By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Majesty palms are a native plant to tropical Madagascar. While many growers won’t have the climate necessary to grow this palm, it is possible to grow the plant outdoors in USDA zones 10 and 11. Majesty palm, or Ravenea glauca, is most commonly sold in the United States as a houseplant. Although the plants do require quite a bit of effort and attention to detail in order to get the fronds to truly flourish, it is possible to grow beautiful palm specimens indoors in containers.
Growing a Majesty Palm
While majesty palms are somewhat more demanding than most houseplants, it is possible to grow them successfully in containers. First and foremost, it’s important to select a container large enough to contain the plant’s robust root system.
Well amended soil, as well as frequent treatment with fertilizer, is essential for this heavy feeding plant.
One of the most common issues growers of majesty palm may encounter are yellowing leaves. Yellow majesty palm leaves are not only alarming to plant owners, but a sign that the plants are experiencing stress which could be caused by a variety of factors.
Majesty Palm Turning Yellow
If you are growing a majesty palm plant and it begins to show signs of yellowing, the following issues are most likely the problem:
Light– Unlike some other shade-tolerant houseplants, majesty palms require quite a bit more sunlight to truly thrive. When growing these plants indoors, make certain to situate the plants where they are able to receive at least six hours of sunlight each day. This is especially important during the winter and low light months. Inadequate light will lead to insufficient development of new leaves, and ultimately, the demise of the plant.
Moisture– When growing majesty palm, it is important that the soil is not allowed to dry out. Maintaining a consistent moisture level in potted plants is key to reducing water related stress, as well as preventing fronds from turning yellow. Dry soils and low humidity may cause leaves to dry out and drop from the plant. Conversely, keeping soils too wet will also cause harm and yellowing of the plant. Soggy soils may also contribute to the development of fungal diseases and root rot.
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Types Of Palms
Palm Trees can be difficult to identify but generally need similar care. Some species adapt more easily to indoor living than others.
The easiest group to keep indoors can adapt to lower light. The slow-growing Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana) and the Parlor Palm or Neanthe Bella (Chamaedorea elegans) grow slowly and are tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions. The popular Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) is another durable choice.
Other Palms can make nice indoor houseplants if they get enough light. These include the Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis), Spindle Palm (Hyophorbe verschaffeltii), Lady Finger Palm (Rhapis excelsa), and the relatively fast-growing Fish Tail Palm (Caryota mitis).
Majesty and Areca Palms are more challenging to keep in good condition indoors. These widely available palms need plenty of light, high humidity and continually moist soil to keep them looking their best. Don’t let that put you off if you’d like more of a challenge.
How Do You Know When A Majesty Palm Is Dying?
There are a few ways to determine if your majesty is on the brink of death.
Here are the parts of your tree to inspect:
Signs of your palms’ demise are brown or spotted fronds, especially on new growth. Also, if you notice that fronds are dropping more than normal it could be a sign of a dying palm. Healthy palm fronds are green. It’s perfectly normal for the fronds to take on a yellow hue as they age.
Check the health of your palm’s tree trunk by looking and feeling for soft spots. You can also check the trunk’s health by tapping it and listening for a solid sound. If it sounds hollow, your tree might be dying. A fungus can infect your tree and cause it to decay and eventually rot.
Your majesty palm should have new bud growth at the top of its trunk. Check for buds during the spring and summer growing seasons. If a bud isn’t there, your tree may be dying.
If you see any signs that your majesty is not at peak health, you should act as soon as possible.
Yellow fronds on my Majesty Palm
I've had this plant for 3 years now and bought it as some scraggly homedepot toss out for 10 bucks. Was my 5th Houseplant ever and didn't know much back then. After a while I figured out how Majesty Palms are some of the worst this and terrible that so I waited for it to die. I was so sure in its death I almost threw it out. However it never died or declined. It thrived really. It went from 3 fronds on three trunks to 13 and counting in three years. And it's my favourite houseplant that I own. I'm actually very proud of it for some reason. Anyway after I thought I escaped the Palm reaper I've noticed some of its fronds begin to take on a yellow tinge. More noticible on the old old fronds but also in some of the new fronds. I've repotted it once but I think I might repot this year into a better soil.
I've googled around and came to over watering, spider mites, low ffertilizing and low humidity.
I dont think it's over watering as I actually thought I was under watering it. Doubt spider mites, no webs or mites. Even scanned leaves with a micro scope. I totally forgot to fertilize for most of its life but have begun now every month with a liquid fert by Schultz. Also might be low humidity as the Rh is around 37 this time of year. I try to get into a routine of spraying but I can't seem to keep it up.
Here's some pics. Any Ideas? Mind the dust. Giving it a shower tomorrow. The first pic is on one of the newish leaves about 3 months old and the other is of one that is around a year or so