How to Treat Yellow Leaves on a Palm Tree

Palm trees are an excellent addition to any landscape or indoor plant collection. But these trees are finicky even in the best conditions. As yellow leaves mar the unique beauty of your palms, you seek a method to prevent this from happening. At Backridge Tree Service, we put our experience from extensive arborist services in Fort Walton Beach, FL to work for you with information on how to treat yellow leaves on a palm tree. 

how to treat yellow leaves on palm tree

Why Palm Fronds Turn Yellow

First and foremost, don’t remove the yellow leaves from your tree! Although discolored leaves look unsightly, removal could expose the tree to stress or infection. Regardless of the cause, these leaves will eventually turn brown and fall off on their own. 

Old Growth Elimination

Fresh palm growth emerges from the top of the tree. The palm often drops old leaves at the bottom to compensate for the fresh, healthy leaves at the top. If the leaves turn yellow occasionally at the bottom, don’t worry about your tree’s health! 

Pest or Fungal Infestation

Pests like spider mites and thrips love to make themselves at home on palm fronds. They suck nutrients from the leaves and stems, which causes the leaves to turn yellow gradually. You might also notice a sticky film covering the growth. 

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiency is one of the most common causes of yellow leaves. Palms have specific nutritive needs that differ from most popular plants. Nitrogen, potassium, or manganese deficiency can slowly kill a palm tree. 


Most plants turn yellow with overwatering. Although palm trees need plenty of fresh water, stagnant water will negatively impact even the healthiest palm trees. They need well-draining soil accompanied by plenty of fresh water. 

How to Treat Yellow Leaves on a Palm Tree

Find out how to treat yellow leaves on a palm tree by following these steps.

  1. Purchase and perform a soil test. The soil test will reveal the pH balance and the readily available nutrients in the soil. 
  2. If you get results that show a nutrient deficiency, purchase fertilizer rich in that nutrient. You can find products formulated for palms at most nurseries or garden centers. 
  3. Follow a fertilization schedule based on the product’s instructions. Your palm needs ample nutrients during the growing season. 
  4. If you have an issue with overwatering, replant your palm tree in soil formulated for palms. You can add pebbles and sand to help water drain more efficiently. Gauge the soil’s dampness to determine the best times to water. 
  5. If you keep your tree indoors, monitor the humidity levels. Palms thrive in tropical environments and need humid air to stay healthy. 

Ask Us About Tree Restoration Services at Backridge Tree Service

If you’re still struggling to figure out how to treat yellow leaves on a palm tree, schedule an appointment with our arborist for tree restoration services. We’ll help your palm tree flourish once again. Providing in-depth tree knowledge and care assistance is what an arborist does! Call Backridge Tree Service at 850-240-2829 to request a service estimate. 

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