Bella Palm turns yellow


I have Bella Palm for a couple of years. Used to be very good but it turned yellow (and even kind of white at the centre of some leaves) in the past two months or so. I applied plant food spike (13-4-5) two weeks ago but it didn’t help. (I repotted another Bella Palm a month ago but it didn’t help either.) Plant is placed in north-facing windowsill. What goes wrong? Does Bella Palm have a life span?


Thank you for your question for Toronto Master Gardeners.

Your bella palm (botanical name, Chamaedorea elegans) is known by the common names of parlor palm and neanthe bella palm. The literature does not indicate a life-span for this plant other than reaching its full height in 10 to 20 years (indoor height of 4 feet). From your photo, it is not possible to identify the actual cause for what looks like its general decline. While this is an easy to maintain plant, it can be affected by pests common to most houseplants. Your actions to help your palm are consistent with its growing needs in terms of light, feeding and repotting. Its decline in a 2 month period and its general appearance would suggest an insect pest. Bella palm is susceptible to spider mites, scale and thrips (RHS, 2020). Your next step would be to identify if there is an insect pest and then to treat it. Spider mites leave tiny webs between the leaf and stem and may be seen moving on the underside of the leaves. You might want to refer to the following link which suggests a method to treat spider mites and provides additional resources.