Should you be cutting off the brown palm leaves?
As you know, Palm trees are a chic and fresh addition to a modern household, often giving it a tropical look. Even though it's a relatively low-maintenance plant, it still needs a bit of care and attention from your side. Otherwise, you might come across issues like the discoloration of leaves on your plant.
In the following guide, I have shared a few tips on pruning and caring for your palm tree. Let's check them out below!
Should I Cut Off Brown Palm Leaves?
Yes, you can cut off brown leaves on your palm plants.
During the growth phase, all plants shed their leaves. When a palm tree leaves near the end of its life, it turns brown from the tip.
Eventually, it turns completely dark and falls apart. However, the new leaves do spring up in a week or so.
Therefore, it's not necessary to cut off this type of brown leaf from your plant. These leaves will fall off the plant sooner than later.
As for other issues like overwatering and irregular watering, you might see browning of tips on your palm's leaves. In such cases, you can fix the issue by addressing the fundamental problems of watering and sunlight.
Alternatively, you can cut off the leaves altogether. Also, if some of the branches begin to turn brown, you may remove them entirely and wait for the new ones to come up in a few weeks. The same rule applies to discolored yellow or brown leaves.
Note: When you prune such leaves, make sure you keep some of the less discolored leaves on the branch. It will help in limiting the shock of pruning unwanted leaves and branches.
Tips For Cutting Off Brown Palm Leaves
Before we begin the pruning process, here's what you will need -
- Pruning Shears or Blade
- Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner
- Water for cleaning the blades
- Gloves (Not necessary if you enjoy indoor gardening with bare hands)
Clean the sharp blades or sharp shears before and between snips with Scrubbing Bubbles. If you only strip crooked brown leaves due to aging, scarcity of humidity, or sunstroke spots, moisturize the blade with water until slicing.
Things To Remember:
- Do not snip off too many leaves at once, and preferably do it in stages to retain your plant's look.
- Do not cut the stem of the plant and stick to the leaves only.
- Trim the unwanted branches and leaves at a 45-degree angle.
If the leaf hasn't fully turned brown, trimming the affected area should do the job for now. It will also bring back the aesthetic look to your plant.
4 Reasons Why Palm Leaves Turn Brown
Like any other plant, the palm tree develops brown, yellow, or black leaves.
As I mentioned earlier, it happens due to various reasons. So, let's look at some of these reasons in the following section.
1. Irregularities In Watering
Watering a plant is the most important aspect of gardening.
Inadequate or too much watering of the plant is the most common reason for the browning of leaves. So, make sure you water them in limited quantities at regular intervals.
Note: If you're not sure when to water your palm, you can check the soil surface. If it feels dry for ½ or 1 inch, you can water the plant.
2. Lack Of Nutrients In The Soil
Palm plants have a high nutritional requirement.
The soil might lack sufficient nutrients like Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and Magnesium, which are essential for the plant's growth and repair. Therefore, it's quite essential to feed them with an all-purpose fertilizer. You may fertilize every 3-6 months, depending on the size of your plant.
3. Fungus And Pest Issues
Fungal infestation is also a common reason for the browning of palm leaves.
They treat the tree as a host to supply food, weakening the plants and leading to brown or dead leaves and branches. Pest infestation with bugs and spiders might be another cause of this issue.
So, you need to keep an eye on these issues if you want to see lush green growth in your indoor palm plant.
4. Sunlight And Seasonal Changes
You might have placed the plant in an area with an overabundance of sunlight or heat, which might be drying it out. Or it might just be a regular seasonal change, and the plant might be shedding older leaves.
Your plant's leaves turning brown is a sign that it's not getting the care it deserves and that it needs to be looked after.
If the leaves are drying out, providing them with sufficient water should be your top priority. The soil should always be a little moist but not too wet.
There should also be a hole at the bottom of the pot, as it helps in draining out excess water from the soil. Avoid keeping the plant in a hot area as that might be drying it out, and do not expose it to too much sunlight as indoor plants are often quite delicate.
Leaves that have turned completely brown are dead and will not turn green again.
The plant will shed such leaves, and new leaves will take their place with time. But with leaves that are yellow or incompletely brown, not all hope is lost.
Carefully investigate and determine the reason behind the discoloration and put your plants on a path to recovery with proper care.
Yes, overwatering is often the cause behind the improper growth of your plant.
Use the finger test to check for overwatering. Put a finger in the soil, and it should feel moist. If it feels wet, you're overwatering your plants.
The soil under the plant should always be a little moist.
You should water a fully grown plant twice a week or when the top inch of soil is dry. A newly planted Palm tree should be watered daily for the first month and then gradually reduced the number to twice or thrice a week.
Note: Excessive watering can damage the plant.
Barbara Davus says
Thanks for the tips. I’ve just bought two palms and want to look after them.
You're welcome! Hope you enjoy your new palms! 🙂