Leaves on Parlor Palm - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Georgia Hawkins
Quincy, IL
Question by irene_hwkns
January 20, 2008
I have a Parlor Palm plant which has yellow spots on some of the leaves. I have tried to cut that portion off, but it always comes back. Can you tell me what to do?


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Answer from NGA
January 20, 2008

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Trying to diagnose an indoor plant problem without actually seeing it is really difficult! So, I'll provide some general information and hope you can read through the list and eliminate those which do not apply:

Symptoms and Possible Causes:

Brown or scorched Leaf Tips
A) Poor root health from overwatering, excessive soil dryness (especially between waterings), excessive fertilizer or other soluble salts in the soil.
B) Specific nutrient toxicities (such as fluoride, copper or boron).
C) Low humidity.
D) Pesticide or mechanical injury.

Leaf spots, blotches, blemishes, blisters, or scabby spots

A) Intense light (sunburn) associated with a recent move of the plant or excessive soil dryness and wilting.
B) Chilling injury (below 50 degrees F).
C) Chemical spray injury.
D) Overwatering.
E) Fungal or bacterial infections (rare unless plants have recently come from a field or greenhouse)

Foliage yellow-green; older leaves

A) Insufficient fertilizer, especially nitrogen.
B) Poor root health due to pot-bound growth, compacted soil, or poor drainage.
C) Insufficient light.

Foliage yellow-green; newer leaves

A) Soil pH (acidity) imbalance.
B) Minor nutrient imbalance.

Foliage yellow-green; general

A) Too much light.
B) Insufficient fertilization.
C) High temperatures, especially when associated with dryness.
D) Insect infestation or root rot disease.

Leaf drop

A) Poor root health from overwatering, excessive dryness, excessive fertilizer or other soluble salts in the soil, compacted soil or potbound roots.
B) Sudden change in light, temperature, or relative humidity.
C) Root rot disease.

Wilting or drooping of foliage

A) Poor root health from overwatering, excessive dryness, excessive fertilizer or other soluble salts in the soil, compacted soil, or a poorly drained container.
B) A toxic chemical poured into soil.
Roots brown in color, soft or rotted; roots with tissue that can easily be "slipped off" leaving behind the stringlike center tissues; roots massed at top or bottom of pot. Associated with one or more of the symptoms noted above.

A) Poor root health from overwatering, excessive dryness, excessive fertilizer or other soluble salts in the soil, compacted soil, or a poorly drained container.
B) A toxic chemical poured into soil.
C) Over-or underwatering.

Yellowed leaves with tiny speckling; leaves later bronzed and drying; webbing noted near growing points.

A) Spider-mite infestation.

Leaves covered with a sticky substance; dark mold growing on leaves; tiny brown or white objects seen on leaves or in crotches of branches; leaf drop or branch dieback; leaf or growing point distortion.

A) Scale or mealy bug infestation.

Hope this information helps you determine just what might be causing the yellow spots on your palm.

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