Kentia health...?

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Kentia health...?

Postby FSinister » 15 Oct 2009 21:36

My Kentia palm plant is having problems, and I don't really know what to do about it... any help will be appreciated.
It seemed fine up until about 2 weeks ago, at least it didn't seem unusually unwell. But since then it has been deteriorating. It is watered quite irregularly so I am sure, and I hope, it is just over watered or under watered. I include some pictures because I have found conflicting information in my online searches.
It is about 2 metres tall. Just over 2 metres. And as I said has been quite healthy all summer and before.

So pictures...
This is about the worst of it (but it is quite widespread):

This is the top most frond, on one of the trunks\stems, and is also hit particularly badly though differently effected:

Here are some less effected leaves:

and here is the whole plant:
Up in the top right are the leaves I photographed in close up as the top most frond, and it is totally brown\browny-green. The other leaves I described as the worst of it, are slightly to the left of centre at the height of the lower growth.
Most of the leaves do look quite limp, and the fronds are drooping a little.

Does anybody have a confident diagnosis?
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Postby gardening_guru » 20 Oct 2009 18:40


Can you tell me a bit more about the conditions where the plant is situated please. Is it warm in the room? Is there any air humidity in the room. Many house plants suffer because air humidity in living rooms is virtually zero and the leaves simply dry out despite water uptake from the roots. Remember you need to try and mimick the plant's natural environment.

The photos also show some speckling on the leaves, this could be Red Spider Mite attack; they also thrive in warm dry conditions. If it were my plant, I would start by cutting off the damaged leaves. I would then stand the pot on a large tray/saucer of small pebbles that I would keep permanently moist to try and increase air humidity around the plant.
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Postby FSinister » 21 Oct 2009 14:39

Thanks for your reply!

It is in a spacious room, with plenty of indirect light, and often with windows open. There is a chance that the humidity would be low, I don't know, but we have had rains and storms quite regularly for the last couple of months, and i don't think the interior humidity would be enormously different to that outside.

Some of the effected fronds have gone beyond repair now, and we have removed them. This gives the appearance of a healthier plant, but I don't know how healthy it really is. The largest frond is certainly dead but has not been removed yet.

So you think it is a water\humidity issue?
I have started misting it sometimes, since I was not watering it for a while in case of over-watering.
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Postby Norabel12 » 27 Oct 2011 11:13

Kentia Palms are not tolerable to severe dryness or continual over watering. They prefer to be moist much of the time, however do allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry before watering again. If frond tips are turning brown and the fronds are droopy, you are probably not watering the plant enough. On the opposite side, if the leaf tips are yellowing then becoming brown, chances are you are over watering the palm. The Kentia, like many palms, is extremely sensitive to chemicals in the water. Therefore be sure to use untreated water for this house plant and all your palms.

The Kentia palm prefers bright, indirect light but will also tolerate lower light levels. In lower light levels the plant's appearance will seem fine; however it just won't quite have the healthy look preferred. If you notice spotting on the upper fronds, the plant may be getting too much bright light, so try and move it to an area with a lower amount of direct sunlight.

Pests are usually not a problem with this house plant. Spider mites may appear. If so, try my home remedy that really hasn't failed me, of spraying the plant twice a day with a soapy dishwater mixture. If that does not work, go to your local gardening center and they can instruct you on which product to use.
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