Why Is My Kentia Palm Dying?

Kentia palms, scientifically known as Howeaforsteriana, are a common houseplant in the US, especially in Hawaii and Florida. The plants thrive in the hardiness zones that are nine and above. Due to the aesthetic vibe, they are well-loved by the plant owners.

However, it isn’t easy to maintain a plant if you don’t know the correct way to care for it. Many people ask why my Kentia Palm is dying or my Kentia Palm is drooping. Well, it is evident that plants are susceptible to the environment they are provided or the food they are given, so if your palm plant is dying or drooping or changing colors, then there is something wrong with how you are taking care of it.

Yet, there are many ways to revive it if you can find the exact cause of the drooping. We have listed below the reasons why Kentias droop or die, so give it a read, and then you can identify the problem with your plant.

Kentia Palm - Live Plant in an 6 Inch Growers Pot - Howea Forsteriana - Extremely Rare and Elegant Palm from Florida

Why Is My Kentia Palm Dying?

Kentia palms are these broad, intense green plants that have blade-style leaves. They are typically found indoors and can be considerably easier to maintain than outside palm trees; however, that does not imply they are always in perfect condition.

The more informed you are about the various factors leading Howea palms to begin dying, the more ready you will be to spot them and possibly save your cherished plant.

The following are the leading causes of a Kentia palm drooping:

  1. Watering (Over or Under)
  2. excessive direct light
  3. extreme temperature ranges
  4. lack of mist or humidity in the air
  5. infections and pests
  6. buildup of salt
  7. transplantation shock
  8. Overfertilization

In this post, we will explain all these reasons and their solutions in detail below.

Reason 1: Watering (Over or Under)

The first reason your Kentia Palm may droop is that no proper amount of water reaches the roots. There are two main issues with the watering: one, it could be too excessive, or two, too less. A plant can thrive in optimum water content, which is ample enough for survival.

A plant’s roots may suffocate by excessive watering, killing it. Underwatering, on the contrary, causes the plant to dry out and prevents it from receiving the necessary nutrients and water.

The soil must always be somewhat moist for kentia palms to grow. Kentia palms cannot survive in dry soil but also detest wet soil.

Additionally, attempt to hydrate your Howea plants with soft water. Also, the water should not be freezing. Since ice water can harm them, it is better to use water around 80 F (27 ℃).

Reason 2: Excessive Direct Light

There is a great difference between direct UV rays of the sun hitting a plant and a bright outdoor spot where the light is scattered. Kentia palms love the second category of light; they can only survive in scattered light. Placing the plant outdoors in a partially shaded region can stop them from drooping.

If you have Kentia palms inside the house, ensure they are not in front of a window that gets direct sunlight. Apart from the fact that direct light rays are harmful to the plant, the window glass will sharpen the beams and make them more focused, which will cause plant burns, significantly if you have watered them. The water will further accelerate the burning.

Kentia Palm - Live Plant in a 4 Inch Growers Pot - Howea Forsteriana - Beautiful Clean Air Indoor Outdoor Houseplant

Reason 3: Extreme Temperature Ranges

Howea palms need relatively warm temperatures to survive and grow in any place. They frequently thrive in room conditions, so leaving them outdoors in cooler weather may not be ideal and result in limping or decaying.

Ensure the Kentia palm is kept in an area with temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the growing season (20-24°C). All year long, these conditions are perfect for Kentia palms. Winter weather tends to make the night range from 64 to 68 F (18-20 °C).

Yet, Kentia palms can withstand drops in temperature ranging from 54 to 61 F (12–16°C); however, this is not advised and must only be temporary if necessary. Please remember that baby Kentia palms with fewer leaves have a substantially lower likelihood of surviving significantly lower temperature ranges. However, if they are older, for example, at five years, they can easily survive in the cold.

Similarly, Kentia palms should not be exposed to extreme heat or direct sunshine since this may cause them to dry up and droop. Instead, move them indoors or to another room as needed.

Reason 4: Lack Of Mist Or Humidity In The Air

Although you don’t want to overdo it and make the air overly damp, the palms need humidity, and too little of it might harm the plant.

Your Howea palm may not be receiving adequate humidity if you observe brown tips on its leaves or drooping of the once erect leaves. Instead of misting the plants, which is a short-term fix, consider using a humidifier or relocating the Howea plants to the bathroom or kitchen.

Reason 5: Fungal Infections and Pests

The two pests most frequently responsible for harming Kentia palms are mealybugs and spider mites. The injured regions of a palm plant turn brown whenever there is an insect infestation there. In addition, spider mites produce visible webs and lay visible eggs under a microscope. The bugs’ reddish-brown appearance makes them easier to see.

How do you handle a bug invasion? Since the infection always spreads to the plants with more nutritional value, start by removing the unhealthy plants from the vicinity of the healthy plants. After that, remove the damaged and dead parts of the sick palms.

Next, try a pesticide or anti-mite spray on a tiny portion of the plant; if no negative effects are seen while being watched, spray the entire plant. Neem oil can be used in plants to repel insects if you reside in a region where pest problems are common.

Kentia Palm - Live Plant in an 6 Inch Growers Pot - Howea Forsteriana - Extremely Rare and Elegant Palm from Florida

Do this a couple of times more to get rid of all the pests. Neem oil, an organically produced extract from the neem tree, is safe for use around helpful insects like bees.

A notable difference between the yellow rings surrounding the brown spots and fungal infections may be seen; the spots are also larger. A fungicide or any homemade remedy employing baking soda or castile soap would take care of the fungus infection. The natural cure may not completely get rid of the fungus, but it can stop it from spreading.

Reason 6: Buildup of Salt

Salts will eventually accumulate in the soil if you water your Howea palm with water that is heavy in mineral salts. Nevertheless, there are a lot of places where the tap water is quite salty, which over time can harm and droop Kentia palms.

The best way to prevent salt accumulation is to take the Kentia plant, give it a warm shower once in a while, and soak it in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then drain the plant, all the salt will be out in the water, and the plant will be neutralized.

A thorough shower once every three to four months can help clear the Howea leaves’ surface and improve airflow. It will also aid in removing extra minerals from the soil, especially any that may have accumulated due to fertilizers.

Reason 7: Transplantation shock

The transplant shock is the final significant factor causing the drooping of leaves. The roots are always disrupted when a plant is moved to new soil, which sends the plant into shock. Avoid often switching out the pots to avoid this; doing so inhibits the plant’s growth and sends it into shock, which turns the leaves brown and limp.

Since the Howea palms require little to no repotting, and as they age, even less. You can repot your Kentia palm once a year if it is young (below 5 years old). Repot your Kentia palms every two to three years if they are older than 5.

Repotting your Kentia palm should only be done in the spring because doing so at some other season of the year may cause it to become weak and floppy.

Why Is My Kentia Palm Dying
Why Is My Kentia Palm Dying

Reason 8: Overfertilization

Kentia palms require light fertilization to avoid drooping and dying of plants due to weak leaves and roots. Depending on the fertilizer, you can typically fertilize the Howea palm once every 1-4 weeks during the growing season. Use a fertilizer, or any other liquid, that releases the fertilizer slowly. There are many fertilizers made exclusively for fronds or houseplants.

Winter is the time to cease fertilizing, but if you want to, you can feed it every two to three months. To avoid burning the plant and its roots, always abide by the instructions on the packaging. Due to oxygen deficiency, damaged roots appear yellowing or browning foliage.

When this happens, many palm owners avoid continuing to fertilize because they think their palms need more nutrients. Also, the plant will eventually die if the roots are damaged and you keep watering them.

Wrapping Up

The problems mentioned here are the leading causes of why your palm plant may be dying or drooping. If your palm plant is showing any of these symptoms, the solutions for each problem mentioned above can help you revive the plant.

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