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Should I Cut Off Brown Palm Leaves?

Take a moment and imagine how majestic green fronds look as they sway gently to the call of the wind on a sunny afternoon. We are guessing we are visualizing somewhere in Miami or Hawaii.

The palm tree is such an elegant beauty to see. But we are sorry to burst your bubble and pull you out of that pleasant daydream.

Palm fronds are not always green and upright. Sometimes, they can be brown and lacking turgidity. But should I cut off brown palm leaves? Yes, but that is only if the leaves are brown due to other reasons apart from aging.

Should I Cut Off Brown Palm Leaves?

You can cut the brown palm fronds off if the browning is not a result of aging. How do you know if the browning is a result of aging?


Check if green fronds are growing out of the palm. If they are, then you should not cut off the brown palm leaves. They will wither and fall off on their own.

But if no new fronds are growing, yet the fronds are turning brown, then you should cut off the brown part of the palm leaves. How do you do the cutting?

Use alcohol to sterilize your pruning shears or saw, depending on the size of the branches. The alcohol wipes found in the first-aid box can serve.

When you are about to cut off the brown fronds, moisten the saw or the pruning shears, so you don’t damage the tree’s tissue.

Cut the brown leaves off from their bases. Ensure you don’t pull the leaves; they may leave a scar on the trunk, which is terrible for your palm.

Why Are My Palm Leaves Turning Brown?

Why Are My Palm Leaves Turning Brown

Now that we’re done discussing why you might consider cutting off brown palm tree leaves, let us see the reason why the leaves are browning in the first place.

1. Natural Causes

As the palm grows and passes through various seasons, the fronds’ lifespan comes to an end, so the frond would have to die. The browning starts from the tip, then spreads completely to other parts of the fronds.

When this browning is happening, new and green fronds grow again to replace them, and this is one indication that the browning is a result of a natural process and should not worry you.

2. Cold Due to Injury

Palms trees generally are tropical plants. What this means is that they love places with high temperatures.

It is easier to prevent indoor plants from getting a cold injury than those outside, which are entirely at the mercy of prevailing weather conditions. Please do not place the plant near door drafts and windows, so they don’t get affected by cold.

You should even take this more seriously if you are tending to a palm in winter. During summer, please do not keep it directly under an air-conditioner. The cold will make the leaves of your palm tree to go brown.

3. Too Much Fertilizer

This issue is more critical for those who are cultivating their palms indoors. Adding too many fertilizers in the soil will cause the fronds to go brown and even affect the plant adversely.

You should only add fertilizer to the plant in summer and spring. These two seasons are when the palm needs fertilizer the most as it grows fastest then.

Ensure also that the fertilizer you are making use of is the right choice. Always follow the recommended dosage. More is not ideal on this issue.

4. Frequency of Water

Too much or too little water will cause your leaves to brown and plant die. The soil on which your palm is standing should be moist. During spring, watering is not necessary because of the rain.

For potted plants, add water generously every two to three weeks, and allow the water to percolate. Take out the water that stays on top of the soil, so the palm doesn’t suffer from root rot.


Most people cut brown leaves off on the palm tree, though, whether or not the browning was caused by aging or not. Gardeners should take care when doing this because cutting fronds off a palm tree may expose the tree to harm.

It is also important to note that the leaves remaining on the palm should be four times the number you are getting rid of. If you leave your plant empty, without fronds, you are exposing the plant to diseases.

So, should I cut off brown palm leaves? Well, we hope this article has answered and cleared your concerns. Happy gardening.

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