Palm trees always remind you of warm days and sunshine; they’re a classic tree in those hotter, tropical climates standing tall and proud against a bright, blue sky.
But a palm tree is only a grand addition to your home landscape when its leaves are green and healthy.
Giving your palm trees proper care includes understanding why the leaves may turn brown and what to do if they lose their healthy green color.
Let’s learn more about what causes palm tree leaves to turn brown and what you can do about it to maintain healthy, thriving trees.
Why Are The Leaves On My Palm Tree Turning Brown?
While you might think you can pinpoint one specific cause of discolored palm leaves, there are actually several reasons for palm tree leaves turning brown.
It could be because your tree isn’t receiving enough water or it could be missing some key nutrients like nitrogen, manganese or magnesium.
Some pests can also cause browning leaves, such as palm tree weevils or spider mites. A disease like Ganoderma butt rot could also be the culprit.
Having a certified arborist inspect your tree can help narrow down the reasons for browning leaves and provide some targeted solutions.
Do You Cut Brown Leaves Off Palm Trees?
Whether or not you should cut your palm tree’s brown leaves depends on the level of browning.
Leaves with brown tips may just be stressed, meaning with proper diagnosis and care they can recover.
However, trimming leaves that are fully brown, dead, or dying is acceptable As with any tree, you never want to trim too many leaves at one time to avoid over-stressing the tree.
Brown Tips On Palm Tree Leaves
Brown tips on your palm tree leaves could be a sign of a lack of water or too much water.
Checking the soil about 6 to 12 inches deep might reveal which irrigation issue is the problem. You want soil that is moist, but not saturated and soggy. Soil that crumbles is too dry.
Water your palm before the soil becomes too dry. Use a slow watering method to allow water to soak into the first 6 to 12 inches of soil. Just wetting the surface doesn’t get soil to the tree roots adequately.
Brown Spots On Palm Tree Leaves
Brown spots on palm tree leaves can be the result of palm tree diseases or nutritional problems.
Palms can experience leaf spotting that can appear in shapes ranging from circular to elongated. Sometimes these black or brown spots can be symptoms of disease.
Diseases like Graphiola leaf spot and other leaf spots can plague your palms.
To prevent these types of diseases:
- Don’t allow irrigation to wet palm foliage.
- Properly space palms so there is plenty of air circulation between them.
- Remove and destroy severely infected palm fronds to minimize disease spread, but never remove too many fronds at one time.
- Contact a certified arborist to receive a targeted fungicide treatment plan for certain diseases.
Another common reason for brown spots on palm tree leaves could be improper nutrition – mainly a deficiency. Some common nutritional deficiencies palms experience include nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
If your soil lacks nutrients, this could be the reason for the imbalance, in addition to poor soil aeration, high soil pH, or your tree may have been planted too deeply.
Having a certified arborist inspect your tree to determine the nutrient deficiency can help inform a plan for replacing those nutrients with a proper fertilization program.
Another benefit of a well-maintained and fertilized palm is that it will better resist insects and diseases, preventing other issues that can brown leaves.
Can Brown Palm Leaves Turn Green Again?
Completely brown palm fronds are usually dead and will not turn green again.
This is a natural process for palms as they will shed dead fronds as new ones grow. Patiently wait for the palm to renew its crown to get rid of the damaged fronds.