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Terdferguson

indoor cat palm - I'm killing this thing

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Terdferguson

Help, I'm systematically killing this beautiful new palm Not sure if I am over or underwatering. I water every 3-5 days I would say. It's in a corner by a window, gets no direct light, only indirect. The stalks of the fronds are all shriveling up and turning into little skinny needly stalks. The leaves turn an olive color and kind of shrivel up and die. The fronds also end up bending in half and falling over. This happened on all the lower fronds first and now is starting on the uppers. Also, they turn kind of mushy and and soft, and that's why they are bending in half. I really like the look of the palm and am willing to buy another one if this one's a goner, but I need to figure out what i'm doing wrong first. Here are some pictures....

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KennyRE317

looks like some sort of rot

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Kim

Chamaedorea cataractum likes lots of water. But spider mites love it, and I think that's your problem. Treat immediately, don't delay, or the palm is toast.

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Terdferguson

Spider mites?! How do I treat for those?

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Hammer

Credit to Matty B for this. Get a spray bottle filled with warm water and liquid soap. Dish soap. Hand soap. Whatever. Spray away.

I did and it saved at least two of my palms. You will have to do multiple applications over time to finally win the battle.

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tjwalters

How cold is your house? I'd put it outside in the shade for the summer. If it's spider mites, the humidity should knock them back. If it's rot (due to cool temperatures - AC - and being wet), the Tampa heat should help.

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Terdferguson

mid to upper 70s in my house. So if it's rot, that means I've given it too much water? I just bought this plant, can spider mites destroy it this quickly (2 weeks)? The other thing this could be (and my wife reminded me of this today), is heat damage. When we bought this plant and another one, we put it in the car and it was blazingly hot in there. The plants stayed in there for 20-30 minutes before we turned on the car and cooled it down. The other plant was destroyed by the heat rather quickly, all damage showed up in the first couple days. Perhaps this is damage from that heat but has taken longer to show up in the palm.

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Hammer

It could be heat related. It doesn't take a lot to damage sensitive plant tissue. Like boiling spinach. A damaged palm will be more at risk for rot, spider mites and all kinds of other nasties.

There is good advice for you in this thread. You might consider treating with hydrogen peroxide in addition to the other steps mentioned.

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tjwalters

mid to upper 70s in my house. So if it's rot, that means I've given it too much water? I just bought this plant, can spider mites destroy it this quickly (2 weeks)? The other thing this could be (and my wife reminded me of this today), is heat damage. When we bought this plant and another one, we put it in the car and it was blazingly hot in there. The plants stayed in there for 20-30 minutes before we turned on the car and cooled it down. The other plant was destroyed by the heat rather quickly, all damage showed up in the first couple days. Perhaps this is damage from that heat but has taken longer to show up in the palm.

It's difficult to over-water C. cataractarum, so my guess would be heat damage - especially since it showed up so quickly. I still think your best bet is to keep it outside in the shade until it recovers - the cool, dry indoor air isn't doing it any favors. Treating with hydrogen peroxide (pouring into affected areas) wouldn't hurt, either.

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Terdferguson

alright, thanks everybody! outside it goes.

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