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Ailing indoor palm

We have an indoor palm which looks like a tree fern only it is a palm. It is dying — the fronds firstly get brown edges and then the whole thing drys out. It sounds like not enough water, I know, but we are in Auckland and in the middle of winter the soil of the palm has been quite OK to touch — not dry. There are no visible bugs.


From your description, I think this is a Parlour Palm. Is this palm in a room with artificial heating, particularly gas, or a dehumidifier? Palms enjoy moist, humid air. Mist the leaves regularly with water or place pebbles in the pot saucer and keep topped up with water which will raise the humidity around the plant. Keep the potting mix moist, but not wet.

Palour palms tolerate low light conditions; avoid placing in direct sunlight as this will cause the leaves to burn, especially if it is through glass.

When repotting your palm use a quality potting mix which contains controlled release fertiliser and has good drainage. Soil compacts down, depriving the plant of oxygen around the roots and will cause the symptoms you describe.

It is natural for the lower leaves of palms to turn brown and shrivel up. Remove them with sharp scissors.

Take your palm outside and give it a good soaking, and regularly mist the leaves.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

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