5 Common Kentia Palm Problems and How to Resolve Them

Kentia palm plants are among the best houseplants in the United States when it comes to caring for them. However, as with everything else, they also come with challenges and potential downsides. Despite the low maintenance costs, they can bring about significant worry in your life.

With Kentia’s palm, underwatering often stands out as the primary issue, but it doesn’t end here. There are a few more issues that you may face.

Here are the five common problems you can encounter with the plant.


Yes, you read it right. Overwatering is a problem most people never recognize as one. Kentia palm isn’t the only plant that suffers due to it. However, it is among the most common problems that pose a threat to its life.

It’s important to note that these plants don’t require much care. This also stands true for their watering schedule. Water them only when required, and you’ll save yourself from the misery of seeing them die.

Furthermore, make sure to mist your plant to avoid dust build-up. Dust is often at the core of most problems that occur in the long run. It’s hard to determine when you’ve overwatered your plant, but doing it can trigger the roots to rot. Furthermore, you’ll also notice that the plant isn’t as capable of drawing water as fast as it used to.

How to Resolve It

The first step is determining whether your Kentia palm plant even needs watering. The best way to do it is to check the soil frequently. Place your finger on the top layer; if it feels dry, that’s a sign it needs watering.

On the other hand, if there seems to be enough moisture, leave the plant alone. It’s best to get a misting spray bottle so you can help it get the same humidity that it did in its natural environment. Misting sprays don’t only keep the humidity intact, but they also stop spider mites from infesting the plant.


When it comes to Kentia palm, underwatering is a significant problem. Like overwatering causes the roots to rot, underwatering makes them yellow and brittle, eventually causing them to die.

The leaves become dry in no time, and the stems also start bending. In fact, watching the posture of its stems is the best way to determine whether the plants need watering.

How to Resolve It

Again, checking on the plant daily is a crucial part of the job. You can tell whether your plant’s health is improving or deteriorating through thorough checks. Don’t expect it to improve on its own because even a single spell of overwatering or underwatering can cause it to wilt and die.

Keep an eye on the changing shape and color of the plant. Ideally, you should set a watering schedule so you don’t have trouble recalling the last time you watered them.


Mold can mean two things. Either you’re overwatering the plant, or it’s not getting the required amount of light. Seeing mold grow on the soil is undoubtedly an unpleasant experience. You do not want it in any corner of your house.

While prevention is crucial and certainly better than cure, once the mold has formed, there isn’t much you can do about it. Remove it as soon as you notice it so it doesn’t spread further.

How to Resolve It

The best strategy here is to remove mold from the soil’s surface. Attempt to remove at least the first two inches of the layer before you replace it with new soil.

Following this, you want to place it carefully so the plant receives adequate light. However, environmental shock is also a risk associated with it, so do not place it directly in front of the sunlight.

Make sure the room or the area you place it in is well-ventilated and bright so the plant can easily take in all the light it needs. The solution to the problem of overwatering is simple.

Cut down on it and check the bottom of the pot. This way, you’ll know whether it’s draining sufficiently or not. It is by far the best way to prevent the problem of mold forming on the soil ultimately.

To ensure that the spores don’t spread on the soil, you must place the plant to get adequate sunlight. Most problems can easily be avoided or taken care of by placing the plant in the right spot and following a strict watering schedule.


Among the most notorious of insects are plant-scale insects. They are known for sucking plant sap, causing them to wilt and die. Even though they’re tiny, they can grow up to become even more dangerous.

It’s primarily because of their hard armored shell to protect themselves. They can easily attach themselves to a kentia palm plant and suck all of its sap.

The damage it causes is very apparent and can significantly harm your plant. You will notice the leaves turning yellow, eventually becoming mottled and falling off.

How to Resolve It

It’s important to check each leaf of the plant thoroughly because it doesn’t take long for it to get infested by insects. The goal is to prevent an outbreak. So, start by looking for white marks on the plant. The white raised marks, more often than not, plant scale insects.

Start by pulling them off by hand or by using alcohol-soaked cotton buds. If you’ve diagnosed the problem earlier, prune the infected part of the plant to prevent the infestation from spreading further.

You can also avoid the problem by providing your plant with enough indirect sunlight right from the start. Similarly, avoid overwatering it and place it in a pot that facilitates draining. The key is to look out for the changing color of the leaves and any abnormal changes in the plant’s growth.

Red Spider Mites

It’s hard to spot them at first because red spider mites leave their cobwebs before they appear. So, the deal is to spot their sticky cobwebs on the plant.

While they’re tiny in size, they can cause significant damage to your plant. In some cases, the damage may even be irreversible.

Getting rid of them is tough, especially if you leave them untreated for a long time. They can take out enough liquid from the plant that the inevitable result is death.

How to Resolve It

Since these mites hate humidity and water, it isn’t easy to get rid of them. However, you can shower your plant at least once a week to remove a huge chunk of them. Due to these requirements, kentia palm plants grow best in the US states of Florida and Hawaii.

If you mist the plant between shower sessions, you may notice the mites gone after a few weeks. There are also certain chemicals available to destroy these little terrors.

In most cases, they will be your best bet to get rid of them. However, they aren’t organic, so you may want to stick to showering the plant. Now that we know what kills spider mites, it’s better not to let them infest the plant at all.

Water the plant enough (not too much) and keep the humidity levels high, and you’ll avoid this ugly confrontation altogether. Ideally, you should also regularly shower and mist your Kentia palm.

All in all, kentia palms are undeniably an excellent addition to your plant family mainly because of their impressive growth ability. They can be a little challenging to care for as indoor plants, but even with a tad bit of attention daily, you will be able to grow them effortlessly.

Are Brown Leaves Always a Sign of an Infestation?

In short, no. While brown color can be a sign of a plethora of problems, it is usually due to the fronds growing old. In a way, it is a good thing because old fronds are eventually replaced by newer growth.

You may notice it happening over the course of a few days or even weeks. However, don’t worry because, in most cases, the discoloration only affects a single front. You should only be concerned if the browning is widespread.

American Plant Exchange Areca Palm 3G Pot 38-32" Tall

Wrapping Up!

In conclusion, tons of problems could arise if you don’t look after your Kentia palm. Underwatering, overwatering, spider mites, and insect infestation are only some of the many issues that emerge due to lack of care.

From checking the soil frequently to following a strict watering schedule, there are several ways to ensure that your Kentia palm plants stay healthy. Keep them away from direct sunlight, and check on the pot to ensure that water is draining correctly. Attentiveness to detail and consistent care are what allow them to flourish.

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