Majesty palms are known for being easy going and lovely indoor and outdoor plants that lend a relaxed, tropical vibe to any space. But that doesn’t mean they’re immune to health problems! Yellowing is one of the most common majesty palm issues, so we’ll walk you through what to do when you notice your majesty palm turning yellow.

What to Do When Majesty Palm Leaves Turn Yellow 

When you notice yellowing fronds or stems on your majesty palm, it’s time to do some detective work (aka the process of elimination) to determine the cause so you can fix it!

Yellowing usually happens for a few different reasons: improper watering, insufficient light conditions, and nutrient deficiency. Pests can also cause yellowing in some cases, as can low humidity. 

Let’s look at each of these potential causes and how to determine which is hurting your majesty palm.

Soil Conditions

This should be the first thing you check when you notice yellowing fronds. 

Both overwatering and thirst can cause leaves to yellow, so use your finger or a moisture meter to check the moisture level of the soil. If the soil feels or reads dry just a few days after you last watered, your plant might be thirsty and you should give it a drink! If the soil still feels very wet a week after you watered, your potting mix may be too dense or your pot isn’t draining well.

Maintain Soil Moisture

If you determine that watering and soil moisture is the problem, make sure your pot and soil both drain well and take care to water your plant properly. 

Watering Schedule for Majesty Palm

Majesty palms don’t like to dry out completely, so make sure to water thoroughly when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch or when a moisture meter reads 3-4. 

How Often Do Majesty Palms Need Watering?

Instead of watering on a set schedule, we recommend taking cues from your plant by checking it every few days and watering when it needs to be watered. If your pot and soil drain well and you’re giving the soil a good soaking when you water, you should be watering every 7-10 days.

Your majesty palm might also respond well to bottom watering, especially if you tend to overwater. Learn more about how to do that here.

Position

A lack of light (or sometimes too much light) can also cause yellowing fronds. Majesty palms like lots of bright, indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours per day. A sunny, east-facing window is the best spot for a majesty palm. A place near a south- or west-facing window where your palm won’t get much direct sunlight is also a good choice.

Take a good look at your palm’s current light conditions and how they change throughout the day. If the light isn’t bright enough for long enough, you may want to find a better position for your plant. If you aren’t able to provide enough natural sunlight, a full-spectrum grow light can help.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Confusingly, too much light can also cause your majesty palm to yellow! If your plant is getting a lot of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., your leaves might be sun-stressed or even scorched. If you observe this in your plant, move it to a more appropriate place.

Humidity

Majesty palms grow on the banks of tropical rivers, so they appreciate fairly humid conditions. If your fronds are turning yellow with crispy brown tips, there’s a good chance your plant wants more humidity!

A humidifier or humidity tray can help with this. You can also try grouping plants together so they can raise the ambient humidity with their respiration, and they’ll all benefit.

Misting can also be a great option for hydrating your plant’s leaves. It’s easy and inexpensive, and many plant owners swear by it!

When to Mist Majesty Palm Leaves

If you decide to go the misting route, make sure to mist between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and take care to mist both the tops and undersides of the leaves. Most of the stomata, or “pores,” that absorb this moisture are located on the bottom of the leaf, so you don’t want to miss them!

Keep in mind that misting can increase the risk of fungal growth and bacterial spread. Don’t mist if your tree appears to have a fungal condition like powdery mildew, and try running a gentle fan in the room to increase airflow around and through your plant.

Fertilizing Majesty Palm

Plants need nutrients to function properly and maintain chlorophyll production, which is what gives leaves their green color. If you haven’t fertilized or repotted for a while (or ever) and your palm’s light, water, and humidity conditions seem to be in order, your plant might need vitamins and minerals!

Try using a liquid fertilizer to give your majesty palm a boost of the nutrients it needs. 

When to Fertilize Majesty Palm

Fertilize regularly during the spring and summer when your majesty palm is most likely to be growing. That’s when it needs those nutrients most! Your plant may go into dormancy during the late fall and winter, so you can hold off on the fertilizer during that time.

How Often to Fertilize Majesty Palm

Your fertilizing schedule depends on the type of fertilizer you use, so make sure to read the label and follow the directions. We recommend Indoor Plant Food because it’s gentle enough to use with each watering, so you won’t even have to remember a schedule!

Pests & Disease

The last potential cause of yellow majesty palm leaves is insects. Many household insects suck the juices out of plant leaves, which can cause them to turn yellow! However, you might also notice little red or brown dots, which can be actual insects or spots where the insects have bitten the leaves. If you see yellowing accompanied by these spots, insects may be to blame!

How to Treat Spider Mites and Mealybugs on Majesty Palm

Spider mites and mealybugs are two of the most common pests that might invade your majesty palm. 

Here’s how to get rid of them. 

First, get as many insects off the plant as possible. Try using a kitchen sprayer or shower head to rinse off your plant (tip the pot to the side to avoid washing the bugs into the soil). For mealybugs, you can also dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and touch them to the insects to get them to let go.

Then treat your plant with diluted neem oil or Leaf Armor spray. You may need to do this a few times to get all the stragglers. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try using a gentle insecticidal soap. Whatever product you use, read the label and follow the directions carefully!

FAQ: Why Is My Majesty Palm Turning Yellow

FAQ: Should I cut yellow leaves off majesty palm?

Yes! It’s a good idea to remove the yellowed leaves from your majesty palm so the plant can redirect its energy toward producing new growth.

FAQ: Can yellow palm leaves turn green again?

Unfortunately, no. Once a leaf has turned yellow, it can’t turn green again. This is another reason why it’s good to remove these leaves, because they’re a drain on the plant and your majesty palm will eventually drop them anyway.

Majesty palms are beautiful and easy to care for, but not impervious to yellowing. However, if you catch potential problems quickly, you can easily solve the issue and return your plant to its former glory!

Learn more about houseplant care with these resources: 

Houseplants for Millennials Book 

Houseplants for Beginners Webinar

Houseplant Resource Center Facebook Community