Majesty palms are great as houseplants. They provide lush green color to the aesthetic of your current house color. Not only that, but they can provide a bit of freshness and a tropical flair to make the room feel a bit lighter.
But there are times where those Majesty palms can begin to lose their green color and turn a shade of yellow or brown.
This can not only be a frustration as it takes away from the beautiful green coloring that they are known for but it can actually be due to several issues that could result in the plant being unable to survive.
Why Does the Majesty Palm Turn Yellow or Brown?
When you begin to notice that the palm is changing in color, there are likely a couple of potential causes. The first is that your Majesty palm has an improper light source.
They need intermittent sunlight — direct sunlight will wind up causing a burn — in order keep the plant healthy and growing.
It is important to find an area in your home that will have adequate lighting without being overexposed. This is what will keep your palm healthy, allowing for greater long-term survival as well as keeping the coloring at that vibrant green that we have all become accustomed to.
If lighting doesn’t seem to be the issue, it could be a matter of moisture. In order to maintain its healthy green appearance, the Majesty palm needs to have consistent moisture in the soil.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the soil somewhat damp on a continuous basis. If it gets dried out from underwatering, it could lead to the yellowing/browning of the leaves, among other issues.
A lack of nutrients can also be a cause of withering, browning, or yellowing leaves. Majesty palms are not the same as some other plants where you can throw some dirt in a pot and watch it grow.
They need the benefit of fertilizer in order to properly grow and maintain their coloring. Without proper fertilization, they will struggle to get the amount of nutrients that they need to continue their growth and to keep their green coloring.
Pests are also a major point of concern not just for Majesty palms but for many different kinds of plants. The frustrating thing is that different pests can have an attraction to different plants so there is no universal remedy for getting rid of them. It all depends on the plant that you have.
Spider mites and mealybugs are the biggest pests when it comes to Majesty palms. These are sap-sucking bugs and they will drain the moisture out of the plant. This is what causes that yellow color to become apparent in the leaves.
If you don’t deal with the pest problem as soon as you notice it, these pests can set up shop in the palm and begin to flourish, moving along the entire plant. They tend to also thrive when the plant has not gotten adequate sunshine or nutrients.
What Can Fix the Problem?
Now that we know the problem with Majesty palms and their yellowing or browning leaves, it is time to implement a fix that will keep your plant healthy, vibrant, and as green as ever.
Of course, the fix depends on the issue at hand so it is important to take a good look at your Majesty palm before making a decision on how to alleviate the problem.
If light is the issue, the fix is quite simple: put it near a sunny window or another area that gets plenty of light. More often than not, this will result in ample sunlight getting to the Majesty palm, allowing it to stay healthy and green.
But keep an eye on the spot you put it in. If there is too much light, it will burn the leaves and you will end up doing more damage to the Majesty palm than anything else.
Underwatering can also be a common issue with Majesty palms developing yellowing or browning leaves. The key here is that you want the soil to remain consistently damp, never allowing it to fully dry. This is because the palm originates along rivers and streams.
Make certain that you have a pot with drainage holes. This is to allow the excess water to escape.
If that water stays in the soil and oversaturates it, it can actually drown out the roots and cause them to rot. A good rule of thumb is that too much of anything is likely a bad thing.
If your plant begins to dry out, usually beginning at the tips and going down into the leaves, this will result in the browning of the leaves. If the leaves are yellow, however, that is a good indication that the soil is too saturated with moisture.
One thing that you may not have realized about Majesty palms is that they can be impacted by the air itself. Those living in drier climates need to water their palms more often because there is no moisture in the air for the plant to absorb.
Living in a more humid climate is quite good for the Majesty palm. This allows it to absorb the moisture in the air, keeping the soil and leaves hydrated and green in color. Even if you live in a drier climate, there are solutions to be had.
Humidifiers can be a great tool for those living in drier climates. They will not only keep moisture in the air for the palm to absorb but they will keep the palm protected from any cold, dry air. A drier climate can damage your palm but you can allow it to recover if it is tended to right away.
If a humidifier is not something that you have access to, there is an alternative: using a humidity tray. You will want a shallow, wide container so that you can fill it with either sand or gravel as well as some water. Set the Majesty palm pot on top of the sand or gravel so the plant can remain near the water line.
As the water in the tray evaporates, it will go into the air that is now right around the fronds of the majesty palm. Just make sure that you keep the tray filled with water after some of it evaporates out and into the plant.
Living in a humid climate can keep the pests at bay for the most part. Even if there are some that persist, mist your Majesty palm with water on a regular basis and make sure that you wipe the undersides of the leaves.
Doing so with a moist rag can help to keep spider mites away and avoid big problems between the pests and your leaves.
Lastly, you will want to use a general houseplant fertilizer in the pot of your Majesty palm. Replace it every two or three months during spring and summer in order to ensure that it is properly fed.
During the cooler months of the year, you won’t need to fertilize your Majesty palm at all.
Repotting and Pruning
One of the most important factors for healthy growth in your Majesty palm is to ensure that it has the space that it needs. You want to avoid potential overcrowding of the palm to promote steady growth. When the time comes, typically every other year or so, you will want to repot your palm.
It doesn’t have to be an overly big upgrade; when repotting your Majesty palm, it should only increase in size by two inches or so each time. You will know when it is time to repot when you begin to see the root showing up on the top of the soil.
Pruning is also a good way to keep your Majesty palm healthy. It can also help to keep overgrowth from becoming an issue too. Even better, it is easy to do so there is no excuse for keeping your Majesty palm neat and trimmed.
All you have to do is to cut off any of the fronds that have turned yellow or brown. Not only does this create a better overall aesthetic for the plant but it creates space in which new fronds can grow.
A few yellow or brown fronds here and there is normal and not necessarily indicative of a problem; you can just prune those away. But a lot of yellowing or browning can mean that there is a major problem in one of the aforementioned areas.
There are many different reasons why your Majesty palm may be experiencing yellowing or browning leaves. Thankfully, there are also many different solutions to those problems.
Keeping your Majesty palm healthy and tropical doesn’t have to be a major task but it does take time and attention.
Keep your Majesty palm looking great and providing a natural, tropical aspect to your home with a little tender love and care.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.