Yellow Leaves With Brown Edges On Kerpis Palm

Filed Under: Tropical Plants, Trees · Keywords: Yellow, Leaves, Brown Edges, Kerpis, Palm · 2076 Views
Planted 2 Kerpis palms 4mnths ago.
Both trees, palms leaves are yellowish with brown edges.
New growth comes out green and then turns these colors.
Planted in 50% dirt / 50% sand.
We keep them moist and give them triple 17 fertilizer.
We live in southern Baja, Mexico.


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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Thelma-There are several things that can cause the yellowing and browning of the palm fronds. Too little or too much water, nutrient deficiencies, too much fertilization, and insects can cause yellowing and browning of the leaf tips.

First I would check the fronds for any appearance of insects. Spider mites or aphids can infest a palm causing yellowing. Look for any tinny insects on the fronds or within the palms crown. Look for any sticky substance on the fronds that aphids would leave. The appearance of any spotting, holes, or other damage to the fronds could also indicate insect infestation which could cause yellowing of the leaves.

The soil should be well draining. Too much water can cause yellowing. The soil should hold enough water to stay moist but never wet. Digging down around the palms 6 to 8 inches the soil should feel moist but not wet or dry. Make sure you are watering enough to moisten the entire root ball to its depth. Sometimes only watering the surface will not be enough to dampen the entire root ball to its depth. Are these palms planted in the ground or in pots? If planted in pots make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pots so that the soil never stays to wet.

Fertilizing of palms should always be done with a specially formulated fertilizer for palms. Yellowing of fronds in many cases is the result of Manganese, Potassium, and magnesium deficiencies which are not taken care of with many fertilizers not formulated for the palm. Too much of these fertilizers can also burn or brown the tips of the fronds. Any fertilizer used on the palm should also be a slow release formula or organic as they feed the plant slowly over a period of several months without the chance of burning. A fertilizer with a 17-17-17 formulation could burn the plant especially if all the nutrients are released quickly or used to often. Palm fertilizer formulas would have less percentage of Nitrogen, phosphorus, an potassium and would include the additional nutrients I noted the palms need.

Several times I have planted new palms that took some time for them to establish themselves. Some yellowing and slow growth can be a natural reaction to transplanting. Transplant shock can sometimes set a plant back somewhat but as long as the fronds are not all starting to brown, go limp, and die the palms will recover faily quickly if they are experiencing some transplant shock.

I'm thinking this yellowing and browning of the leaf tips may be caused by too much or too little water. Make sure the soil is moist but not too wet or dry. I would hold up on any fertilization for awhile as these new palms would not normally need much during there first growing season. Too much fertilization may be the reason also for the browning of the leaf tips. When fertilizing always use a fertilizer formulated for the palms which is easily found at most nurseries and garden centers.

It would be beneficial also to have a soil test done to determine if there is a nutient deficiency which could definitely be a reason for the yellowing. Many nurseries can help you with aquiring a soil test. You can also purchase soil test kits you can use yourself but these will normally not test for some of the nutrients needed by the palms.

Let me know if you feel any of the factors noted may be causing your palms yellowing and tip browning. You can also upload a picture of your palm and an upclose picture of the yellowing and browning of the leaves. This may help to identify the problem also. Above this answer and to the right of your name below your question you will see where you can upload any picture you have saved on your computer.

Please ask if you have any other questions.


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