The Q&A Archives: Root Disease On Majesty Palm

Question: After one and half years in the same pot, I decided to transplant my majesty palm into a larger pot. I thought that it was too crowded because the outer leaves started to turn a brownish-yellow color, something in which I have never seen. When I removed the roots I noticed a white, powdery paste around one side of the root system. I keep my palm outside and water it regularly(the weather is slighly humid and temperature ranges from 60-75). I went ahead and planted into the larger pot, but don't want it to die. What does my plant have and what can I do to save it? If I can save it what can I do in the future to prevent this? Please Help!

Answer: You can probably cut away the damaged root area without harming the palm. If you don't the entire root system may fall victim! Unpot your palm, use a clean knife to cut through the root system until you find healthy tissue, then repot in fresh potting soil. What you describe sounds like root rot, a condition that develops in waterlogged soils. Try watering only when the soil actually begins to dry out, and be sure that the new pot has lots of drainage holes in the bottom so excess water can drain away rather than sitting in the bottom of the pot. If there's a saucer attached, remove it until water stops dripping from the bottom of the pot, then replace it. Hope this helps your palm regain its health!

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