Houseplants forum: Kentia Palm dying?

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tettyfay
May 21, 2018 5:02 AM CST
Hi everyone,
I'm very new to house plants so please forgive my ignorance. Just over a month ago I bought a Kentia Palm from my local garden centre that was on sale as the root ball had come unpotted ( it was just sitting on top of the soil). I took it home and repotted it with a mix of John Innes 3 and the soil it came in and it seemed to be doing quite well until the last week or so. The biggest, tallest leaf has now started to turn brown and crispy ( when I bought it there was a little browning on a few of the sections but nothing major) and the stem is turning yellow. The other two smaller stems and leaves seem to be doing ok aside from a little browning of the tips.
Does anyone have any ideas what this might be? Have I underwatered it or placed it in too sunny a spot (it was in quite bright sunlight although about 10-12 feet away from the window. My cat as has also peed in it twice recently, could this be the reason? ( I have now covered the pot up with tin foil until I think of a better solution). Do I need to trim the browning leaf down or can it recover? I'm really disappointed I've managed to kill it already as I really love it!
Any tips on what to do next would be most appreciated , thank you!
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[Last edited by tettyfay - May 21, 2018 5:03 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1714422 (1)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 21, 2018 2:21 PM CST
If the tall, brown frond is the newest stem or growing tip, then your Kentia will not make it. Most Palms have a single growing tip and when that dies or is damaged, then it is no longer able to produce new fronds and it will gradually die. If the brown stem is not the newest one, then your Kentia still has a chance.

Kentia Palms do not like to have their roots disturbed, so yours was off to a very bad start before you rescued it. The roots are very fragile and easily damaged when repotted. I think John Innes Seed Compost would have been preferable, but I think that is the least of the concerns and I don't recommend replacing the potting mix at this point.

Your Kentia is too far from the window. It should be within 2 feet of a north, east or west window and within 4-5 feet of a south window.

Cat urine is potentially toxic to the plant.

There is no one cause of your Kentia's problems, but the fact that is was unpotted in the first place is the most serious of the problems.

If you still have a viable growing tip, then improve the light and water very lightly and perhaps it will recover.

Good luck!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

tettyfay
May 25, 2018 2:16 PM CST
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply!
I will move it closer to the window and hope for the best then- I didn't realise the roots were so sensitive, otherwise I would've thought twice before trying to save it, but it was such a nice looking plant I couldn't resist. It's a shame but I'll try anyway.
Thanks again!
Name: Cheryl
North of Houston TX (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Plumerias Ponds
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 25, 2018 2:31 PM CST
For further reference, pine cones on top of the soil will help keep your cat away. That is, unless your cat bats them out of the pot! Good luck! Keep us posted. Your palm likes to be misted. Welcome!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Jun 1, 2018 1:09 AM CST
Rescuing real plants is a great way to learn about them specifically, and plants in general, I feel Thumbs up
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
South east Kent
Lfossil
Feb 9, 2020 3:54 AM CST

New Member

Did you save your plant?

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