Majesty Palm


I bought a majesty palm around 3 months ago. It was very healthy, but after being left outside in direct sun and heavy winds, I found it to be fallen over on the ground the next day. I moved it to a different location but it fell over another 2 times. Eventually I brought it back inside. One day, I noticed that the middle “stem” part looked decayed with a brown spot and had broken off. I dont know how this happened but I discarded it. Its watered only once every week thoroughly but the leaves are misted every couple of days. Ever since these events, I’ve noticed that the tips of its leaves have been browning/yellowing. It’s placed away from the air went, but still close to a big window where it can get light. Palm has been given the miracle gro houseplant fertilizer as the palm only fertilizer is not available where I live. I gave it 6 small spikes as it’s a big plant. Lastly, it has been repotted with potting soil mix for palms.


I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with your new Palm, it certainly sounds as if your Majesty palm Ravenea rivularis  is under some stress.  Many people assume that all palms enjoy hot sunny locales , such as the ones we see at seaside resorts, but truthfully there are only a handful of the palm family that can tolerate such conditions.  The palm family Palmae is a huge one, consisting  of almost 3000 species.  Most of these palms come from tropical regions and can be found sheltering in shaded spots away from the intense sun.  They can tolerate only two or three hours a day of direct sun, but coupled with that they need very high humidity.  Although the humidity in Toronto has been extremely high of late, there have also been high winds.  These winds are notorious for drying plants out, and this factor coupled with the fact that your palm was in full sun is the reason your plant is so unhappy.

The good news is that it sounds like you are on the right track for recovering your Majesty Palm.  You are doing all of the right things; bringing your plant inside, and keeping it in bright but not direct light, keeping it away from drafts, and  keeping it watered, misted and properly fed.  But it will take some time for your plant to recover.  You mentioned that you re-potted the plant recently. Although  this is generally a good thing, re-potting does add an extra layer of stress to your plant.  Palms produce thick fleshy roots as well as fine, hair like roots.   These fine roots are pretty hardy and regrow quickly, but extra care must be taken with the thick roots,  as damaging these roots will cause your plant to suffer and pause any growth for a while.  Now that your plant is in its new pot, growing in the correct planting soil, I would hold off re-potting for at least 2 to 3 years.   I am hoping that your plant’s new container has proper drainage, since  it is terribly important that water drains away completely and although you should never let the soil dry out completely, you should never have your plant sitting in soggy, waterlogged soil.  I would also remove some of those fertilizer spikes.  Of course, you want to feed your plant with proper nutrients, but fertilizer also encourages new growth, and right now you just need your plant to rest and recover.  Please also completely stop the fertilizer once fall arrives, however  you can start up again in spring when your beautiful palm will be ready to flourish.  Keep up all the good practices, and best of luck with your palm.

I have included a link to the Toronto Master Gardener’s guide to growing houseplants, I hope this can be of some help to you.