Why Is My Parlor Palm Turning Brown

Since the Victorian era, parlor palms have been a popular indoor plant; in fact, their appeal has endured longer than parlors themselves. These easygoing palms are frustratingly prone to having their leaf tips turn brown even though they are extremely resilient inside. Let’s examine the causes of your Parlor Palm’s brown tips and discuss ways to revive the splendor of those graceful fronds.

Why do the tips of my parlor palm look brown? Brown tips on Parlor Palms are most frequently caused by stress from inadequate lighting or watering. Overfertilization, temperature stress, poor water quality, repotting, or pests are some additional causes. Once the problem is resolved, the plant will look its best with fresh, unblemished leaves.

What can be done to revive a Parlor Palm?

Underwatering or an environment that is excessively dry are the usual causes. But you could also be the culprit if you overwater this plant, causing it to get drenched or waterlogged.

Solution – If the plant is submerged, take it out of its pretty pot and give it a thorough rinse in the sink. Mist frequently to raise moisture levels. If the plant has been overwatered, aerate the soil or just wait until the plant has had a chance to dry out before watering again. It could need to be repotted if it is severely damaged.

Solution: Remove your plant from its attractive pot and give it a good watering in the sink. Alternatively, fertilize sparingly and only once or twice in the spring and summer.

What does a Parlor Palm look like when it’s overwatered?

Unbelievably, overwatering rather than underwatering is a more frequent cause of your Parlor Palm drooping. The cause of everything is root rot, which develops as a result of a plant being consistently overwatered. Your Parlor Palm’s roots will be starved of oxygen and susceptible to opportunistic infections if it is kept in perpetually moist, mucky soil.

An overwatered plant’s foliage will initially begin to turn yellow. This frequently starts in the lower leaves and progresses up the plant, eventually affecting the whole thing. Even when the soil is wet, once the roots begin to wither, they are no longer able to supply the plant with water, and the plant begins to experience drought conditions. Your Parlor Palm’s fronds will begin to wilt and will appear as though it wants a drink badly.

Examine your plant carefully because it usually has yellow, drooping foliage instead of the widespread brown, crispy leaves that you might anticipate from a plant that has been submerged. You might smell root rot, which has an unpleasant stench, and the soil will be damp.

Overwatering is a problem that is not just brought on by excessive watering but also by other elements that lengthen the time soil remains wet. It can take a long time for soil to dry up between waterings if you plant a little plant in a large pot, use soil that doesn’t drain well, or use a pot without drainage holes.

This makes it more likely that your Parlor Palm’s roots will spend a long time in moist, inadequately oxygenated soil, which will cause root rot.

Early detection and prompt action are required to solve this issue. You may cure your overwatered plant or treat root rot by following these procedures.

Plant your Parlor Palm in soil that drains well. A fantastic alternative is a blend of 60% peat, 30% perlite, and 10% compost. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes and select one that is only a few inches broader than the plant.

Must I remove the brown leaves from my palm?

Both too much and not enough water will harm palm trees and cause leaf browning and yellowing.

The majority of palms prefer to have 50% of their soil dry before being irrigated. Always be sure the soil needs water before applying it. Wash the saucer thoroughly, then drain any extra water. Overwatering can cause yellowing and eventually root damage.

When the leaf tips dry out and turn brown, this is a typical issue known as “tipping.” The most frequent culprit is tap water, which has salts, chlorine, fluoride, and other potentially dangerous substances in excess. Use distilled water or rainfall to avoid this.

If you start to see salt buildup as a white crust-like coating on the soil’s surface, you can flush the soil a few times a year. To accomplish this, remove the top layer of dirt and water your palm slowly but liberally with a volume of water that is roughly four times that of your pot. Before repositioning your Palm, allow the water in the pot to completely drain and remove any extra water from the saucer.

Nutrients in the potting soil are replenished by fertilizer, but too much fertilizer can cause leaf tips to become brown and compromise plant health. Only fertilize palm trees in the spring and summer when they are actively growing. Palms that are dormant don’t require more fertilizer. Use palm tree fertilizer at the rate suggested on the box. Keep in mind that more fertilizer is not always better. Never fertilize dry soil because doing so can cause the roots to burn.

Warm temperatures are necessary for palms to thrive. Despite being often kept warm, indoor plants are nonetheless susceptible to cold harm. Plants should be kept away from windows and doors that draft because the cold air can brown the tips of the leaves. In the winter, keep plants away from windows because leaves contacting the glass might freeze and become brown. Avoid placing items directly in an air conditioning vent during the heat.

Throughout the growing season, palms grow new leaves. A palm tree leaf gets dark as it nears the end of its natural life, starting at the tip and continuing until the leaf is entirely brown and falls off. The brown tips are normal and not cause for alarm if only one or two leaves are browning and new foliage is still coming in.

The right way to remove any brown tips from your plant is as follows:

  • Amass your resources. Paper towel, some rubbing alcohol, and a pair of well-kept scissors or pruning shears are all required. (The alcohol wipes included in first-aid kits are excellent!)
  • Before starting and after each cut, wipe the sharp scissors or pruning shears’ blades with rubbing alcohol. The blades should be wetted with water before cutting if you are simply removing brown, crispy leaves that have become that way due to aging, a lack of moisture, or sunburn patches. This will help to avoid damaging vital tissue.
  • At the base, close to the stem, or at the soil, remove any leaves that are completely brown or yellow. Make sure not to tug on the leaves as this could harm the plant’s vital components. Remove only the afflicted section of the leaf if only a portion of it is brown or yellow.

Important: When pruning, take care not to take more than 30% of the entire plant. To avoid removing an excessive amount of leaves at once, you might need to prune in phases.

How often should a Parlor Palm be watered?

Bright, dappled sun to indirect light is ideal for Parlor Palms. Their leaves may burn and scorch if exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time.

Parlor Palm

Weekly waterings are enjoyed by your Parlor Palm. In the winter, when you may only need to water your plant every two weeks, let the soil dry up in between waterings.


Leaning fronds with yellowing tips that are turning brown: demonstrates that your Palm has been submerged.

Browning Leaves: This could be a sign that your plant is not getting enough light or has received too much fertilizer.

How can I tell if my Parlor Palm is on its last legs?

Lots of direct, bright light is preferred by indoor palms. If your location doesn’t have enough light, go with the more adaptive varieties because inadequate lighting is a major contributor to stress. Remember that even animals that can endure lower light levels typically value more.

The brilliance of the sun, however, rapidly decreases with distance. While a skylight over a tall plant can be fantastic, it is insufficient for shorter plants that are much farther away. Over the winter, be aware of the changing seasons and dimming conditions; if necessary, add a grow light.

How can an overwatered Parlor Palm be saved?

When you turn over your pot for indoor palm palms, you can quickly detect whether you’ve overwatered it. Due to the surplus water draining slowly at the base, the bottom of the pot will be wet. Palm trees cannot live in soil that is too compact, too wet, or too dry. Always look to see if the soil is airy, permeable, or chunky.

Here’s how to keep a palm tree from drowning in water:

Treat root rot

Remove the plant from the ground, then wash the roots under running water to treat root rot illness. Try to do this with gentleness. To increase the likelihood that the rotten roots will regrow, cut them off with sharp scissors. The pot should then be properly cleaned with a bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide solution before the soil the palm was in is disposed away.

Repot the palm tree

Before repotting your palm, trim off any mushy roots. Before replanting the remaining stems in fresh soil with new potting mix that is well-draining, allow the stems to dry out for a day. To act as mulch, sprinkle some sand and pea gravel over the soil.

Before replanting, treat the remaining roots and stems with Physan 20 solution.

Place the plant in a shaded area

Because the palm will require less water in a shaded area, moving the plant there assures that it dries out a little. Once it becomes healthy once more, you can relocate it back to its normal lightning location.

To boost soil aeration and water drainage, you may always add a large amount of perlite to potting soil. Additionally, while watering your palms, use rainwater, melted snow, or distilled water rather than tap water. To always keep your potting soil moist, you can also utilize watering globes.

Consider the following helpful palm tree watering advice:

  • Sand should be added to the soil to improve drainage.
  • Before deciding whether to water your plant, check the moisture with a probe or meter. As an alternative, you can dig where the damp root ends using a shovel.
  • Plant succulents or other plants that require the same amount of water as your palms.
  • Don’t always use deep watering.
  • When it’s cold, keep it dry and put it in water.

Tip 1: Not too dark

Although Parlor Palms are regarded as low-light palms, this does not imply “no-light.” Although they prefer bright, filtered light, they can adapt to low light conditions rather well.

Tip 2: Just the right amount of water

Your Parlor Palm prefers to be well-watered before being given some time to dry out. Avoid overwatering it! Less regularly water throughout the winter. Overwatering is frequently indicated by brown leaf tips, while yellow fronds signal that the plant might use a little more water.

Tip 3: Lots of humidity

Extra humidity is beneficial for your Parlor Palm, especially throughout the winter. Mist your plant three to four times per week to keep it clear of dust, which will deter spider mites from attacking it.

Tip 4: Give it a hair cut

Sharp scissors should be used to quickly remove only the brown or yellow leaves as soon as they appear. This helps your plant maintain a healthy appearance and frees up energy for new growth.

Whether you’re a rookie plant parent or expanding your indoor jungle, we want you to have a wonderful experience with your indoor plants. You may always turn to the Grow-HowTM Team for plant care advice. You can get in touch with the Grow-HowTM Team here if you have any queries about plant maintenance, care, or simply need help selecting the best plant.

We want to show you that everyone can enjoy plants and that we love sharing our love of plants with you. Because the Grow-HowTM Team is here to assist, don’t be shy.

How much sun is required for a parlor palm?

Here is a quick overview on what Parlor Palm plants require, along with some advice on how to maintain their health.

Can tolerate low indirect light and thrive in medium to bright indirect light. Unsuitable for direct, hot sunlight. Find out more about these lighting needs.

Water once every two to three weeks, letting the soil dry up in between applications. In brighter light, water more frequently, and in less-bright light, less frequently. Here are some further advice on watering plants.

65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer at home, up to 85 degrees. The Parlor Palm is comfy if you’re comfortable.

When palm leaves become brown, what should you do?

You can just prune the tips if you have any brown tips but the remainder of the leaf appears healthy. Not all of the palm frond needs to be removed!

Trim the leaf’s end to get rid of as much of the brown material as you can while avoiding damaging the leaf’s healthy, green portion. If you cut the green section, the sliced edge will only turn brown. It is better to make your cut right where the browning starts.