The Q&A Archives: Phoenix palm leaves turning brown & dying

Question: Newly planted 4 ft date palms in containers. HD associate said OK to use Miracle Gro Moisture Control potting mix. Placed in partial sun/shade. Becoming limp & lower branches brown & dying. Ends of fronds turning brown. Water level = moist. Used transplant solution for 1st month.

Answer: I think the lack of full sunshine and too much water are what are causing the browning fronds. Palms thrive in full sunshine and heat. They tolerate dry soils. Between the moisture control potting soil and the moist soil, the roots are remaining too wet. I don't know if it's too late or not, but you can try allowing the top of the soil to dry out between waterings. When soil is too moist it excludes oxygen and roots need oxygen as well as moisture. Stick your finger down into the soil. If it is still moist one inch below the surface, you won't need to water for a few more days. Once you adjust the watering, your palm may recover. Hope so!

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