Houseplants forum: Kentia Palm Tree HELP

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Destiny05
May 31, 2018 8:43 PM CST
Hi! I just recently got a Kentia Palm Tree. I noticed on the first day when I was wiping the leaves down (they were dusty) that there were little white spots every so often. They would wipe right off. It's been a couple weeks and it seems like in spots that I might have missed they've either multiplied or just returned all together(I'm not sure what's happening). And now on top of this in the last week I've noticed 2 of the smaller branches of fronds, right at the base...the leaves are turning yellow. I've done some internet research but I was hoping I could just get some real discussion with real people who may know what to do.
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My main concern is making sure to properly get rid of any fungus before this goes to far.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 1, 2018 11:33 AM CST
If the white spots are slightly raised and have a soft, cotton-like texture to them, they are mealybugs. If they are flat and lack texture, then it is probably pesticidal residue from the nursery and it can be wiped away with a bit of soap and water on a soft cloth.

If they are mealybugs, let us know so we can tell you how to treat them.

If you are unsure, then carefully wipe away all of the white stuff and monitor the fronds to see if any of it returns. If it does, then you know you have a pest problem.

The yellowed lower frond in unrelated. It is normal for older fronds to die back gradually as new growth is added on top.

If you post a photo that shows the entire Kentia, including its pot, we may identify some other issues. Give your Kentia lots of very bright indirect light and keep the soil moderately moist.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Destiny05
Jun 1, 2018 6:23 PM CST
WillC said:If the white spots are slightly raised and have a soft, cotton-like texture to them, they are mealybugs. If they are flat and lack texture, then it is probably pesticidal residue from the nursery and it can be wiped away with a bit of soap and water on a soft cloth.

If they are mealybugs, let us know so we can tell you how to treat them.

If you are unsure, then carefully wipe away all of the white stuff and monitor the fronds to see if any of it returns. If it does, then you know you have a pest problem.

The yellowed lower frond in unrelated. It is normal for older fronds to die back gradually as new growth is added on top.

If you post a photo that shows the entire Kentia, including its pot, we may identify some other issues. Give your Kentia lots of very bright indirect light and keep the soil moderately moist.


There is certainly new growth happening so that relieves my worries about the yellowing. What I will do is wipe away all the white stuff and watch it over this next week and report back if they return.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jun 1, 2018 7:12 PM CST
Good plan! Kentias are slow growers, tending to put out one or two new fronds and then not producing any more for several months or more. As long as most of the newer fronds remain healthy, you are on the right track.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Destiny05
Sep 1, 2018 10:58 AM CST
WillC said:Good plan! Kentias are slow growers, tending to put out one or two new fronds and then not producing any more for several months or more. As long as most of the newer fronds remain healthy, you are on the right track.



Hi back again! So im having troubles again...it seems that quite a few of the fronds are turning brown/dying. My cats do chew on some of the leaves and I dont know if that could be effecting the over all health. Im using tap water and wondering if I should start using distilled? Or if sitting it out for 24 hours should work? Its in the window because I live in Canada Alberta and I was warned it wouldnt do well because we dont get a lot or as much sun???? Maybe I shouldnt have it in the window? Its suppose to do okay in lower levels of light. Im thinking about buying a plant light and moving it somewhere else in the room. I just dont want it do be to far gone before I can save it! Also editing to add that there are 5 new growths happening...so I guess thats weird???? Im just so worried because one of the ones turning brown is a bigger leaf frond
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[Last edited by Destiny05 - Sep 1, 2018 11:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Sep 2, 2018 7:19 AM CST
Kentias do best in very bright but indirect sunlight. Very close to a north window or a few feet away from an east or west windows would be best. A plant light will not help that much so save your money. Don't move it outside even for a brief time.

The loss of occasional older fronds is normal as healthy new fronds are added. If you have lost several fronds in the last month or so, then it may be a watering problem. It looks like you may have repotted, but the photo of the pot is not clear enough to tell. Repotting can change watering requirements substantially.

Distilled or filtered water is necessary only if your tap water is hard.

Any chance the cats are using it as a potty?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

Destiny05
Sep 22, 2018 4:16 PM CST
WillC said:Kentias do best in very bright but indirect sunlight. Very close to a north window or a few feet away from an east or west windows would be best. A plant light will not help that much so save your money. Don't move it outside even for a brief time.

The loss of occasional older fronds is normal as healthy new fronds are added. If you have lost several fronds in the last month or so, then it may be a watering problem. It looks like you may have repotted, but the photo of the pot is not clear enough to tell. Repotting can change watering requirements substantially.

Distilled or filtered water is necessary only if your tap water is hard.

Any chance the cats are using it as a potty?


I dont think they are using it to go to the bathroom. I also have not repotted it since I got it. Its in its nursery pot. I suspect it must be a watering problem. But ive been dping my best and dont know what I could change. I sit my water on the counter for an hour before watering. And I water when the first top inch is dry and water through.

Destiny05
Sep 22, 2018 4:22 PM CST
Im wondering if there is root rot Sad because it looks like some kind of that could be what is happening gosh...but then again maybe its just the older fromds dying. I hate this i have no idea...and this palm tree was suppose to be easier. And I find im pretty good with plants.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Sep 23, 2018 8:18 AM CST
Don't despair! It is good that it is still in its nursery pot. That means that overwatering is not very likely.

You are letting it get too dry. It should be watered thoroughly (until water trickles through the drain holes) as soon as the surface of the soil feels dry, not when the top inch is dry. There is no reason to leave the water out overnight. If your local tap water is hard, use filtered or distilled water.

Kentias are easy only in the sense that they do not require as much light as most other Palm species.

Remove the dying fronds and increase the watering and I think you will soon see improvement enough that you can start enjoying your Kentia! Hurray!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

antesky
Mar 19, 2019 12:31 AM CST
Hi Guys,

Sorry to bother. I think I have the same issue here with my Kentia Palm – white spots on leaves, especially on the lower fronds, with cotton-like stuff. Attaching a few pictures.

Is this Mealybugs, right?

I have been spraying all the leaves (top and bottom) with a solution made of 1 litre of water and 2 milliliters of Neem Oil weekly (as per instructions) for the past 3 weeks. However, the situation doesn't seem to have improved Sad

Overall, the plant seems fine, there is a big new frond. If anything, it seems to me that one of the two main trunks is not as straight as it used to be, and is now tilting a bit.

May I ask your advice? What could I do to eradicate Mealybugs? Is a 1 litre x 2 millilitres solution of Neem Oil not enough? Or how long does it take to work? Or should I get another anti-pest treatment?

Looking forward to hearing from you, many thanks in advance!

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Mar 19, 2019 9:02 AM CST
I suggest you mix a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. The alcohol will penetrate the outer coating of the mealybugs. The soap will help spread the solution over the plant tissue.

The key to success is to get complete spray coverage until all leaf and stem surfaces are dripping wet. If you don't make a mess, you are not being thorough enough. Be sure to get the spray deep into the crevices where the stems emerge. That is where the nearly invisible juveniles hide and mature.

If a stem is leaning, you can reposition it slightly in the pot and tamp the soil down around its base to hold it in place. Learning stems are often a result of repotting. Tight roots help keep the stems in place.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

antesky
Mar 19, 2019 4:35 PM CST
Hi Will, thank you so much for your quick and clear answer!
Fingers crossed I'll see an improvement soon :-)

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