Ask a Question forum: Areca palm black dry tips

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Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK
FayeCW1112
Jul 6, 2017 4:16 AM CST
Hi, our areca palm has slowly started getting black tips which are very brittle and dry and spreading up the leaf. Can anyone help me figure out why? I've heard it could be under- watering or salt in the roots? I'm giving it light watering a twice a week and it's in a room with morning sun and afternoon shade. Pics included. Many thanks! Faye



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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jul 6, 2017 6:09 PM CST
Is the container you are using with drainage holes?
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK
FayeCW1112
Jul 7, 2017 3:20 AM CST
Hi Tarev, no it doesn't but we have drainage balls at the bottom of the tub. Thanks, Faye
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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tarev
Jul 7, 2017 2:43 PM CST
Hello FayeCW1112, my suggestion to you would be to repot the plant in a container with drain holes. The plant is already manifesting inability to get moisture at root zone, it is either the roots are slowly dying or getting suffocated. When there are no drain holes in the container, accumulated salts are left in the soil, and that affects the health of the roots. Water stays far too long as well, although the plant likes to be on the moist side, it will not like sitting in a very wet media longer than it is needed.

I am also trying to look at the quality of the soil as per your photo, to me it looks rather heavy. Try to mix in some perlite or pumice to help keep it a bit more airy and open to further improve in the drainage aspect.

Roots need to breathe below soil line, does not need to be sitting in too wet media. If they can't function well, then it will manifest in the leaves as it is showing now. When you water it has to drain out, so use a tray to catch it, use pot risers so the container does not sit on excess water.

Don't apply any fertilizers yet, got to help your plant recover.
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK
FayeCW1112
Jul 8, 2017 5:14 AM CST
Thanks so much tarev, I will repot etc as you suggest.

One last question - do you recommend trimming off the dead tips of the leaves?

Thanks!!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 8, 2017 6:31 AM CST
I trim the leaves on my palm to make it look nicer. But until it is potted correctly as Tarev suggested, i.e. proper drainage (pot with holes) and well draining soil, your palm will continue to exhibit signs of stress. Good luck, keep us posted. Welcome!
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