Have I Overwatered My Palm Tree?

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Stephanie

Despite all your efforts Do your palm trees appear thirsty every day? Are the leaves becoming limp and brown fast, and youre not certain whats happening?

It is possible that you are giving the palm tree too much affection. Overwatering is a problem that every gardener has to deal with, as excessive moisture in soil can suffocate the roots of your palm tree and prevents essential minerals, nutrients and oxygen from getting taken in.

Dont fret the hope isnt all gone!

If caught early the overwatering can be easily reverse. I have simple solutions to aid in the rescue of your palm tree and resurrect it.

To save a palm tree, you must stop watering it right away and assess the situation. Take the palm tree from its container and examine the roots for signs of rot. Cut off damaged portions of the roots, then treat with a fungicide, then repot with new soil.

Underwatered vs Overwatered Palm Tree?

In the beginning, I highly recommend that you take some time to determine the issue. In reality, overwatering and underwatering have common symptoms and it isnt easy initially to determine the issue you are facing.

However, Im here to assist! According to my experience, there are a few common indications of excessive watering that are easy to recognize. Lets look closer of your tree.

Signs of Overwatered Palm Tree

Lets take a quick review of the signs that your palm tree is overwatered. Ill also discuss the reasons why this should be changed.

The leaves are limp and pale.

Most palm trees are characterized by lush, vibrant leaves. But one of the initial signs of excessive watering is limp and pale palm tree leaves.

The canopy of the palm tree will change shape and fall down, with very little force and vigor. Its quite a harrowing sight to observe, but dont fret because the leaves will recover quickly if you alter your habits.

The leaves are limp due to the fact that the roots are damaged, and therefore, are unable to absorb any nutrients. By cutting down on your water intake you offer your roots, you allow them to take in more nutrients and allowing the plants circulation to function.

indoor palm tree by green table and chairs (close up)

Root rot

The roots are the most important part of all plants Even when we dont observe them, they need to be maintained in good health. The excessive watering of your palm tree can suffocate its roots, depriving them of minerals, oxygen, and much more. This could lead to an extremely destructive condition called root rot.

When roots begin to decay the fungus and diseases can be spread quickly and the consequences could be devastating. It is imperative to act fast to save happy, healthy roots.

Take your palm tree out of the pot or container, and look at the root system. Be attentive to:

  • Any foul smells you notice
  • Are the roots frayed, brittle or too fragile?
  • Are the roots dark, discolored, or are they mushy?


Gardening wouldnt be complete without having a few pests is it? The kind and quantity of pests that you have on your palm tree will aid in identifying problems.

For instance, whiteflies and mealybugs thrive in humid, moist conditions, and their presence could indicate that your plant has been watered excessively. If you see fungus or gnats, that too can point to a soggy soil, and the plant is drowning.

Color loss

Palm trees are renowned for their vibrant, lush green canopy. However, overwatering them can cause unattractive discoloration.

It is also called chlorosis. leaves change color due to nutrient deficiencies caused by excessive watering. Be aware that overwatering can suffocate roots and prevents their ability to function properly.

If your leaves are beginning to fade, changing color, turning yellow or brown, or worse of all , are falling off, its the right time to cut down on watering. Be sure to remove and prune leaves that are completely brown.

The soil is contaminated with mold

If youve overwatered, your soil could begin sprouting wool-like spools across the surface.

The mold thrives in humid conditions, and it can provide a fertile source of food for diseases such as gnats, parasites, and other. The growth of mold can be uncontrollably if it is not controlled.

I highly suggest replacing the soil in your potting area in the event that mold develops.

How to Revive Overwatered Palm Tree

If you notice that your palm plant is waterlogged, the most important step you can take now is to not be in a panic. There are options available, and in my experience , palm trees can be revived if they are given the proper support.

Here are three ways to deal with the issue depending on how serious the overwatering has become. Each can help you make the most of the situation .

How to Save Seriously Overwatered Palm Tree

If youre reading this article, then its likely that your poor palm tree is in pain. Its good to know that youre beginning to put a recovery strategy in place!

Ill walk you through every step you must take to restore your tree.

Step 1 Step #1: Remove the Palm Tree from the original container.

It is important to take an in-depth look at your palm tree in order to assess the condition of it.

Lay dry newspaper sheets on a surface to work on and gently push your palm tree on its side.

Step 2: Examine roots for evidence of disease and rot.

Remove any soil that is clumping from the roots and then go in to inspect the soil more closely. It is possible to use the gentle flow of water if soil is stuck or clumping near the bottom.

As Ive previously mentioned one of the main concerns with excessive watering is root rot therefore, ensuring that the health of your roots is crucial.

Roots that are rooted are easy to identify and are brownish/black as well as mushy. They may also be sour or odorous. the roots.

Step #3: Remove affected roots

With your trusted shears in your hand, be careful to trim any roots that are damaged.

Do not pull or tear any roots with your hands - you need clean cuts every time. Make use of sharp sheers and clean them after each clip. Cleanliness is essential since you dont want to transmit any infection or disease within the healthy areas that make up the palm tree.

Step 4: Reduce the amount of the amount of foliage

With less roots the palm tree wont be able to sustain it in the current form. It is necessary to cut off some of the foliage to ensure that your palm tree isnt in any danger.

I suggest that you take one-third of leaves off to ensure it is possible that palm trees is able to focus its energy on regaining its roots.

Step #5: Food-grade fungicide as well as fertilizer

I strongly suggest you think about the use of a fungicide to eliminate fungi that can harm your plant. Make sure to use food-grade products to ensure that the chemicals you use are safe for indoor plants.

Consider a fertilizer that is suitable because they can increase the plants natural defenses. But, Id suggest only applying fertilizer when you notice signs of growth in the plant.

Step #6: Repot your palm tree

It is imperative to eliminate the old mix of potting soil immediately and then repot it with fresh soil. This will prevent bacteria, fungi and mold from resurfacing and causing damage to your plant.

Clean your container thoroughly and empty it well. Clean any debris using the wire brush and then wipe using clean water. It is possible to use a mixture of 1 part bleachand 9 parts water, to sterilize your pot to a complete degree. Allow this to sit for 10-30 minutes.

Make sure you use a new planter mix to plant your palm trees. Make sure the soil is able to provide enough airflow - if you are not sure you can poke holes using the help of a pen to loosen soil.

How to Save a Mildly Overwatered Palm Tree

The first thing you need to do is stop the watering of your palm tree - right now! While your palm tree might appear thirsty, the reverse is the case.

The first thing you need to do is increase the aeration in the soil. If the soil is compact in a compacted state, its more difficult for the roots to absorb nutrients.

Aeration increases oxygen flow and helps friendly microbes grow and helps ensure that the water doesnt sit stagnant around the roots and cause them to rot.

Before you water, make sure the soil around the roots is dry to the touch. I have found that a finger test is the best. You test for any moisture in the bottom of the pot. Do not water your palm tree till the bottom is completely dry.

Then, lets look at the other elements that are essential to any plant that is healthy.

  • Distilled water - research has demonstrated the benefits of distilled water. Distilled water can be the best for watering trees and plants such as palm trees. The water that is filtered has less salt chemicals, toxins, and salt that can damage roots.
  • The palm tree can thrive in humid conditions. Misting leaves is an excellent method to keep foliage looking vibrant without excessively watering.
  • Light - Most palm trees prefer indirect sunlight. Plant the palm trees in a pleasant cool, cool spot in the shade. A lot of sunlight, particularly on leaves that are brown or wilted, will cause them to burn and dehydrate.
  • Fertilizer: Only apply fertilizer only when the palm tree is showing indications of development and growth. Palm trees benefit from a slow-release mix that allows them to have enough time to absorb minerals and nutrients.

Propagation – The Last Resort

Unfortunately, at times, even with all your efforts the palm tree may be not able to be saved. However, dont fret you have a chance to salvage something you can learn from the circumstance.

Propagation is the process of creating a new plant using seeds, cuttings and other plant components. The most efficient and simple method Id recommend is cutting.

If youve never tried propagation previously, these are a few strategies I employ to achieve the most effective outcomes:

  • Remove your palm tree of its container and lay it on its back.
  • Remove soil from the roots, exposing the roots. Select carefully four to six healthy plants that have roots
  • A sharp blade is the best tool for clean the stems that have been cut with roots, making sure theres sufficient root growth
  • Place these plants in a tiny pot of sand and soil, which aids in drainage and encourages healthy root development
  • Drink immediately. Keep them hydrated every day for up to 3 months.
  • Water only when the top two inches are completely dry. If youre concerned about overwatering the palm tree, its a good idea to allow misting.
  • Make sure the pot is equipped with drainage holes in the bottom. It is possible to check them often to see if there are indications of new growth.

How to Water a Palm Tree

Watering Rules

There are two methods to water a palm tree.

I highly recommend the use of water from below for palm trees. Place the tree on the top of a saucer or a container that is that is filled with water. Let the tree rest for a few minutes to get it moist before taking it off it. It is possible to tip the tree over to the other side, allowing the excess water to drain away.

If you wish to water from the top, you can spray water upwards from the top. Stop when you notice excessive water coming out of the drainage holes.

How often do you need to keep a palm tree hydrated?

Trees and plants thrive by maintaining a consistent watering schedule throughout their growing season. The ideal time for palm trees can be beginning in spring until the beginning of summer.

Palm trees that are young and infancy might require daily watering for a couple of weeks to grow roots. After that, you can stop by watering between 3 to 5 times every week.

As the temperatures drop and we get closer to colder months of winter, the palms enter into a dormant state. It is recommended to reduce the frequency of watering to every week, once.

Factors that influence watering

Based on the configuration of your home There are a few aspects to consider when deciding how often to keep your palm tree hydrated. For instance:

  • Humidity - Low humidity means less evaporation and drier air. Palm trees thrive in humid environments. One way to do this is to mist leaves using distillate water.
  • The temperature of palm trees will be happy with temperatures that are above 40-50 degrees F (4-10degC). The higher the temperature is, it will require more water that you will require. A good palm fertilizer will aid palm trees to survive the coldest winter days.
  • The palm trees that have light exposure love their shade as well as indirect light. A lot of sun can scorch leaves and cause the plant to dehydrate further.

What kind of water does the Palm Tree need?

I believe that distilled or filtered water as the ideal option to water palms. Water that is filtered has less harmful chemicals, toxins, as well as less salt, which will aid in boosting the hydration of your plant significantly.

When Should You Water a Palm Tree After Repotting?

Based on the amount of damage the palm tree sustained from excessive watering. It could take a while to establish a schedule for the palm tree. In general, you should start watering it as soon as you see the first sign of new growth.

Then, I suggest that you conduct a quick test on the soil. If the top two or three inches of soil are not dry, your tree requires irrigation.

Common Mistakes in Watering A Palm Tree

The table below will give the most frequent errors when it comes to watering, and strategies to stay clear of these mistakes.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)