Fan Palm gets brown leaves - causes and treatment tips

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If the fan palm receives brown leaves, this can have several causes. Usually, however, care mistakes are to blame. How to eliminate them, we explain here.

Brown leaves are a sign of wrong care

A healthy fan palm has lush green palm fronds, which directly remind of a wonderful holiday by the sea. But even the strongest leaves can bend or turn brown over time. That some leaves bend, is quite normal. Sometimes strong winds are enough. The fact that the leaves turn brown, however, is not normal. Then you have to search for the cause. And this can be very diverse. In most cases, even pests are not at fault.

Causes of brown leaves

As magnificently as a newly purchased fan palm also works, the picture often gets cloudy. Not infrequently, the rich green turns a dull brown, which makes us the sight of the fan palm sorry. The causes behind the discoloration are difficult to assess remotely, especially since there are several possible reasons:

  • too much water
  • dryness
  • Bent petioles
  • nutrient deficiency
  • too little space
  • pests

Bent petioles:

You can easily recognize bent petioles. Due to the kink of the stem, the absorbed moisture no longer reaches the tips of the leaf fronds, resulting in brownish discoloration. Over time, the frond then dies completely. This is a protective response of the fan palm, which concentrates its own supply on healthy leaves and does not waste any power for fronds, whose conservation is no longer supportive. It is best to remove such leaf fronds in late autumn.


When cutting dry and dead leaves, do not limit yourself to stalks. At the trunk of the fan palm small pieces of remains remain - also remove these, so that no vermin can fix itself here. In addition, the remains look ugly over time. Reading tip: Cut Fan Palm - How to do it right.


Another reason for brown leaves that can be removed quite well is that which is well known to every plant owner: dryness. Hand on heart, how often do you catch yourself, that you still postpone the watering of your plants by one... and another day? Especially with potted and potted plants, the prolonged drought can lead to problems. The roots have no opportunity to dig deep into the ground and there to absorb even last traces of water. Once a bale of soil in a bucket dries out, you must end the drought period, step by step:

  1. Place the plant pot in a drip tray.
  2. Add water gradually.
  3. Wait until the earth has absorbed the water.
  4. Add new water.
  5. Only put the pot back in the planter when the soil is moist, but no more water runs into the drip tray.

A good way to moisten completely dried up earth bales is the shower. Simply place the plant in the bathtub and consider it with a gentle shower of rain. Repeat the procedure until the soil is moist again.


Once the soil has completely dried out, the irrigation water washes the nutrients out of the soil. It makes sense, therefore, to fertilize the fan palm sufficiently after the rescue operation.

too much water:

Not only dryness provides the fan palm for brown foliage. The exact opposite can lead to the palm leaves her green dress and from then on dressed in a dreary brown. We are talking about too much water. The fan palm tolerates no waterlogging. So if you pour too vigorously and there is no drainage in the planter, or if there is a chance that the water will drain off, the root rots over time. The brown leaves are at this point only the absolute warning signal - do not act now, the fan palm dies completely.

You can tell if the soil is too humid by lifting the fan palm on the trunk with the soil. If the earth's bale is extremely heavy, or even if water runs out of the earth, the drainage is announced. To do this, you must remove the moist soil from the root ball and completely replant the fan palm. Now proceed directly right. In the lower part of the planter, there should be gravel, as this drains excess water from the root and prevents the sensitive root strands from standing in the water. Also, the pot should be in a planter or at least in a drip tray, so that the non-absorbed water can drain.

Nutrient deficiency:

Nutrient deficiencies often come from a too dry soil, which you pour vigorously.The water now washes all the nutrients out of the earth so that the palm tree can not reach them anymore. As a remedy, you must supply the fan palm with complete fertilizer.

too little space:

In nature, the fan palm grows up to five meters high. Even in the bucket, it can develop a vigorous growth, if all conditions are right. Especially during the growth phase in spring and summer, the fan palm continues to develop. Now it can happen that she literally outgrows her planter. This too can result in brown leaves.

But how do you know that the pot is too small? The shake test is a practical means of detection. Check if the palm still has stability or if the relationship between pot and palm size will make you wobble even with small touches. Lift the pot and discover first roots that are growing out of the overflow hole, repotting is also necessary. The same applies if the earth seems to become less and less and you already see roots just below the earth's surface. Repotting is now the solution to prevent brown leaves.


Mildew and spider mites can also cause brown palm fronds on the fan palm. If you discover pests, you should immediately take action against them and fight them with home remedies or suitable pesticides.

Video Board: PLANT LEAF DRYING and BROWN at TIPS AND EDGES: Top 5 Reasons - Diagnosis Cure and Hacks (Tips).

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