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I would be very grateful for some help with my Kentia (Howea Forsteriana). Some leaves have turned black, as you can see in the pics. The frond that is most affected also has some visible problem on the stalk (also in pics).  The plant gets good indirect sunlight (but was in a darker spot for a few weeks after I bought it) and no very cold temperatures or drafts. I don't think it has been seriously overwatered but maybe slightly overwatered on occasion in the past.

I bought it about two months ago and repotted it at that time. I realised later (partly from reading on palmtalk) that the soil I used was probably a bit too heavy for it, and also I'm not sure the pot is suitable (it has taproots and likes to be a bit more potbound). When I read about the soil, I repotted it again about 2 weeks ago with lighter soil. I subsequently read that the plant hates being repotted! Oops. Bit of a learning curve. When I repotted it, I noticed a few dead roots, which I cut with a scissors. 

Does the pot look too big? If it is too big should I leave it some time before repotting again or do it now, when it is dormant, in winter (in Dublin, Ireland)? Any thoughts on the black leaves and the stalk rot? The black leaves affects a few fronds including at least one of the young fronds (but most notable on the one photographed, which has the bad stalk).  I am thinking of giving it around 200ml every two weeks during winter (I have given it a bit more than that in the past, which maybe contributed to the issues). When watering, should I water from below (but I'm the roots don't reach down to the bottom of the vase)? 

Very grateful for any advice!!

Thank you! 





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Hi! Yes, the pot looks too big. If you've found dead roots, that's probably due to overwatering and/or soil issues as you already ID. These palms need good draining soil, or even more than that when inside. Your potting soil still looks to heavy...you must solve that and go easy with Winter watering. The stalk seems to have fungal issues, probably due to high moisture levels. For now I advise you to stop watering for while, let the first 2 inches of soil dry out before watering again. You should consider to downsize the pot and amend the soil...very carefully.

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Greetings, Luís

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Hi Aidan,

Welcome to the forum, yes that palm does have a problem, I don't know what it is.

Izorrito does have some good points and I am sure that further reading you will get more. I hope it does recover for you.

Cheers Steve

It is not dead, it is just senescence.




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Probably not the best idea to repot a palm in the dead of winter.  Pot size looks fine, though.  Difficult to tell from the photos what the soil is like, but it's safe to say it could remain too wet because the pot is glazed.  I wouldn't water for a while, as mentioned above, until the soil has dried to a depth of a couple inches.  Also, try to keep the soil warm.

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Bowie, Maryland, USA - USDA z7a

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