Palm Plant Turning Yellow

Majesty palms are renowned for their easy-going nature and ability to add a relaxed, tropical vibe to any space, whether indoors or outdoors. However, even these low-maintenance plants can encounter health problems. One common issue that palm owners often face is yellowing of the leaves. In this article, we will guide you through the process of identifying and addressing the causes of yellowing in majesty palms, helping you restore your plant’s health and beauty.

Identifying the Cause of Yellowing Leaves

When you notice yellowing fronds or stems on your majesty palm, it’s time to play detective and determine the underlying cause. Yellowing can be attributed to a variety of factors, including improper watering, inadequate light conditions, nutrient deficiencies, pests, and low humidity.

Soil Moisture Levels

Checking the moisture level of the soil is a crucial step in diagnosing the cause of yellowing leaves. Both overwatering and underwatering can lead to yellowing. To determine if your plant is thirsty, assess the moisture level by using your finger or a moisture meter. If the soil feels dry just a few days after watering, it’s a sign that your palm might need a drink. Conversely, if the soil remains excessively wet a week after watering, it could indicate poor drainage or compacted potting mix.

Maintaining Soil Moisture

If you discover that watering and soil moisture are the culprits, ensure that your pot and soil allow for proper drainage. Additionally, adjust your watering routine accordingly.

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Watering Schedule for Majesty Palm

Majesty palms prefer consistent moisture but dislike completely drying out. As a general rule, water your palm thoroughly when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch or when a moisture meter reads 3-4.

Determining Frequency

Rather than adhering to a strict watering schedule, pay attention to your plant’s needs by regularly checking the moisture level. If your palm is potted in well-draining soil and receives a thorough watering, you can generally water it every 7-10 days. Bottom watering can also be effective, especially if you tend to overwater.

Light Requirements

Insufficient or excessive light can also contribute to yellowing fronds. Majesty palms thrive in bright, indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours per day. Ideally, place your palm near a sunny east-facing window. If direct sunlight is limited, a south- or west-facing window that provides indirect light is also suitable.

Evaluate your palm’s light conditions throughout the day and consider relocating it to a spot with better lighting if needed. In situations where natural sunlight is insufficient, supplement with a full-spectrum grow light.

Beware of Direct Sunlight

Interestingly, too much direct sunlight from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. can cause yellowing as well. If you observe sun-stressed or scorched leaves, move your plant to a more suitable location.


Majesty palms originate from the tropical banks of rivers and appreciate a fairly humid environment. If your palm’s fronds are turning yellow with crispy brown tips, it may indicate a lack of humidity.

Increase humidity levels by using a humidifier or placing your palms together to raise the ambient humidity through their collective respiration. Misting the leaves is also an effective way to provide hydration.

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Mist with Care

If you choose to mist your palm, do so between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., making sure to mist both the tops and undersides of the leaves. The majority of the stomata, or “pores,” that absorb moisture are located on the underside of the leaf. However, exercise caution as excessive misting can promote fungal growth and bacterial spread. Avoid misting if your plant shows signs of a fungal condition like powdery mildew and consider using a gentle fan to improve airflow.


Majesty palms require adequate nutrients for chlorophyll production and overall health. If your palm’s light, water, and humidity conditions are satisfactory but yellowing persists, it may be time to provide additional vitamins and minerals.

Liquid fertilizers are effective in providing the necessary nutrients. Regularly fertilize during the spring and summer when your palm is most likely to experience active growth. Avoid fertilizing during the late fall and winter when dormancy occurs.

Pests and Disease

Insects can also lead to yellowing leaves in majesty palms. Household pests such as spider mites and mealybugs are common intruders that feed on the plant’s juices, causing leaves to turn yellow.

Treating Infestations

To eliminate these pests, begin by manually removing them from your plant using a kitchen sprayer or shower head. Rinse your plant thoroughly, ensuring that the bugs are not washed into the soil. For mealybugs, you can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to detach them from the leaves.

Follow up by treating your palm with diluted neem oil or Leaf Armor spray. Repeat the treatment if necessary. If the problem persists, consider using a gentle insecticidal soap. Always carefully read and follow the instructions on the product label.

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FAQ: Why Is My Majesty Palm Turning Yellow

FAQ: Should I cut yellow leaves off majesty palm?
Yes! Removing yellowed leaves redirects your plant’s energy towards new growth.

FAQ: Can yellow palm leaves turn green again?
Unfortunately, once a leaf turns yellow, it cannot revert to green. Removing yellow leaves is recommended, as they are a drain on the plant and will eventually drop off.

Majesty palms are undeniably beautiful and relatively easy to care for, but yellowing leaves can be a cause for concern. By promptly identifying and addressing the underlying issues, you can restore your majesty palm’s health, ensuring it regains its former glory.

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