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mrblubs22

Yellow fronds on my Majesty Palm

MrBlubs
7 years ago

Uh oh,

I've had this plant for 3 years now and bought it as some scraggly homedepot toss out for 10 bucks. Was my 5th Houseplant ever and didn't know much back then. After a while I figured out how Majesty Palms are some of the worst this and terrible that so I waited for it to die. I was so sure in its death I almost threw it out. However it never died or declined. It thrived really. It went from 3 fronds on three trunks to 13 and counting in three years. And it's my favourite houseplant that I own. I'm actually very proud of it for some reason...... Anyway after I thought I escaped the Palm reaper I've noticed some of its fronds begin to take on a yellow tinge.... More noticible on the old old fronds but also in some of the new fronds. I've repotted it once but I think I might repot this year into a better soil.

I've googled around and came to over watering, spider mites, low ffertilizing and low humidity...

I dont think it's over watering as I actually thought I was under watering it..... Doubt spider mites, no webs or mites. Even scanned leaves with a micro scope. I totally forgot to fertilize for most of its life but have begun now every month with a liquid fert by Schultz. Also might be low humidity as the Rh is around 37 this time of year. I try to get into a routine of spraying but I can't seem to keep it up....

Here's some pics.....Any Ideas? Mind the dust. Giving it a shower tomorrow. The first pic is on one of the newish leaves about 3 months old and the other is of one that is around a year or so





Comments (16)

  • ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a
    7 years ago

    Hi, I don't have an answer for you, but I congradulate you for keeping it for 3 years. I bought one last fall, not knowing anything about it, and when got home, researched, and found the same thing as you said - this is a terrible houseplant, it will never make it, etc. And i figured well I'll keep it as long as it lasts. It did great for a few months, grew, and I loved it. Then I think in Jan or Feb, some of the fronds started to turn brown, and eventually I ditched it.

    But I can relate that you are fond of this plant. Hope somebody jumps in with advice.

  • subtropix
    7 years ago

    Majesty Palm is not like other palms; these palms LOVE water, and resent dry conditions. So, do not follow typical watering practices for palms. In their native lands they even tolerate periods of standing water...which would kill most palms. They also are prone to insect pests under dry, indoor conditions. In this case, increasing humidity and reducing temperatures are useful. Keeping a window slightly open might also improve air circulation and Spring time humidity levels. They are also heavy feeders, so as long as it is pushing growth, you should be feeding it. They are cheap because they grow fast, and they need generous water and regular feeding. Keeping it on a saucer with some water in it wouldn't hurt it.

  • Related Discussions

  • ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a
    7 years ago

    oh, I killed mine by underwatering. :(

    If I see one again, I'll try again.

  • subtropix
    7 years ago

    Cat palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum) is another rather commonly available big box palm that likes is constantly moist (good, I guess for those who tend to over water). You might give that one a try as it seems to be an easier houseplant and smaller proportioned for the average home. (Majesties wanna be big...in a hurry!)

  • MrBlubs
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If this plant ever fails cat palm was my back up! !

    I knew it couldn't be overwatering! As they live along the river banks in Madagascar! Plus I wasn't watering it as generously as I used to....

    Thanks ellenr22!

    Must be a fertilization problem. Always forget to fertilize all my plants! Got to get on that.

    I'm in Florida right now (yay) So hopefully the pet sitter won't fail me! Hope it's OK when I get back in a week.

  • Dick Baker
    7 years ago

    I also have a majesty palm. I had one die on me last fall, and found an almost perfect one a couple of months ago at Home Depot. I was expecting it to die, but it's been doing well. Until today, when I noticed about 7 fronds with very brown tips and yellow extending one to two inches from the tip into the fronds.

    I've been keeping the soil moist and not letting it get anywhere near as dry as other plants.


    Is there any way to prevent it from getting worse?

  • boblaurel
    7 years ago

    We have a Majesty Palm in an indoor (skylighted) atrium with a constantly flowing water feature. It and the White Bird of Paradise anchor the plantings on either end of the 24 ft. garden. Peace Lily, Anthurium, Golden Pathos, Croton and smaller plants fill in the 15+ feet between the anchor plants in front of the water feature. Obviously, living in northwestern Nevada (Reno area) can be a problem for these plants. The Majesty Palm is yellowing and the White Bird of Paradise giant leaves are spitting. Both plants are about six feet tall and are getting watered every three days. If anyone can suggest a fertilizer or other food (chelated iron?) that could help the yellowing or leaf splitting issues, we'd be thrilled.

  • ronalawn82
    7 years ago

    MrBlubs, check out this document. It deals with the Landscape but you can tailor it to the interiorscape by appreciating that processes here are much slower and quantities are very much smaller. My experience has been that palms indoors require some fertilizer at least once a year; that they need additional magnesium and potassium. Please go very lightly on quantity until you get a feel for the process. One very useful bit of information is that nutrients move out of the lowest leaves, into the upper leaves. In the landscape this 'gradient' is readily seen on the Canary Island date palm. This seems to be part of the dying process of the old fronds. You might want to use a little bit of Epsom salts and potassium chloride in a very dilute solution. Take a photograph of the palm - and four weeks later take another photograph - in the same light and from the same spot. Compare the two photographs to decide whether you have made a difference (for the better; that is!)

    Interiorscape technicians service their accounts on a 3-week schedule; and a mandatory treatment of palms is to mist the fronds and trunk; look for the webs (you will be surprised). Hand wipe each frond on both surfaces. All that for spider mite control; and yet there can be an attack!

    Finally, "Mind the dust." - your own words. I identify dust as the indirect cause of most interior plant problems.

    MrBlubs thanked ronalawn82
  • MrBlubs
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Thanks ronalawn82!

    Ive attempted at having a schedule to spray my Palm but I just can't get into the habit! Will try to get back into ad I'd hate to lose it.

    And yes I know about the dust, I do clear the fronds of dust but I just didn't get around to it before I took the photo. And it got a shower right after.

    Thanks again

  • Platinum Queen7
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    HELP please! I bought a beautiful Majesty palm at Lowes 2 days ago and even though I've watered it the leaf tips are starting to turn yellow. It's over 5 feet all and I haven't repotted it yet although I suspect I will have to since I believe the roots are growing over the top. Nevertheless, I've watered it well and even stuck watering spikes and still I see the yellowing tips increasing. I need some help (PLEASE!); advice and/ or lessons as I'm really a novice - this IS MY 3rd palm and I'm getting really discouraged. I realize I don't have high lighting but where I found this palm was among a bunch of other palms, shades and In the indoor plant area. I believe i lost the other 2 because of my inexperience, I repotted them in a pot more than twice larger and they died....(I found out only later that too big a pot is only a death trap!)

    So, questions : should I leave this palm in its own pot and leave it where it is right now so as to give it time to acclimate itself to that area of my house or should I repot it tomorrow to a pot just a size larger?

    I am misting it every morning since I bought it 2 days ago (I just learned here I have to put a 50/50 alcohol water which I will start to do) but still the leaf tips are turning yellow FAST!! I really hate to lose another one....please help!

    Lastly, I Iive in Oyster Creek, Texas

    and I've always thought that Lowes or Home Depot carry plants that are for these neighborhoods, am I wrong? i really can't lug this plant to and from the shower simply because it's too tall, can't I just leave it where it is? although I could roll it out my back porch to spray it with a water hose but is all this moving around doing it any good?

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • Platinum Queen7
    5 years ago

    PS would a Cat Palm do better than this, Majesty Palm? I would've love to get a Lady Palm or Bamboo Palm but I can find nowhere around here or Houston that sells them

  • Matt
    5 years ago

    if you're in texas you should put it outside, I'm sure it's warm enough

  • Platinum Queen7
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Matt K - It most probably is but I bought it for the sole purpose of placing it indoors and I read from Costa Farms that they grow these palm purposely under shade for indoor purposes, (isn't it why I found they're in the indoor plant section?) thank you for your comment though

  • Justin
    5 years ago

    Platinum Queen,

    If you're seeing yellowing happening within two days of bringing it home, my instinct is something is going on other than your home's conditions. It could be that the plant was stressed at the store, and then the change in conditions to your home is stressing it out. Or, is it possible, the plant was nipped by cold in the store?

    I wouldn't repot your palm yet. I'd let it get acclimated to your home first. Also, like many palms, it's a shallow-rooted plant, so just because you see roots on the surface doesn't mean it needs to be repotted.

    Also, I would not spray an alcohol/water mixture on majesty palm. I know some folks say they've done it successfully, but it can do more harm than good, especially if your palm is already stressed.

    I know it seems counter-intuitive, but my suggestion is to take a breath and keep an eye on it for another week. If you see the yellowing continue, then start to diagnose issues like whether the air is too dry, etc. (BTW: Using a humidity tray is far more effective than misting it.)

    BTW: Are you seeing yellowing on every frond? If not, then it could be an entirely different scenario that's causing the tips to go yellow...

    ---Justin, Costa Farms Horticulturist

  • MrBlubs
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    When you do eventually repot it make sure you don't disturb the roots too much. They're quite sensitive to that.

    Diddo on the question if it's just one frond that's turning yellow. If it is then there is most likely not a problem with a plant. Palms naturally shed their lower fronds. And every once in a while a low frond on mine will turn yellow/brown or start to not look as nice as the others.

    There's no reason to spray it with a mixture of alcohol and water unless you're dealing with a pest issue. Even then I wouldn't use alcohol but rather dish soap or insecticidal soap mixed in with water.

    Like Justin said, misting really doesn't do much. I'd look into a humidity tray.

    All plants are at their best when growing outdoors. Even house plants generally respond better if allowed to take vacations outside. I know a large majority of people on here place a good quantity of their plants outside for the summer. Increased air flow, light, and over all humidity are some of the benefits. Though I've kept mine inside all its life. But it does get to go outside every summer for a day or so. I usually put it outside when it's raining just to 'cleanse' it ;). If we didn't get freak hail storms all the time it would be outside a lot more!

    If yoy do decide to put it outside (you don't have to) make sure you slowly acclimate it to the sun. Wouldn't want it to get a nasty sunburn!

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