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Why Is My Palm Tree Turning Yellow – 6 Main Reasons!

Outdoor palm trees are usually vigorous, easy to grow, and rarely encounter problems. So naturally, palm leaves fall off as they age and turn brown. However, there are times when you notice that your palm tree has a lot of yellow or drooping leaves, it has a health problem.

If you wonder, “Why is my palm tree turning yellow?” then all the helpful explanations and solutions you need are covered in this article.

Why Is My Palm Tree Turning Yellow
What’s wrong with my majesty palm, gone all yellow – via Reddit

Why Is My Palm Pree Turning Yellow? 6 Causes and Solutions

When a palm tree turns yellow or slightly yellow, it shows that its ability to produce chlorophyll is gradually losing. The reasons for this phenomenon are varied: Excess or lack of water, light, nutrients, pests, or diseases.

And here are the leading causes and solutions.

Lack of Nutrition

Any plant needs nutrients to grow. The phenomenon of palm leaves turning yellow is one of the signs of nutrient deficiency. So now you need to add fertilizers that contain essential elements for palm trees: potassium, nitrogen, Manganese, Iron, and Phosphate.

The only way is to analyze the palm leaves visually to know what nutrients your palm is lacking:

  • If the palm leaves turn yellow-green, they will most likely need a nitrogen supplement.
  • In potassium deficiency, old palm leaves will often appear yellow spots.
  • If the top of the palm tree is bright yellow, it needs a magnesium supplement.
  • With a lack of Manganese, new palm leaves are often twisted with brown areas.
  • If Fe is deficient, the plant’s fresh leaves often turn yellowish and have green veins.

Growers need to add fertilizer during the palm growing season (late March to late October) to avoid these situations. In addition, the frequency of fertilizing the tree also needs to be based on the amount of water and the type of soil in which you plant the palm.

Excess Or Lack of Irrigation

When palm trees are irrigated with too much or too little water, their roots will have problems and thus affect other plant functions. At this time, the plant’s ability to produce chlorophyll will weaken, and the leaves will turn yellow.

Why Is My Palm Tree Turning Yellow 2
Yellowing leaves on majesty palm – via Reddit

Therefore, you only need to water the plants when necessary, i.e., only water the palm trees 2 to 3 times a week in the summer. In winter, the watering frequency will be slightly less to give the soil time to dry.

So how do you know if your palm tree is under or overwatered? Here are some symptoms you might notice:

Over-watering: When a palm tree is over-watered, its lower leaves will often turn yellow as it begins to age. If the condition worsens, the trunk may appear fungi.

To end this, stop watering and use a fungicide. Also, plant the plant in a pot or place that drains quickly so that water doesn’t stagnate and cause root rot.

Lack of watering: Palm trees that lack water will often turn their new leaves yellow, and the rest will turn brown. Besides, leaflets can also be twisted to avoid drainage.

So, if you see the plants showing the above symptoms, you need to increase watering them or put the plants in the pot with water for about 30 minutes.

Heavy or Compact Soil

Sometimes you also need to pay attention to the texture of the palm tree because this is one of the factors affecting the growth of the palm tree.

When the soil is composed mainly of clay, it is often very compact and heavy, allowing water to be absorbed and filtered for longer. Then, we don’t need to water too often because the innermost layers can still contain water in them.

If your palm tree shows signs of being over-watered, you need to see if the soil is tight. Then, expand the watering space and treat it with a fungicide. In addition, you should also avoid planting palm trees on this heavy/compact soil.

Sun Burn

When palm leaves are sunburned, they will turn yellow and brown before falling off. How quickly leaves lose their natural color will depend on the amount of direct sunlight hitting them.

If your palm trees show signs of sunburn, move them to a shady spot or place a net to shade them. You can also gradually acclimate them to the sun as they grow by increasing their hours of direct sun exposure.

Pests and Diseases

The final reason your palm trees turn yellow is that pests or diseases invade them. In particular, creatures such as red spiders or mealybugs are two parasites that eat tree sap or foliage, making them change or lose color.

Therefore, when encountering such creatures, you need to get rid of them immediately using algae soil or natural pesticides.

Why Is My Palm Tree Turning Yellow 3
Cat Palm leaves browning at tips – via Reddit

In addition, the diseases that cause yellow leaves are usually fungal in origin and are therefore often associated with over-watering.

However, another type of yellow leaf disease also affects palm trees, which is transmitted by a virus. When palm trees are infected with this virus, they often turn yellow very quickly. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this virus.

Transplant Shock

This phenomenon is common in newly planted palm trees because they have lost their roots, lost water, and have new heat, light, and humidity levels. Therefore, it takes time for them to adapt to new living conditions.

It would help if you planted them correctly in a place that is easy to drain and the soil is rich in nutrients that will help the plant recover quickly. Do not fertilize within the first two months when you have just planted it.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen, there are many causes for your palm to turn yellow. Although these phenomena are common in newly planted palm trees, they will need time to acclimate to the new soil, light, moisture, and other things.

After growing in this location for a long time and getting used to the new environment, they will grow normally and healthy. We hope that this article will help you answer your questions and find the right solutions to treat your palm tree quickly.

Laurie Magnussen

Thursday 7th of March 2024

My landscaper laid black tarp over the surface of the ground around my palm trees so I can’t work my palm tree fertilizer into the soil. Will it feed my palm trees if I just speed it over the tarp? My tree’s leaves are yellow. New growth is green but old growth leaves are bent over, broken, and yellowing. Was my landscaper wrong to lay tarp? Should I tear it all out?