Kentia Palm Leaves Turning Brown: Causes & Fixes

Kentia palm completes the mission of eye-pleasing the garden or indoor ambient. It gives that tropical vibe and the best part about planting is being low-maintenance. Plus, as a nice bonus besides low-maintenance is not being poisonous, so your adorable pets and children are safe.  

In the native habitat, the kentia palm is able to withstand almost any type of temperature level till 25°F. The sophisticated plant can reach up to 30 feet tall.

Important Note: The brown leaves in kentia palm won’t get back to the vibrant green as they used to. Sadly, you gonna have to say goodbye and trim them off.

The deep green foliage unfortunately can turn yellow and break the spell of beauty. Early diagnosis, in this case, can’t save up those yellow foliage, but at least can prevent the spreading thoroughly.  

Why Kentia Palm Leaves Turning Brown, What’s the Matter?

To find out the cause, you need to make a close examination of the plant. Kentia palm foliage turns yellow or brown because of extreme hours of direct sunlight, excessive fertilization, and the lack of potassium. Watering and possible diseases are other issues to consider.

If the tips of the kentia plant have turned yellow, maybe the humidity of the room is very low. Plus, if the plant started to droop and the leaves are brown is a sign of wrong potting. 

Behind the Curtain of Kentia Palm Leaves Turning Brown

Disease and Pests

Pests that love to live in the undersides of the plants over time damage the leaves and it is possible to turn the leaves brown. This happens because you missed the checking and didn’t provide the needed care.

The most common pest type are spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. These insects will probably be the death of the plant because it causes root rotting. 

Inadequate Watering

You cannot apply the same watering frequency during peak heat and cool days. Obviously, water evaporates faster when the weather is hot and if the sunlight exposure is higher than needed, the soil dries up. 

As a result of the dry soil, the leaves start to turn yellow and eventually brown. 

Not Enough Sunlight Exposure

Kenia plants are known for their slow growth. So direct harsh sunlight burns the leaves and turns them brown. Remember, kentia is a thirsty plant, the more light it gets, the more it requires. 

Dry Air & Cold Temperature

As I mentioned previously, the natural habitat of the kentia plant is the South Pacific region between Australia and New Zealand. These regions as you can guess are hot.

To spot if the dry air or cold temperature turned the leave color brown, check the crispiness and if they split. 

Excessive Fertilization

Fertilize the dry kentia plant over the soil for petty much 30 feet from the trunk. A 3-4 times a year is enough, no more than that because the leaves will immediately react to excessiveness. As you already know that early diagnosis in this plant is critical since you can’t revive the brown leaves, you must protect it even more.  

Yes, the kentia plant needs fertilization especially potassium (they tend to be prone to lack of potassium). Feed the container or pot regarding the size with an NPK ratio of 3-1-2.

How to deal with Brown Leaves in Kentia Plant?

Get Rid of Pests by…

  • Taking off manually the pests if you got the nerve. Get a damp cloth and wipe them off, but gently, because you have no right to disturb and stress this beauty. It didn’t deserve that. The more stressed the leaves, the more likely the brown shades are spread.
  • Spraying the foliage with isopropyl alcohol and insecticidal soap for the utmost 3-4 days a week. No worries, keep repeating the process, you cannot cause any more harm. 
  • Act like government during the covid crisis. Put the kentia plant on lockdown for a couple of weeks with new soil. 
  • Do not cut a single leaf until you are 100% sure about their goodbye.

Fixing the Kentia Plant from Overwatering & Underwatering

For god’s sake, the kentia plant is all right with Australian and New Zealand heat let alone other countries. So, it’s pretty much drought-tolerant, you can elicit this clearly I guess.

To prevent overwatering or underwatering water the soil when it’s dry, and if the location of the plant is indoors, then most probably the soil will dry up quicker.

Only 1 inch of topsoil should be moistened and weekly watering looks all right. 

Poor Drainage, Insufficient Sunlight & Cold Temperature

In case your indoor plant doesn’t get enough sunlight, it will need less water. So, the water sits in the root for longer and causes root rot. Plus, also the poor drainage will do the same damage. 

As a professional gardener, it is my duty to tell you to keep the environment humid, get good drainage, and place it somewhere near the window, but avoid direct sunlight (a slight shade is needed especially in the afternoon). 

As for the cold temperature, keep it between 64-75°F which is a normal room temperature.

How to Revive the Brown Leaves?

You may not like the answer, but cutting them off is the only choice. They are dead and cannot be brought back to life.

It’s pretty easy to identify the problem and act accordingly in the beginning stages. Keep in mind that the leaves of the kentia plant can be caused by more than one reason.

A Brief Recap 

Without any doubt, kentia plants are the most elegant indoor and outdoor plants. Plus, the low maintenance is making the plant even more adorable.

Brown leaves are the result of your lack of care or excessive care. Either way, you can spot the problem beforehand and act accordingly. 

The top responsible fact for the brown leaves is poor drainage, insufficient sunlight, and cold temperatures. 

Further Reading

Imma have to stop you right there. If you can encounter the same issues with other plants, check out other articles on the related topics. Find out the causes and fixes of the basil plant’s brown leaves and in case your adorable camellia leaves are turning yellow.

The super beneficial cucumber leaves are turning yellow as well, read the article to know what you can do.



Aurora Hansen

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