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Most Common Kentia Palm Problems | Prevention tips

common kentia palm problems

Kentia palm plants are relatively easy to care for when it comes to indoor house plants. Although these tropical looking plants are easy to care for, there are a few problems that occur if the Kentia palm plant isn’t cared for well enough. But don’t worry, we’ve put together a bunch of the most common problems that they encounter. Plus some advice on what you can do to treat it if you happen to suffer with one of them. But best of all, we’ve put together information on preventing these problems from occuring. So hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with them.


Over watering is one of the most common ways that people kill these plants. They don’t require that much looking after, but it is important to only water the plant when it is needed. It is also good to mist your kentia palm often to help stop the build up of dust, which will help prevent other problems from occurring. Overwatering your kentia palm plants can cause roots to rot, as the plant won’t be able to draw the water fast enough.


Ensure you are checking the soil often to see whether your kentia palm plant needs watering or not. You can tell if it needs watering by feeling the top layer of soil; if the soil layer is dry, it will need watering, but make sure you are not over watering it. Ideally you purchase a misting spray bottle and mist the plant to help simulate the humidity of the plants natural environment. This also stops dust building up and spider mites from killing the plant.


To prevent overwatering, you should ensure that it’s in a pot that has good drainage so that the plant can drain all of the excess water to prevent the roots from rotting. 


Under watering your kentia palm plant can cause lots of problems too. It can cause the leaves’ tips to turn yellow and eventually die and turn brown in color. The leaves will also become dry and somewhat brittle and unhealthy. If the plant is being under watered the stems of the plant will start to bend and not stand up properly, this is one of the main ways to tell. 


To ensure you are watering your plant enough, you should check on your plant regularly, do thorough checks of all of the leaves, and the stems to see if they are changing color or shape. It is a good idea to set specific days to water your houseplants so that you don’t end up forgetting if or when you have watered them.

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It is recommended to lightly water your Kentia palm plant about once a week, but you should ensure that you are checking the plant to see if you are underwatering it. It is important to make sure that the top layer of soil is damp. Misting it will help the plant keep regulating the humidity itself and keep the leaves in a healthy condition. 

potted kentia palm

Disturbing Your Kentia Palm

Kentia palms don’t like to be disturbed, it can send them into shock, which isn’t good for the plant at all. You must be super careful if you are planning to repot your plant. They are very individual plants and don’t like to be moved or disturbed. Repotting a Kentia palm plant can cause the plant a lot of stress, which can affect the plant. If it does happen to go into shock, the leaves will go yellow and start to die and turn brown, affecting the plant long term. 


Only repot your Kentia palm plant if necessary, it is a good idea to keep the plant in a big enough pot that you can then put into another, more aesthetically pleasing pot. So if you are wanting to switch up your interior or just change the pot, you don’t have to completely repot it.

If you are going to repot the palm, you should soak the plant for 24 hours before carrying out the repotting process. You should never try to touch the roots too much or move them around unnecessarily.


To prevent it going into shock, you should only repot it if it is absolutely necessary to, or if you are going to, you should make sure that you soak it for 24 hours before making the transition.

Mold in the soil

If you start to notice mold growing on the soil of your palm, it can mean either too much watering or not enough light getting to your plant. Mould isn’t nice, and certainly not something anyone will want in their home. So as soon as you notice the mold, you should start removing it to prevent it from spreading and killing the Kentia palm plant. 

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The solution to getting rid of the mold is to simply remove the mold from the soil. To do so, all you will need to do is remove 2inches of the top layer of soil and replace it for fresh soil. You will need to increase the amount of light reaching the Kentia palm plant, but don’t place the plant directly in the sunlight as that can cause environmental shock to your plant. 

You will want to put the plant in a light and airy room where it can soak up all the sun it needs without being in direct sunlight. If you are over watering the Kentia palm plant, the solution is to water it less and ensure the water can drain sufficiently enough from the bottom of the pot to stop root rot and mold spores from forming on the soil. 


To prevent mold spores from growing on your plants soil, you will need to ensure that the plant is getting enough sunlight, but not direct sunlight, and ensure you aren’t overwatering the plant.

Placing the Kentia palm in a light, bright room is good for it, as long as it isn’t in the sun’s direct path. As Well as ensuring the plant pot which your palm is in can drain adequately.

Red Spider Mites

Red spider mites are basically what their name suggests—little, red, spiders. You might not spot the red spider mites first, you might see their sticky cobwebs before the actual spiders. They may be small pests, but they can do lots of irreversible damage to your palm if not treated soon enough. 

Red spider mites can be rather hard to get rid of, so it is imperative to get rid of them sooner rather than later to prevent the infestation from growing. These spiders don’t eat flies; they draw liquid out of your plant to fester from, inevitably killing your plant. 


Red spider mites hate water and humidity; they aren’t easy to get rid of, but popping your Kentia palm in the shower once a week can help eradicate these little terrors. After a few weeks, the mites should be gone. Between showers misting the plant is an excellent way to help. 

You can purchase chemicals to destroy red spider mites; this is a quicker way to get rid of them than showering the plant, but if you are all about being organic or aren’t a fan of chemicals, the first option may be better suited to you. 

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The best way to prevent red spider mites from infesting your plant is by keeping the humidity levels high and ensuring you are watering the plant enough. It is also good to shower your Kentia palm regularly as red spider mites hate water and humidity, so try to mist your plant as frequently as possible. 

Plant Scale Insects

Plant scale insects are a type of insect that suck sap from plants; there are lots of different species of this insect. Once fully grown, these small sized insects have a hard armored shell protecting them. They will attach themselves to plants and then start sucking all of the sap from the leaves. Damage caused to your Kentia palm plant by scale insects is very visible and will harm your plant. The leaves will start to turn yellow and become mottled, and then fall off. 


Ensure you are checking your Kentia palm for scale insects often to prevent an outbreak of them. Make sure you are thoroughly checking each leaf of the Kentia palm plant for white looking raised marks, which could be plant scale insects. 

You can remove the scale insects by hand by just pulling them off, or by using a cotton bud soaked in alcohol to remove them. If you catch the problem quickly enough, you can just prune the part of the infected plant, which will prevent it from spreading. 


To prevent mold spores from growing on your plants soil, you will need to ensure that the plant is getting enough sunlight, but not direct sunlight, and ensure you aren’t overwatering the plant. Placing the palm in a light, bright room is good for it, as long as it isn’t in the sun’s direct path. As Well as ensuring the plant pot which your palm is in can drain adequately. 

There isn’t too much that can be done to prevent these scale insects, the main thing to do in order to avoid an infestation is to check your plant often. Keep an eye on the color of the leaves, and look out for the insects to help prevent the spreading of them. Once you have spotted these critters, it is vital to remove them as soon as possible to prevent your plant from having long term effects. 

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Saturday 15th of May 2021

What causes a Kentia palm to have a lopsided head