Why My Kentia Palm Leaves Turning Yellow?

Kentia Palm leaves can turn yellow due to overwatering, underwatering, insufficient light, or bad soil. These factors can affect the plant’s health and cause the leaves to lose their rich green colour. 

No matter what issue you’re encountering with your Kentia Palm, it’s important to remember that these plants have a slow growth rate.

The Kentia palm also known as Howea Forsteriana is recognised for its impressive display of large, palm-shaped leaves in a deep shade of green. They have the ability to tolerate lower light conditions and are perfect for any indoor space.

This slow-growing palm tree can reach heights of up to 10 feet or more. It’s a relatively low-maintenance plant and doesn’t require any special care.

What Causes Kentia Palm Leaves Turning Yellow?

Why My Kentia Palm Leaves Turning Yellow

It can be quite disheartening to see yellowing leaves in your plant. Here are some listed issues below, you can check and take action accordingly.

1. Lighting issues

Insufficient sunlight can contribute to yellowing leaves in Kentia Palms. These tropical plants require medium to bright, indirect light to thrive, so placing them in dimly lit areas can cause stress and affect their health. 

Insufficient light can hinder the photosynthesis process in plants. When there is too little light available, the Kentia Palm may not draw up water to its leaves as effectively, causing the soil to remain damp for an extended period of time. Long dampness can lead to root rot and then result in yellowing leaves.

2. Incorrect watering

Incorrect watering practices can be a major factor behind the yellowing of Kentia Palm leaves. Both overwatering and underwatering can lead to problems for these tropical plants.

Overwatering, where the palm receives too much water, can suffocate the roots and hinder their ability to absorb nutrients. As an outcome, the leaves may turn yellow and even brown.

Also Read: Why Parlor Palm Leaves Turning Brown?

On the other hand, underwatering, where the palm doesn’t receive enough water, can cause dehydration and nutrient deficiencies, leading to yellowing leaves that become dry, crispy and eventually die. 

3. Bad soil

When the soil is of poor quality and lacks essential nutrients can suffer your plant in many ways. If the soil doesn’t have the right balance of nutrients, the Kentia palm may experience deficiencies that show as yellowing leaves. 

If you consistently find your soil to be excessively wet, it could be a sign that the soil mix is too heavy and lacks proper drainage. Poor drainage in the soil mix can result in yellow leaves as the excess water causes the soil to remain soggy. This constant moisture makes it difficult for the roots to access oxygen, leading to suffocation and potential root problems.

4. Low humidity

Kentia Palm trees naturally thrive in environments with higher humidity levels, similar to their native habitats. When the air is dry, it can cause moisture to evaporate from the leaves faster which can lead to dehydration. As a result, the leaves may turn yellow and become dry and brittle.

Humidity constantly below 30% can trouble your plant. This is noticeable during the winter season when the air tends to be drier due to cold temperatures. Cold air has the capacity to hold less moisture compared to warm air, contributing to lower humidity levels.

Also Read: How to Keep a Palm Tree Alive Indoors During Winter?

5. Pests and diseases

Pests and diseases can also be culprits behind the yellowing of Kentia Palm leaves. These plants can be helpless to various pests and diseases.

Infestations of common pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects can weaken the plant and cause the leaves to turn yellow. These pests feed on the plant’s sap and cause damage to the foliage.

Similarly, diseases like fungal infections can also affect the health of Kentia Palms. These diseases can manifest as yellow spots or discolouration on the leaves, indicating an issue.

6. Transplant shock

These plants prefer stable and moderate temperatures, and drastic changes can stress them. If you’ve recently moved or transplanted your Kentia Palm into a larger pot or after propagating it, this could be the cause behind the yellowing leaves.

When we move a plant from one spot to another, it can experience stress and adjustment difficulties, leading to changes in leaf colour. Transplanting can disrupt the root system and disturb the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients effectively. 

7. Fertilizing issues

Fertilizing issues can contribute to the yellowing of Kentia Palm leaves. Kentia palms are not heavy feeders and do not require excessive amounts of fertilizer to thrive and flourish.

Applying too much fertilizer to this plant can lead to negative consequences such as yellow or brown leaves, wilting, and potential damage to the roots. 

Whereas, under-fertilizing can also pose problems. If you have neglected to fertilize your Kentia palm for an extended period, the soil may lack essential nutrients. This deficiency can impede growth, result in a loss of their shine, and cause the lower leaves to appear lighter in colour.

8. Temperature

Temperature plays a crucial role in the growth and well-being of Kentia palms, and extreme heat or cold can lead to the yellowing of their leaves. Kentia palms thrive in temperatures around 65°F to 85°F.

When the temperature goes too high, it can cause the soil to dry out quickly. This rapid drying of the soil can lead to dehydration and stress for the palm, resulting in yellowing leaves.

On the other hand, if the temperature drops too low then the moisture in the soil may retain for an extended period of time. This constant wetness can create unfavourable conditions for the plant and cause various problems.

Check this: How to Prepare Best Potting Mix for Parlor Palm at Home?

9. Getting old

Similar to regular trees and other plants, when the leaves of a Kentia palm become too old, they will naturally fall off. Plants have a natural ability to self-regulate their growth, including the timing for shedding old leaves and producing new ones.

Kentia palm leaves have a predetermined lifespan, typically reaching a maximum age of around 50 years. As the leaves reach the end of their lifespan, the palm will naturally shed these older leaves to make way for new growth.

How to Prevent Yellowing of Kentia Palm Tree Leaves?

To prevent yellowing leaves on Kentia Palm Tree then try to follow these below points – 

1. Provide Adequate Lighting – Place your Kentia palm in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Adequate light allows the plant to carry out photosynthesis efficiently and maintain its lush green colour.

Consider reading this: How Much Light Does a Parlor Palm Need?

2. Proper Watering – Find the right balance when it comes to watering your Kentia palm. Avoid overwatering that can further trouble you. Only water your plant when you feel with your finger inserting 1 – 2 inches deep into the soil and it feels slightly dry. Also, ensure proper drainage to stop water from collecting at the base of the plant.

3. Choose Well-Draining Soil – Ensure that the soil used for your Kentia palm is well-draining. This helps prevent waterlogged conditions that can lead to root issues and yellowing leaves. 

4. Monitor Humidity Levels – Kentia palms prefer moderately humid environments. You can increase humidity for your Kentia palm by using a humidifier or placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water as this method can help create a more suitable environment for the palm. Avoid placing the palm near drafts or heating/cooling vents, as these can cause dry air and potentially yellow leaves.

5. Fertilize Appropriately – Feed your Kentia palm with a balanced palm-specific fertilizer according to the instructions provided. Avoid overfertilizing, as this can lead to nutrient imbalances and leaf discolouration. Follow a regular fertilization schedule during the growing season to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy foliage.

6. Maintain Optimal Temperatures – Keep your Kentia palm within its preferred temperature range of 65°F to 85°F. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperature fluctuations, as this can stress the plant and result in yellowing leaves. Protect the palm from cold drafts and keep it away from direct heat sources.

7. Pests and diseases

If your plant facing yellowing leaves because of pests and diseases then try to use insecticides. If the area is not severe then wiping the leaves with a damp cloth can remove them.

How do you fix yellow Kentia palm leaves?

First, examine your watering habits and ensure you’re providing the right amount of water. Next, assess the lighting conditions for your palm. Kentia palms grow well in bright, indirect light, so make sure they’re not exposed to direct sunlight. Adjust the plant’s placement accordingly.

Additionally, check for any signs of pests or diseases, as they can contribute to leaf discolouration and treat the affected areas quickly. Remember to periodically wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust, allowing the plant to absorb light effectively.

Another important aspect is to ensure proper drainage for the palm. If the soil retains excess moisture, consider repotting the plant using a well-draining soil mix or adding organic materials such as perlite or sand to enhance drainage.

Lastly, maintain a suitable indoor environment for your Kentia palm. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or drafts, as these can stress the plant and cause leaf yellowing. 

Note that once a leaf turned yellow, it is not possible to turn them back green again.

Do Kentia palms need sunlight?

Kentia palms do require sunlight, but they thrive best in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can be too harsh for these plants and may lead to leaf burn. Placing them near a window with filtered light or providing them with bright, indirect light from artificial sources can help maintain their appearance. 


The yellowing of Kentia palm leaves can be caused by various factors such as inadequate lighting, improper watering, poor soil drainage, low humidity and natural ageing. To prevent and address this issue, provide suitable lighting conditions, ensure proper watering and look out for pests and diseases. 

Also, handle transplanting with care, and use appropriate fertilization techniques to enhance the appearance and growth of the kentia palm tree. So, observing, checking and caring for your Kentia palm tree can help overcome come through this problem in no time.