indoor palm care

gmajApril 19, 2009

I purchased a large indoor palm tree just a week or so ago and it's already turning yellow. I've only watered it twice, just trying to give it a chance to settle in. It is in a corner and gets filtered light from an eastern exposure window. I'm not sure that's it's going to make it. I usually have great success with house plants and have a number that I've had for years. Any ideas?

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Do you know what kind of palm you have? If it's a Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis) they don't make good houseplants for many people, including indoor plant veterans, and shouldn't be sold as such.

Also, you shouldn't have to water your palm twice a week, could be whatever palm you have, it's reacting to being over-watered.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 3:46PM
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I only watered it once a week. I'm not an idiot, just haven't had a palm before.

It's settling in and looking better, although I'll undoubtedly lose a few leaves. I think it was just suffering from the shock of going from the perfect conditions of a greenhouse, to a store, and then to my home.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:36PM
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I brought a "free" (I work there) majesty palm home for my mom in hopes that she could revive it after a long bout at Kmart. I can say right now, it's in high demand for water, mistings, and needs lots of sunlight (but she is still in risk of freeze at night).
We've pruned back the dead/drying fronds 2-3 inches from the base as suggested so far, 1 per day. It now has 2 fronds that may survive.
We're hopeful that it will survive another month or 5 weeks until she can put it out on her deck for the summer...
Michigan is SO risky for frost until June anymore! :-(

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 1:38AM
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That some GOOD advice. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:53AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You can't get appropriate advice until you let us know what kind of palm it is, sorry. There are many different kinds that are often sold for indoor use but not all fit into the same cubby hole of proper care.

I could have 'sworn' that you mentioned that you watered your new plant twice in the space of one week, just 'to let it settle in'. 'ONLY twice' were your words, lol. So it's pretty easy to see why Billie Rae felt like you should be warned about the problems with the overwatering of palms.

Over and/or improper watering is probably the most common cause of indoor plant problems. I don't think that anyone would be termed an idiot for making mistakes or errors in judgment.

Newly adopted plants should be watered sparingly (in terms of frequency ) until you figure out how they are going to adapt to the new environment. Sounds like your plant is in a low light situation, meaning that you should take extra care in making sure that it needs a thorough watering before you attend to it. Fingers are the best judge of soil moisture level.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:37AM
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Hope the palm, whatever it is, didn't croak on ya:)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 11:41PM
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Gmaj..Billy Rae didn't say or imply you were an idiot.
Rhizo is correct, you did say you watered your palm within a week..If you reread the first line you wrote, 'I've purchased an indoor palm just a week or so ago, and it's already turning yellow. I've only watered it twice.'

It'd be helpful if you could ID the palm. Some palms need more light than others.
An east window doesn't provide much light, let alone if it's in a corner. Do you have a brighter window, or can you set your palm before the east window?

ID'ing the pot size would be helpful too. If you bought a small palm, in a say 4" pot, and if your house is dry, watering twice a week might be needed, but if the pot is 10"+, and getting little sun, most likely the soil was still moist/wet when you watered a second time which could be the reason fronds yellowed.

You're correct about your palm growing in a humid, green house, shipped to a store, then your house..Plants can go through the best thing is to set your palm in a brighter light, water when soil feels dry, mist leaves daily, and/or shower/hose weekly. You'll notice a difference in no time..Toni

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 6:50AM
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I have a large palm purchased from home depot. I have had it for 3 weeks. It is in bright light, I water 1-2 times per week. It is now having a whole leaf section turn yellow (a few small brown at base too). But on this yellow 'branch" there are large/small brown spots. Also I did not repot this plant as was worried that would cause a issue. What should I do to help this plant survive?? HELP!!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 3:02PM
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