Kentia Palm Plants Leaves Going Brown

The most common reason for Kentia palm turning brown is lack of humidity and dry air. The reasons could be many but if you take remedial actions in time, the plant could be saved.

Kentia Palm Turning Brown


Even though Kentia Palm is a popular and beautiful indoor plant, it is not uncommon for its leaves to turn brown. Often people come to us with complaints like, ‘My Kentia Palm is turning brown. What should I do?’ For starters, you are not alone!


You will see browning because of factors like dry air, pest infestations, underwatering, overwatering, nutrient deficiencies, and lack of sunlight.

Assessing the plants for pest attack, providing proper lighting, fertilizing the plant, adjusting watering frequency, and increasing humidity, can help overcome the problem of Kentia Palm leaves turning brown.


This guide will take you through the most prevalent reasons for Kentia palm’s browning and offer practical solutions. This knowledge can help you restore your plant’s health. By taking protective measures and understanding the causes, you can enjoy a vibrant and lush plant for several years.


What Causes Brown Tips On Kentia Palm and How To Fix It?

Causes Brown Tips On Kentia Palm

Several reasons result in Kentia Palm leaves changing color from luscious and healthy green to dull brown. Below we will address them and suggest a plausible action plan to fix them. Let us start.


A. Dry air or lack of humidity

Lack of humidity or dry air is the leading cause of Kentia palm plants showing brown leavesKentia Palms are native to humid environments. They need some moisture in the surroundings to thrive. So, when the air is too dry, the plant leaves may become dry and brittle, resulting in brown edges and tips.




  1. Consider using a humidifier to increase the humidity levels around the Kentia Palm. You can keep the humidifier around the plant to ensure it has access to constant moisture.
  2. Alternatively, you can also create a pebble tray. Fill a tray with water and pebbles, and place the Kentia Palm on the stones. When the water evaporates, it builds humidity around the plant.
  3. Regularly misting the Palm with a spray bottle can also help increase moisture levels around the plant.
  4. Grouping the plants can help build a microclimate of higher humidity. When you have multiple plants, place them together in a room to form a more humid environment.


B. Underwatering


Underwatering may also cause brown tips on Kentia Palm. When you do not give the Palm adequate water, it fails to absorb the water it needs to sustain the leaves, resulting in drying out and turning brown.




  1. Water the Kentia Palm thoroughly, ensuring the excess water flows through the drainage holes. It helps ensure that the roots get ample water.
  2. Before watering the Kentia Palm, assess the soil moisture by sticking your finger in the soil. If the topsoil feels dry, you can water it.
  3. Depending on the environment, you can alter the watering schedule for the Kentia Palm. For instance, plants need more watering in summer because of increased evaporation.


C. Cold temperature

Cold temperature
Excessive cold temperatures may also lead to Kentia Palm going brown. Kentia Palms are tropical plants. They cherish temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). When the temperature drops below this range, it stresses the Kentia Palm and causes the leaves to turn brown.




  1. Keep the Kentia Palm in a draft-free, warm location.
  2. Please do not keep it close to the windows or doors that let the cold air in.
  3. If the office or home feels particularly chilly, place a heater to offer extra warmth for the plant.


Please note sudden temperature changes can stress almost all varieties of palm plant. So, do not move the Kentia Palm from one extreme environment to another. Instead, please place it in a spot with a stable and warm temperature. It helps avoid browning and promotes healthy growth.


D. Kentia Palm light requirements – Too much or too little sun

Kentia Palm light requirements
Kentia Palm needs indirect and bright light but can tolerate low light levels. Excessive direct sun can be the reason for Kentia Palm turning brown. It can also cause the leaves to burn. On the contrary, too little light may make the plant leggy and develop weak and small leaves.



When the leaves turn yellow or brown, you can shift it to a shadier location, but if the stems are stretching toward the light and the leaves are small, please move the plant to a bright spot.


  1. To ensure the Kentia Palm gets the right amount of light, keep it near a window that receives indirect, bright sun.
  2. You can place it in a room with bright and natural light. However, please do not put it under direct sun.
  3. When Kentia Palm receives too much light, adjust its placement.


E. Excess fertilizer use

Excess fertilizer may also result in the Kentia Palm leaves turning brown. Over-fertilizing the Palm leads to salt buildup in the soil that makes the plant stressed and leaves brown.



To avoid browning from excess fertilizer use, you must read through the packaging label before fertilizing and follow the recommended fertilization schedule for the Kentia Palm.


Typically, the plants need fertilization every two to four weeks in the growing season, between spring and summer.


You can take the following steps if you have already over-fertilized the Kentia Palm and see Kentia plant brown leaves:


  1. Water the plant thoroughly to flush out the extra fertilizer salts from the soil. Let the water drain out completely before moving the plant to its typical location.
  2. If the soil is heavily compacted or has a significant buildup of fertilizer salts, you must repot the plant in the fresh soil. Pick a top-quality potting mix formulated for the Palms and employ a pot with good drainage.
  3. Alter the fertilizing schedule for the Kentia Palm to prevent overfertilization in the future.


F. Nutrient deficiency


When the plant does not receive vital nutrients, it becomes stressed. It can be one of the reasons for Kentia leaves going brown. The most prevalent nutrient deficiencies in Kentia Palms are potassium, magnesium, and nitrogen.


To assess the browning from nutrient deficiency, watch out for the following signs:


  1. A potassium deficiency: Yellow or brown spots on the tips or edges of the leaves.
  2. Magnesium deficiency: Edges turn brown or yellow, whereas the leaf’s center remains green.
  3. Nitrogen deficiency: Older leaves turn pale green or yellow and drop off eventually.



  1. Identify the nutrient deficiency by studying the symptoms.
  2. Pick a fertilizer formulated to address the specific nutrient deficiency.
  3. Follow the recommended application frequency and rate.
  4. Alter the pH level. If the pH is too high or too low, it can hamper the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. Adjust the pH to the apt range for Kentia Palms – 5.5 to 7.5.
  5. Keep a check on the plant to ensure the nutrient deficiency is improving. You will have to wait several weeks to see significant changes.


G. Large pot with improper drainage

A large pot having improper drainage can also be the reason for Kentia Palm turning brown. If the soil fails to drain well, it becomes waterlogged, resulting in root rot. Root rot may cause the leaves to turn brown. It produces symptoms like yellowing and wilting.




  1. You can repot the plant in a container with drainage holes and pick a well-draining soil mix exquisitely formulated for the Palms. It helps drain excess water off the soil and avoid waterlogging.
  2. Examine the roots to see if they are rotting or appear healthy. Remove the damaged or dead roots with sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears if the roots are rotting.
  3. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. It helps avoid root rot and waterlogging.


Keep a check on the palm plants’ leaves and structure to ensure that the root rot is getting better. It can take weeks for improvement to follow.


H. Kentia palm pest & diseases


Some diseases and pests may also be responsible for Kentia Palm leaves turning brown. Some pests that affect the Kentia Palms are:


  1. Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease that causes yellowing, wilting, or browning of the leaves.
  2. Spider mites cause browning and yellowing of the leaves and webbing on the plant.
  3. Scale insects show up as small bumps on the leaves and may lead to browning and yellowing.
  4. Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes brown spots on the leaves.




  1. Identify the problem by inspecting the plant and the leaves for pest or disease signs.
  2. If a few leaves or plant parts are affected, remove them to avoid the problem from spreading.
  3. Depending on the problem, you can treat the plant with a fungicide or insecticide.
  4. Keep an eye on the plant to ensure that the problem is improving. It can take several weeks for you to see significant improvement.


Related: Black Spots on Palm Leaves | White Spots on Palm Fronds


Should I Cut Off Kentia Plant Brown Leaves?

Yes, you can consider chopping the brown palm leaves to make the plant look better. If the cause of browning is pests, it will stop them from multiplying further. 


While chopping the brown leaves, please use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant. Cut the leaf at the base where it meets the stem, leaving a tiny stub if needed. Do not cut into the leaf’s healthy green part. It may cause further damage.


If a large part of the plant’s leaves turns brown, it may indicate a complex issue like underwatering, pest infestation, or overwatering. You must address this underlying issue to prevent further browning of the leaves. However, it is a good idea to chop the brown leaves to maintain the plant’s appeal and health.


‘My Kentia Palm Going Brown’ – What Should I Do?

My Kentia Palm Going Brown
If the Palm leaves are turning brown, here is a recap of things you can do:


  1. Inspect the soil moisture: Ensure the plant is not under or overwatered. You can check it by sticking a finger into the soil. If it feels dry, you can water, but if it feels soggy or wet, you are probably overwatering.
  2. Increase humidity: If the air around the home feels dry, the leaves may turn brown. So, increase the moisture by regularly misting the plant or installing a humidifier nearby.
  3. Assess the light exposure: Too little or too much light can make the leaves turn brown. Kentia Palm cherishes indirect, bright sun. So, please keep the plant in an apt spot around the home.
  4. Inspect for pests or diseases: They may also be responsible for the browning of the leaves. Assess the leaves and plant for any sign of pest or disease attack, and treat accordingly.
  5. Prune the brown leaves: Prune the dead, brown palm spotted leaves to promote the plant’s health and boost new growth.


How To Prevent Kentia Plants’ Brown Leaves?

Proper care and maintenance are quintessential to avoid browning leaves in the Kentia Palm. Here are some additional tips that can help form a suitable environment for your Kentia plant:


  1. Pick the correct soil: Kentia Palm cherishes well-draining soil rich in nutrients. Use a good potting mix with sand or perlite to amplify the drainage.
  2. Choose the correct container size: Kentia Palm does not cherish being rootbound. So, select a pot larger than the plant’s root ball. Ensure that it has enough drainage holes.
  3. Keep the plant in the right location: Kentia Palm loves the indirect but bright sun. So, shift the plant to a spot that receives ample natural light but is guarded against the direct sun. Do not keep the plant near drafty areas or air vents.
  4. Water properly: Water only when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Do not overwater or let the plant sit in a pool of water. It may lead to root rot.
  5. Maintain humidity: Kentia Palm cherishes a humid environment. So, mist them regularly or install a humidifier.