you think your palm tree has poor drainage, the best thing to do is to repot the plant in a pot with drainage holes.

You can also add some perlite or sand to the soil to improve drainage.

You can drill some if the pot doesn’t have drainage holes.

Just be sure not to make the holes too big, or the soil will fall through.

You also must ensure that the potting mix is not too dense or compacted.

Mixing it with some perlite or sand is the best way to do this.

This will improve the drainage and allow the roots to breathe.

6. Root-Bound

An indoor palm tree can become root-bound if left in the same pot for too long.

The roots will begin to grow in a tight circle, eventually choking the plant.

A root-bound palm tree will be unable to absorb water and nutrients properly and begin to die.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Is Root-Bound

There are a few signs that your palm tree is root-bound.

These include:

  • The roots are growing out of the drainage holes
  • The roots circle inside the pot
  • The plant is wilting or drooping, even when watered
  • The leaves are yellow or brown
  • Stunted growth

How To Save A Root-Bound Palm Tree

If you think your palm tree is root-bound, the best thing to do is to repot the plant in a larger pot.

Use a pot that is only a few inches bigger than the current one.

This will give the roots room to spread out without being too cramped.

You may also need to loosen the roots before repotting.

To do this, lightly massage them with your fingers.

This will help them to spread out more easily.

7. Cold Stress

Palm trees are tropical plants, and they cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

If the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), the plant will begin to experience cold stress.

Cold temperatures can damage the plant’s leaves, trunk, and roots.

The plant will become weaker and more susceptible to pests and diseases.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Is Experiencing Cold Stress

There are a few signs that your palm tree is experiencing cold stress.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • The indoor palm tree leaves are turning brown or yellow
  • The plant is not growing as much as it should be
  • There are black or brown spots on the leaves
  • The roots are black or brown

How To Save A Palm Tree From Cold Stress

If you think your palm tree is experiencing cold stress, the best thing to do is to move it to a warmer location.

The plant will also need protection from drafts and cold winds.

Place the palm tree in a south-facing window where it will get plenty of sunlight.

You can also use a grow light to provide the plant with additional warmth.

8. Hot Stress

Hot temperatures can also damage a palm tree.

Although the plant prefers warm temperatures, it can’t tolerate temperatures that are too hot.

If the temperature exceeds 90°F (32°C), the plant will begin to experience hot stress.

When the temperature gets too high, the leaves start to lose moisture, and they will eventually turn brown and die.

The plant will also stop growing.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Is Experiencing Hot Stress

There are a few signs that your palm tree is experiencing hot stress.

These include:

  • The leaves are wilting or drooping
  • Lower leaves drop off the plant
  • The leaves’ edges turn brown or black
  • The plant stops growing

How To Save A Palm Tree From Hot Stress

If you think your palm tree is experiencing hot stress, the best thing to do is to move it to a cooler location.

The plant will also need protection from direct sunlight.

Place the palm tree in a north- or east-facing window where it will get indirect sunlight.

You can also use a sheer curtain to filter the light.

If the temperatures are too high, you can place a saucer of water under the pot.

The evaporation will help to cool the air around the plant.

9. Overfertilization

Fertilizing your palm tree is essential, but you must be careful not to overdo it.

If you use too much fertilizer, the plant will get a chemical burn.

Indoor palm trees must be fertilized about once a month during the growing season.

During the winter, you don’t need to fertilize it.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Has Been Overfertilized

If you think your palm tree has been overfertilized, there are a few signs to look for.

These include:

  • Brown leaf tips
  • Yellowing and wilting leaves
  • Black or brown spots on the leaves
  • The plant is not growing as much as it should be
  • Leaves drop off the plant
  • A crust of fertilizer on the soil surface

How To Save An Overfertilized Palm Tree

If you think your palm tree has been overfertilized, the best thing to do is to flush the roots.

To do this, water the plant thoroughly and then let the excess water drain out.

Do this once a week for two weeks.

After that, you can resume fertilizing the plant at the regular interval.

Use a diluted fertilizer so you don’t overfertilize it again, and follow the directions on the label.

10. Pests

Pests can be a problem for indoor plants, including palm trees.

Aphids, Scale insects, Spider Mites, and Mealybugs are some of the most common pests that attack palm trees.

These pests suck the sap from the leaves, which can cause the palm leaves to turn yellow and eventually die.

Pests can also spread diseases.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Has Pests

If you think your palm tree has pests, there are a few signs to look for.

These include:

  • Sticky leaves
  • Holes in the leaves
  • Distorted leaves
  • Yellowing and wilting leaves
  • Leaves drop off the plant
  • Webbing on the leaves or stems
  • Egg sacs on the leaves or stems

How To Save A Palm Tree From Pests

If you think your palm tree has pests, the best thing to do is to quarantine the plant.

This will prevent the pests from spreading to other plants.

Then, you can remove the pests by hand. Just wear gloves, so you don’t get them on your skin.

You can also use a strong spray of water to remove the pests.

If the infestation is severe, you can use a natural pesticide.

Neem oil is a good option.

11. Diseases

Diseases can also be a problem for palm trees.

The most common diseases that affect palm trees are root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.

Root rot is caused by a fungus that attacks the roots.

A fungal or bacterial infection causes leaf spot.

Powdery mildew is caused by a fungus that grows on the leaves.

These diseases can kill your palm tree if they’re not treated.

How To Tell If Your Palm Tree Has A Disease

If you think your palm tree has a disease, there are a few signs to look for.

These include:

  • Yellowing and wilting leaves
  • Holes in the leaves
  • Black or brown spots on the leaves
  • Leaves drop off the plant
  • Slimy roots
  • Mushy stem
  • White powder on the leaves

How To Save A Palm Tree From Disease

If you think your palm tree has a disease, the best thing to do is to quarantine the plant.

This will prevent the disease from spreading to other plants.

Then, you can treat the plant with a fungicide or bactericide.

Make sure to follow the directions on the label.

You can also try using a natural remedy such as neem oil. This can be effective against both fungal and bacterial diseases.

Final Thoughts

Indoor palm trees are beautiful plants that can add life to your home.

However, they’re also delicate plants that can be easily killed.

The good news is that you can do a few things to save a dying palm tree.

If you think your palm tree is dying, the first thing you should do is determine the cause.

Once you know the cause, you can take steps to fix the problem.

With a bit of care and attention, you should be able to save your palm tree and keep it healthy for years to come.