Cat Palm Leaves Turning Yellow (13 Causes And Solutions)

If your leaves on the Cat Palm Plant are changing color, don’t be concerned. If you can determine the root cause it is possible to quickly fix the issue.

Low humidity and overwatering can cause the cat palm’s leaves to change color to yellow. Poor watering practices can lead to a variety of issues, including root rot, and inadequate development of the root system which causes your plant to dehydrate and leaves to turn dried and stained. Additionally to overfeeding, pests and nutrient deficiencies can cause yellowing leaves on the cat palm.

This article will discuss the causes of yellowing leaf that appear yellow on Cat Palms, and what you can do to fix it.

Improper Watering Causes Yellow Leaves on Cat Palm

Cat Palm Plants are native to the rainforests of Central America and Mexico and prefer a humid, warm climate. They require a significant amount of water in order to remain healthy, however the potting mix should be able to drain freely so that it doesn’t become saturated with water.

The soil that is contaminated with water will deprive the plant of oxygen and nutrients, leading to the foliage to be weak and yellow, that may appear like it is dehydrated. This can also lead to root rot, which is the most serious threat to houseplants.

Plants that are watered from above instead of below could cause problems. The water may collect on the stem or leaves or stem of the plant causing fungal infections that can swiftly cause death.

Furthermore the fact that watering from above could result in water not reaching the bottom of the plant’s root system – leading to weak growth of the roots and the dehydration.


The plant should be watered when the top two inches of the potting mix are dry. Be sure to use the right container with drainage holes as well as a properly draining mix of potting. General-purpose compost that is mixed with one-third perlite and one third peat moss works well.

Make sure to water your plant from the bottom if you can. Simply place the plant on a tray filled with water for a half hour or less. If you water it from above, be sure that you don’t get water on the stem or leaves of your plant. Give sufficient water so that it is flowing from the bottom in the container.

Mineral Deposits in Potting Mix

In time, the minerals in fertilizer and tap water can accumulate in the potting mix getting around the roots of the plant, preventing the plant from absorbing the water as well as nutrients. This causes dehydrated, the foliage turning yellow, and eventually ceases to grow.

White deposits of rust over the surface of the mix are an indication that the minerals have accumulated in dangerous amounts.


If you notice that the minerals have accumulated and are negatively impacting the plant, remove the plant from the pot, and gently wash the soil and remove any buildup away from the roots, then plant it in new pot mix. It is a good idea to repot your Cat palms once a year, during the spring.

Pest Infestation

Like other houseplants, Cat Palm plants are susceptible to becoming prey to insects. Pests feed on leaf as well as branches of this plant and may cause a lot of damage. The leaves that are damaged can’t properly photosynthesize and cause slow growth and yellow leaves that slowly end up dying and falling off the plant.

The most frequent kinds of pests that attack the plants are mealybugs whiteflies, aphidsand scale, and spider mites. The good news is that most of these pests are simple to recognize and fairly simple to eliminate. Let’s take a look at these in greater specific detail:

  • Mealybugs

Mealybugs are tiny fuzzy white bugs that usually form a cluster on the stems of plants or beneath the leaves, where they join the stem. They take sap from the plant, causing the leaves to turn brown and then turn yellow. Mealybugs aren’t able to fly, so keep an eye at them when they crawl around the stem or leaves on your plants.

  • Whitefly

They are tiny, white bugs that feed on leaf of a plant. They are able to fly, but they usually crawl, unless disturbed. They’ll be spotted on the bottom of your plant’s leaves. Since they’re soft-bodied it is easy to kill them.

  • Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied insect which eat sap of plants, typically in groups on the underside of leaves. They may be grey, green or black and begin life as wingless nymphs, before transforming into flies, often referred to as blackfly or greenfly.

  • Spider Mites

The spider mite is among the more harmful insects that can infest the Cat Palm Plant. They are tiny insects which resemble spiders. They eat on the leaves’ surface and cause black or brown spots. There are also webs under the leaves. Spider mites can cause much damage in a short time and it’s important to get rid of the infestation immediately you notice it.

  • Scale

The scale bugs are small, armored bugs that stick to the leaves’ underside and consume sap. They start out as ‘crawlers who crawl to an area where they can consume food before changing to adult insects. After adult scales have attached themselves to plants, they are unable to move, and they can be difficult to get rid of.


When you first notice an insect problem, you should remove your plant to ensure that insects are less likely to be spread onto other plant species. If a plant is severely infested, it’s usually recommended to take it off. Do not put the infected leaf in your compost bin. put it in your regular garbage container.

After you’ve identified your plant and removed the infested leaves, you’ll be able to employ a variety of methods to deal with each of these pests:

  • Liquid soap

Make use of a weak soap solution, such as Castile soap, or purchase an horticultural soap that is specifically designed for this purpose and follow the instructions. Spray your plants using the soap solution with a focus on areas that are infected. The spray kills small critters with soft bodies, but it isn’t efficient on adults because their armor blocks the spray from reaching them.

It is recommended apply a spray to a tiny area of your plant at first, and then take a couple of days to look for any adverse reactions. Based on how affected your plant is it may be necessary to spray every few days until the insects are gone.

  • Rubbing Alcohol

Like soap, rubbing alcohol destroys soft-bodied pests. Soak the cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and rub it on the affected areas in your plants. Rubbing alcohol can also be effective in scaling because it has the ability to cut through the insect’s waxy armor.

It could require several treatments to eliminate all the insects from your plants It is recommended to try the treatment on a small portion at first.

  • Neem Oil

Neem oil is a powerful natural insecticide that interrupts reproduction system of pests. You can purchase a ready-to-use Neem oil spray, or make yourself by mixing some liquid soap, neem oil, and water.

Spray the solution on the plant, with a focus on the areas that are infested. Neem oil will continue to work for some time after applying it, so allow about a week before applying it again. Apply the amount of applications you need until all indications of pests have gone.

  • Chemical Insecticide

There are a variety of insecticides that are available that can rid your garden of insects. However, a lot of them are extremely poisonous, so you should be cautious when using them in your home. It is best to take your plant outside and let it sit for a few days before taking it back inside.

Fungal Diseases

Every houseplant can be susceptible to fungal diseases usually due to excessive water. A fungal infection in the potting mix can cause the plant to die and the leaves to turn yellow dry up and dying.

Cat Palm Plants are susceptible to fungal diseases that cause leaf spots that causes spots of brown or yellow on the leaves of the plant. Let’s take a look at the most prevalent kinds of fungal illnesses that can affect Cat Palm plants:

  • Root Rot

Root Rot is caused by the presence of water in the soil, which creates the ideal conditions for fungi to flourish. The fungi feed on roots of the plant, preventing the plant from absorbing nutrients and water, leading to signs of dehydration. Root rot is a disease that can cause death to plants in a short time.

  • Leaf Spot

The spores responsible for leaf spot disease adhere to the leaves of a plant when the surrounding is humid with low circulation of air. small brown spots develop rapidly, and then grow larger before expanding onto other leaves. The result is a general decrease in the plant’s strength, which may lead to the plant to grow slowly, but that has the appearance of yellow.

  • Stem Rot

The stem of the plant, typically where it comes into contact with the soil. The fungus consumes the stem of the plant, which hinders nutrients and water from flowing into the plant. It also results in wilting, yellowing foliage. The fungus can be very harmful and can cause death to plants in a short time.


To avoid fungal infections to prevent fungal diseases, it is essential to follow the correct irrigation practices. Make sure that the soil of your plant isn’t soiled and that you make sure to water it from below instead of above. If you have to the plant with water from above, be sure that you don’t let the stem and leaves damp.

Make sure there is a good circulation of air within the plant. This can help keep leaf spots from occurring.

If your plant is suffering from root rot, you should repot it right away in fresh pots. Clean the soil off the roots, then cut off the broken roots (lookout for black, brown and slimy areas) using sharp, clean scissors.

Soil pH

The soil’s pH influences the supply of nutrients to plants. It also impacts beneficial bacteria that release nitrogen-rich nutrients to the soil. If the mix used for potting is acidic or too alkaline, the plant will not receive the nutrients it requires to flourish.

Cat Palms love soil that has an acidity range of 6.1 (mildly acidic) to 7.8 (mildly alkaline). Mixes for pots that are too much on one side of the spectrum or opposite will cause your plant to exhibit signs of nutrient deficiencies, such as the foliage becoming soft and yellowing.


Utilize a pH meter or soil test kit determine the pH of your plant’s potting mix. If it’s too acidic, you can add organic manure or neutral compost, and agricultural lime. Lime is extremely potent and can be dangerous, so take care when you choose to use it. Take your time and be gentle.

If the potting mix is too acidic, you can add green manure, mulched pine needles, as well as neutral or natural compost.

Lack of Light

Cat Palm plants need plenty of sunlight to flourish. If they don’t receive enough sunlight, their plants will shed their vibrant green hue and change to an unsettling yellow. Without sunlight, the plant isn’t able to produce enough chlorophyll within its leaves, a chemical which plants utilize to produce photosynthesis, giving the leaves their green hue.


Be sure you ensure that the Cat Palm plant gets plenty of indirect, bright sunlight throughout the daytime. It is best to place it in a bright space, a few feet from the window is the ideal spot.

Direct sunlight

While Cat Palms are fond of sunlight, they do not like excessive direct sunlight hitting their leaves. A lot of direct sunlight can cause burns to your plants’ leaves, and cause them to develop dry brown or yellow spots.

The leaves are less effective in preparing food, which could result in the plant growing slower. If the leaves are severely damaged, they could end up dying and falling from the tree.


Make sure your plant is kept out of direct sunlight. A small amount (less than an hour per day) will not cause any harm, however, you should avoid placing your plant in a bright window like.

12 hours of direct, bright light is ideal to Cat Palms.

Temperature Fluctuations

Cat Palms aren’t a fan of the cold and are not a fan of fluctuations in temperature too. They prefer a constant temperature between 70 and 80 degrees (21-27degC). They’ll begin to exhibit signs of yellowing or dying leaves if not maintained in a proper place.


Maintain your plant in a place in which the temperature doesn’t fluctuate rapidly or dramatically. This means that your plant is free of drafts and away from sources of heat as well as AC units.

Even windows that are closed could be the source of drafts that can be problematic It’s best to place your plants too close to the window.

Nutrient Deficiency

In their natural habitat Cat Palms have a fertile soil that is that is full of nutrients. If they are kept as houseplants the plants depend upon us to provide them with food! If you do not feed your plant it, it may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms, based on the nutrients it’s not getting:


Give the Cat Palm plant regularly with an organic fertilizer for your houseplants. If the plant is putting on lots of growth in the summer and spring it is recommended to feed it every month. Reduce the frequency to once every two months during autumn and do not feed your plant any time in winter.


While Cat Palm plants do need food, it’s important not to provide them with excessive fertilizer! Over fertilization causes leaves to become fragile, floppy and yellow. It could cause severe shock to the plant and even cause death.


Be sure to follow the instructions for the specific kind of fertilizer you’re applying. Be careful not to give your plant more fertilizer than it requires!


Cat Palms prefer the environment that has an humidity level of at minimum 55%. If the humidity of your home is not enough for the plant, it will notify you.

The leaves of your plant will become dry and yellow around the edges, before becoming brown and falling from the plants. Make sure you have a humidity gauge at home to measure the humidity levels of your house.

The effects of low humidity on plants can be devastating slowly, so if observe these signs Don’t overlook these signs!


You can boost the humidity of your home by using the aid of a humidifier. They are great if you are looking to increase the humidity levels throughout your home. If you are looking to increase the humidity of the plant, a humidity tray could be a better alternative.

To create one, you need to fill the tray with water, and then place a few big pebbles in it to make them stick from the water. Place your plant inside its pot, and place it onto the its top. The water in your tray is going to evaporate causing more humidity of the plant.

If you have a lot of houseplants, it’s an excellent idea to put them in a group. The plants lose water through pores within their leaves, which increases the humidity within the immediate area. When you group the plants you have, they’ll all benefit from this result!

Transplant Shock

If you’ve recently potted up the Cat Palm plant then noticed that the leaves have begun to turn yellow the plant may be suffering from shock after transplantation.

Sometimes, delicate roots are damaged when repotting, which hinders them from absorbing the nutrients and water the plant requires. Additionally, the plant requires an amount of time in order to adapt to its new surroundings. The result is quickly the leaves turning yellow and wilting.


In the majority of cases, Cat Palm plants recover quickly from shock after transplantation, so long as the conditions for transplant are appropriate.

Natural Causes

The leaves on Cat Palm plant species to become yellow and then die. This is an inherent part of the life process of the leaves and is not something to be concerned about. If the oldest leaves on your plant are gradually turning yellow one by one it is most likely due to this reason.


There isn’t a solution to the natural method. To enhance the appearance the appearance of your plants, you can remove those dying leaves. Make use of sharp, clean scissors or shears to cut off the leaf from above where it joins the stem.


Do I need to cut off the yellow palm leaves?

If the leaves on your plant are yellow and you’re able to do nothing harm by cutting off the yellow leaves. If all the leaf leaves have yellowish hues, you’ll want to wait until the plant has healthy growth before trimming the leaves that are yellow.

Are yellow palm leaves able to turn to green?

Leaves that are yellow are not likely to change green once more. If you can fix the root cause the plant’s new leaves will return to its lush greenest.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)