What to Do If Your Palm Tree Turns Yellow: What Remedies Can Save It?

by Kremy

A palm tree in your garden or indoors? Good idea! The most suitable area for growing it outdoors is the one with mild Mediterranean climate. If you prefer to keep it indoors, your shrub will need a temperature of between 20 and 26°C/68 – 78F and a humidity level of 80 to 85%. One important question remains: what should you do if your palm tree turns yellow? We will explain everything!

what to do if your palm tree turns yellow

Why Does My Palm Tree Have Yellowing Leaves?

The first common problem with palm trees: lack of water. If you see the tips of the leaves drying out, you are faced with this problem. If your palm tree has yellowing leaves, this is due to the presence of limestone in the soil or a deficiency of trace elements. We advise you to re-pot it to improve its condition. You should also pay attention to its exposure. The leaves can also be scorched by direct sunlight. Likewise, take it easy with the water: if your hand is too heavy, its roots will suffocate and start to rot. More seriously, the palms grown outdoors in recent years have suffered from the attacks of a butterfly: the Paysandisia archon. Taking the palm tree as its host, the larva of this moth develops in the stem, devouring the insides. At this point, the leaves turn yellow, dry out and fall off. There’s nothing more to be done: you can say goodbye and consider destroying the tree.

butterfly on palm tree 2023


What Can You Do About a Yellowing Palm Tree and Other Diseases?

why does my palm tree have yellowing leaves

First of all, you need to know that your palm needs well-drained soil. So don’t forget a layer of gravel at the bottom of the planting hole. Palms like deep, fertile soil. Plant them in a mixture of one-third garden soil, one-third river sand and one-third white peat moss. Indoors, clay balls at the bottom of the pot and potting soil are enough. However, your palm tree may need winter protection in harsher regions. In this way, the foliage will be protected by the thickness of the chosen wintering fleece. You can also protect the roots of young plants and potted palms with thick mulch.

Be careful, an indoor palm tree is more susceptible to attacks by mealybugs and spider mites. In fact, the latter appear in hot and dry atmosphere. This can have the following consequences:

  • brown shells
  • white felt on the back of the leaf against the main vein
  • small light green creatures clustered on the veins of the leaves.

For aphids, spray with soapy water, and for mealybugs, introduce their best enemy: Cryptolaemus, a black Australian ladybug with white spots. Finally, some fungi can develop when the ambient humidity is high and the temperature below 13°C/55 F. The only solution available to you to overcome it is to remove the most affected lower leaves and clear the roots. If all else fails, try the Bordeaux mixture also used on roses in March. This should limit the damage.

protect the palm tree with a winter cover

What Fertilizer to Use if Your Palm Tree Turns Yellow?

what fertilizer to use if your palm tree turns yellow

Palm trees primarily consume nitrogen (N), which is found in lawn fertilizers and also:

  • vegetable manure
  • fertilizers of animal origin

Palms also appreciates potash (K) and also a quantity of trace elements such as sulfur or iron. So a good fertilizer should contain all of these. We recommend roasted horn. Apply the equivalent of a good handful, spreading it over the palms. Then lightly scratch the soil to bring the fertilizer into contact with the soil. The results are guaranteed!

why my palm tree is tyrning yellow

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