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Kentia palm spots on leaves and stems--please help!!

Danica Roth
7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

Hi! There seem to be a lot of palm experts here, so I'm really hoping someone can help me. I have a big indoor Kentia palm with multiple problems that I'm really worried about.

1) Brown/black streaks and patches on the stems. Looks pretty serious and I have no idea what's going on.

2) Yellow and brown spots on the leaves--both the ones nearest the glass door (I've heard sunburn could do this?), but also some on the other side, which never get direct sunlight.

3) Brown leaf tips. Over watering? Under watering?? I water with 1/2 to 1 gallon of water once to a week to every other week, depending on how dry the top inch or two of soil feels. I can see the water run out the bottom, but it's definitely not sitting in any water between waterings. I've only had it for about 8 months so it's still in its nursery pot, and the soil is some kind of sandy mixture that seems reasonably well draining.

4) It's had some kind of scale infestation for a few months (I think--maybe it's a fungus??). I've been spraying it once a week with a mix of neem oil, soap and water, and occasionally wiping the leaves down to remove dead scale and dust. It's cleared up like 90% of the scale, but they're still around the base of the stems, especially in between the fronds and under that woody fibrous stuff where I just can't spray too well. I don't know if the scale is still bad enough that it's hurting the palm, or if it's the cause of any of the other problems....

For some context, it's next to a west-facing glass door and gets decent but not overly intense light (picture at bottom), and we're in California, so the house is around 62 to 80 degrees F year round. I stuck a little Jobe's 13-4-5 plant food spike in the pot a few weeks ago to fertilize it.

Someone please please help me! I love this tree so much and am so worried about it. Any advice would be extremely appreciated! Thanks!!

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