Palm with yellow leaves: What should I do with this?


I got this from IKEA last month. It has already yellow leaves on the bottom part.
How can I deal with this?


Dear Gardener

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about the lower yellow leaves of your palm. From your image and where it was purchased, it appears that your palm is a Chamaedorea elegans, common names – parlor palm or neanthe bella palm. This low maintenance palm, native to the southeastern Mexican and Guatemalan rainforests, requires medium moisture and indirect light.

The yellowing leaf may be due to a potassium deficiency which is common in palms. Fertilize only two or three times a year during active growth (Spring and Summer) with a slow-release palm fertilizer with macronutrients formula of 12-4-12 or 8-2-12. To maintain a healthy plant, the fertilizer should contain micronutrients, such as iron, manganese, zinc, boron and copper. Fertilize only two to three times a year while the plant is actively growing during the spring and summer months.

Watering issues and pest problems can result in yellow leaves. A common pest is spider mites. A magnifying glass is necessary to identify any insects which may damage the leaves and cause yellowing.

For further information on and care of your parlor palm, please refer to: 1) How to Grow and Care for Palm Trees Indoors, 2) Problems Common to Indoor Plants & 3) Step Away From That Palm – a short article on correct pruning, or not, of a palm.

Wishing you much success with your palm tree.